When it comes to Writing Business Plan there are a few guidelines you might want to consider. A Business Plan is that document which clearly sets out goals and aspirations of an intended business proposal – be it a startup initiative involving a few people or a conglomerate involving thousands. In simple business language, it is a precursor to actually setting up a physical business house, outlining the initiator’s focus, knowledge and acumen to run the business.
It would be wise to note that a Business Plan should necessarily include detailed plans clearly showing objectives, product or service details, marketing & implementation strategy, financial projections & workings, risk analysis and exit plans, if any, in the event of untoward and unexpected future market trends.
A Business Plan can also be known as a Sales Plan, Operational Plan, Organizational, Marketing Plan, Strategic Business Plan or Department Business Plan. The Business Plan should be concise and not more than 10-12 pages with emphasis on objectives and aims as well as financial projections. Whatever you may choose to call it, a typical Business Plan covers a broad spectrum of the following:
a) Executive Summary
b) Company History
c) Business Concept – Product / Service Outline
d) Market Analysis & Strategy
e) Operational Plan
f) Executive Management & HR Plan
g) Financial Projections
h) Survival / Exit Strategy
i) tradeshow promotional items
The Executive Summary is the introduction and foremost part of your Business Plan that will be read and therefore it is very important to make a good first impression, perhaps with a business project. For Online Printing projects, we suggest printlion.com. The purpose of the Executive Summary is to give readers a summarized view of the business proposition, operational plans, marketing strategy and financial projections.
While it is not necessary to give elaborate details, it must be remembered however that the summary should grab the attention of the reader and ensure that the entire Business Plan is read with interest. The Executive Summary serves as a means of communication to investors, customers and employees who need to understand your ideas.
You should understand firstly that the Summary is not a “once size fits all” plan that you can just lift from some other business outline and implement for your own. It doesn’t work that way. Study your business completely, understand your strengths and weakness and focus on those aspects that you wish to highlight.
Unless you create an impact in the minds of the readers of the plan you cannot hope to take them beyond into your operational details or finances. It also helps to present facts realistically without added embellishments so that the final result is something that you would wish to read, putting yourself in place of the reader.
The Executive Summary should be about two pages in length and cover all the topics that you wish to present in the rest of the Business Plan. So, choose your words wisely and write a line or two about each of the broad outlines of the rest of the Business Plan.
The whole idea about putting the Executive Summary at the top of the Business Plan is to ensure that it is a forerunner to the objective of the business and therefore it should present itself as a well researched and well written document creating an interest in the mind of the reader to know more. If not, it will be difficult to sustain the interest of your intended audience, leave alone make the desired impact with financial lenders or bankers.