A  document setting out a business’s future objectives and strategies for achieving them.

Writing a Business Plan

Make sure you consider the following five steps prior to drafting your business plan:

1.  Determine your purpose

A Business plan encourages entrepreneurs to focus on what they are going to do.

Ask yourself :

  • Why it exists and why employees would want to get out of bed in the morning and
  • How’ – the values of the business, what it stands for, how people representing the business will behave.”
  • Take time to identify and articulate their business’s core values and purpose, which will serve as your organization’s compass for decision making at all levels.

2. Build your vision

  • The key to business success is having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish as a company. But before you write a business plan, you should come up with three to five key strategies that will enable you to achieve that vision.
  • Tied in with building the vision for your business is also putting together a mission statement. The mission is the “why” you’re doing what you do.

The mission statement:

  • The first sentence of the mission statement should be why you’re in business.
  • Secondly, you need to define ‘what’ you are going to do and ‘how‘ you’re going to do it.
  • The third and final part of the mission statement should be the ‘who’ you want asur y customers and how you are going to treat them

3. Clarify your business model

  • A good financial model should include many of the details you would put in your formal business plan – for example, hiring, pricing, sales, cost of acquisition, expenses and growth.
  • As with a business plan, your model should be revisited and updated as the realities of your business start to unfold.
  • Start [answering] ‘what ifs,’ “If I sell this product at this price point, and this is the cost of client acquisition, what rates of return can I get? When you’re done building [and testing] the business model, then you can go back [and] write a business plan.”

4. Identify your target market

  • Identifying a target market can be a tricky obstacle to get through. Ask yourself, “Why am I uniquely placed to solve the problem?”
  • If you are unable to answer the question, you either have the wrong target market of the wrong offering.

5. Test your business idea

  • Go out and talk to industry experts, potential customers in their target market and other entrepreneurs to determine their business’ viability
  • Talk to some real potential future clients

[and experts]

, and ask for some honest feedback.

  • What do they think about your business idea? Who, specifically, are you targeting with your business? How big is the market? Will your market buy what you are selling? Who is your competition?

Simply writing a business plan will not make your organization successful, but it does give you a road map to get there. The forethought put into the plan identifies the milestones by which you can mark your progress.

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