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Iceni Magazine | July 20, 2024

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Creating a business plan – seven important steps

Creating a business plan

Creating a business plan is a crucial step for any new business owner.

It can provide the right scaffolding for taking the right steps to build your business from scratch as well as securing funding from a bank, for example.

Here are seven important steps to consider when developing a comprehensive business plan:

  1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is a snapshot of your entire business plan. It should provide an overview of your business ideologies, market analysis, marketing strategy, financial projections and key milestones. This section is essential as it gives readers a quick understanding of your business idea and goals.

  1. Business Overview

In this section, you should detail the ideas for your business, the problem it solves, your target market and your competitive advantage. Describe what sets your business apart from others and why customers would choose your products or services. To ensure this part of the business plan is well written and accurate, it is essential to consider every aspect of the business.

  1. Market Analysis

Ensure that you carry out thorough market research to understand your industry, target market and similar businesses in the local area i.e. your competition. Identify current trends, customer needs and possible expansion opportunities. This information will help you place your business effectively in the market.

  1. Organisational Structure and Management

Outline your company’s structure, ownership, and leadership team. Define the roles and staff responsibilities and highlight their relevant experience. Investors want to know that your team has the appropriate skills and expertise to drive the business forward. You need to include policies or ideas about workplace culture, too because managers will be important in providing this, and if you fail to create a good environment, you’ll have a high turnover of staff. This costs you time and money. It could even be worth looking into hiring a business transformation agency to start with, which can help you implement safety, inclusion, and leadership skills into your business. Of course, if it’s just you to begin with, you need to be able to assure potential investors that you have the necessary commitment, confidence, and qualities, too.

  1. Products or Services

Provide detailed information about your products or services, including features, benefits and pricing. Explain how your offerings meet customer needs and how they differ from competitors. Make sure to highlight any unique selling points that set you apart in the market.

  1. Marketing and Sales Strategy

Develop a plan for the marketing element of your business that details how you will attract and retain customers. Define your target audience, distribution channels, pricing strategy and promotional activities. Additionally, detail your sales strategy, including sales forecasts and customer acquisition methods.

  1. Financial Projections

Include detailed financial projections, such as income statements, cash flow forecasts and balance sheets. Provide realistic estimates based on your market research and business model. Investors will scrutinise these financial projections to assess the viability and potential profitability of your business.

By following these seven important steps, new business owners can create a well-rounded business plan that serves as a roadmap for success. Remember, a well-crafted business plan not only helps you secure funding but also guides your business decisions and keeps you focused on your goals.

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