Small businesses should benefit from having a business plan.
Business owners from all industries and niches generally want to do what is necessary to make their business grow. This may include a goal to boost profitability, expand into new territories, introduce new products or services to the market and more. Often, goals include a combination of these factors.
However, before you can get from your current point to the point where you want to be, you must develop a strategy for doing so. Writing a simple business plan can be a wonderful way to solidify a plan of action. It can help you to firm up the smaller but necessary steps that must be taken as you progress on a path to achieve your goals. While some plans can be elaborate, lengthy and complex, a simple plan can be incredibly helpful to you. Different Types of Business Plans
Start-up businesses and existing businesses alike may benefit from having a business plan, and there are several different types to choose from. They may be used internally, or they may be prepared to give to investors or others who may be interested in learning more about the plans that you have for the business.
The type of plan that you develop will be based in part on how you plan to use it and your purpose for preparing it. A one-page plan may be a broad road map for the business for the short-term.
An internal plan may be more complex, but it does not have to be overloaded with details. It may include more information about budgets and milestones. An external plan may have more information about the company so that it introduces the business to others.
For example, it may include information about key players in the business as well as the business's history. A plan for investors may state how much money is needed and how those funds will be used.
One Page Business Plan Whether you have decided to prepare a one-page business plan or a more detailed yet still simplified plan for internal or external purposes, you need to understand the basic sections that are normally included in a plan. These sections can serve as the outline for your plan, and you can fill them in with as much or as little information as you feel is needed.
Most will include an executive summary, which identifies what role your business serves in the marketplace, who your target audience is and who is on your professional team.
Many plans will also include a company overview, which may provide further information about the business organizational structure, its location and its ownership. It may also include more information on the target market and the products and services that your business provides.
Milestones and metrics may be fairly detailed or basic in this section, and it may include smaller goals that your business needs to achieve in order to reach major milestones and accomplishments. External plans often will include bios and other relevant information about the key players in the business.
A financial plan is often a hallmark of a business plan. It may include a current financial picture, how much money you need to obtain from investors or loans, how that money will be used and a projection of your business finances after goals have been reached.
You can sit in front of your company and type up a plan on your own. There is some freedom and flexibility that you are provided when you draft your own plan, but you can also use any number of templates available through the Internet. Some templates are designed so that you can add or remove sections as needed, but others will require you to input at least some information into each section.
For an easy middle ground between these two options, you can use a template as a guiding post or outline of the sections and layout that are needed in the plan. However, you can also create your plan from scratch using this information to help you. Take time to gather together the information needed for each of the sections, such as bios of key players and financial data. Then, you should be able to fill out the sections in the plan with ease.
A plan can be one of the most important documents that you may prepare for your business. It may be very long and detailed, but even a simple, concise plan can be highly beneficial for internal and external purposes alike.
When choosing the type of plan to use and what information to include in it, keep in mind the purpose of the plan and who will be reading and using it. This will help to guide you in determining what information to include and the general layout that is most beneficial for the plan.