If your business lendingkit is all in your head, it’s hard to convince lenders, investors and shareholders that you have a credible company and that you’ll use their funding well. And that’s precisely where a business plan comes in. This highly recognized management tool is basically a written document that describes who you are, what you plan to achieve, how you plan to overcome the risks involved and provide the returns anticipated. Often people think of business plans are limited to starting up new companies or applying for business loans. However, they are also essential to running a business with a clear, well-documented plan.
Make it thorough but keep it simple
Many entrepreneurs may see putting a business plan together as a daunting task involving hundreds of pages. However, in reality, it should be a concise and structured document that gives readers everything they need to assess your company’s project. There’s no one guaranteed formula for writing an effective business plan. However, in general you have to show that you’re committed to your venture and that you have the expertise, skills and self-confidence necessary to make it all happen.
Here’s the core content that you should consider.
Your business proposal
Include a description of exactly what you’re proposing. Ask yourself: Who your customer is, what business are you in exactly, what do you sell, and what are your plans for growth?
Your unique selling point
Address how your goods or services will appeal to customers. How will your company or product/service make a difference in the lives of your customers?
Make sure you show your lender that you’ve done your homework. Basically, your market research helps you understand your customer needs so that you can offer a product or service that precisely fits those needs. You’ll need to provide information such as your target market, customer demographics, competition and distribution methods.
Key competitive information
Provide information on competitor weaknesses and strengths and show how you intend to improve on what they’re doing.
Use organization charts to clearly spell out the roles of key management people and the proposed size of your organization.
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