Business Plan 101: What Goes In It?

If you search ‘business plan templates’ in Google, you will get a ridiculous amount of free tools to help you construct a business plan. Many of these are less than useless, whereas a few have some excellent pointers. Just like the startups they are helping to launch, business plans should not be generic. A one size fits all approach simply doesn’t work. A newbie retailer will require a vastly different business plan to a newbie restaurateur. If you are in the throes of writing the business plan for your venture and you are feeling a little overwhelmed, take a look at this guide to help you formulate your ideal plan.

 

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Funding

A key aspect of every business plan is the funding section. However, the funding itself will be different for every single startup. You may choose to venture down the traditional route of a business loan from the bank. Or perhaps a business angel is more apt for your enterprise. Pitching to a business angel could help you secure not only funding but also an expert business mind and a book of ready made contacts. Alternatively, you might be keen to explore the postmodern and millennial route of crowdfunding. By pitching your idea online, you could have a global reach and find yourself with hundreds if not thousands of amateur investors taking an interest in your startup. For each of these funding strategies, you need a sound business plan detailing your financial projections for at least the first three years of trading. Know your gross from your net and be prepared to be interrogated on your figures.

 

Growth Plans

All business plans need to be working documents with one eye on the future. As such, you should consider how and when you would like to see your business grow. A tool such as eflow procurement technology can help you mitigate business risk and work out how to save money for your business. By saving cash, you can plough this into your future expansion plans. Detail these ideas within your business plan. This will help when you come to pitch to potential investors. If they can see that you have the business acumen to look to the future, be ambitious, and make efficiency savings all the while mitigating risk, you will be certain of securing investment.

 

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Online Visibility

As a twenty-first century business, you need to embrace the more modern ways of doing things. Every startup has some sort of online presence as this is the method of communication and news outlet choice of the millennial. You need to sign up to social media, update your feed regularly and post meaningful content for potential customers to share and read. This will help to direct traffic to your website and will enable you to convert hits into sales. Ensure that your business plan addresses the need for a digital marketing strategy considering your long term goals and aims.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy but it can be hugely fulfilling. Get the basics right within your business plan, and your startup has ever chance of success.

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