Writing a Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide
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The Importance of a Business Plan
Traditional Business Plan
A discussion of the broader market to identify both upcoming challenges and opportunities the business may face. Any relevant expansion plans. The business plan generally outlines where the funding will come from (such as different types of small business loans) and what hiring needs to be done. An explanation of duties for current employees A strategy in case certain setbacks occur. A five-year forecast of company financials.
Lean Startup Plan
Partnerships. Highlight the strategic partnerships that will help your business operation. This may include suppliers or manufacturers. Activities. In what ways will the company have a competitive advantage in the existing market? Things to consider here may be technology that could set you apart. Resources. What resources will allow you to create value for customers? This may be staff, intellectual property. Value proposition. What unique value does your company bring to the existing market? Customer relations. How will consumers interact with your company? Will their experience be in-person vs online? Customer segments. Identify your target market. Defining and understanding who your target market is can help inform overall business and marketing strategies. Cost structure. This section should explore the costs your business will face - such as labor or supplies. In this section, it can also be helpful to define whether your company will work on a cost-driven model or a value-driven model. Cost-driven models focus on lowering costs while value-driven models focus on creating premium value for customers. Revenue streams. How is the company going to make money?
How to Write a Business Plan
1. Executive Summary
2: Business Overview and Structure
3: Market Analysis and Structure
4. Management and Team
5. Marketing Plan
6. Operations Plans
7. Financial Projections
8. Funding Request
9. Appendix and Supporting Documentation
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