How and Where to Get Business Plan Help
As an entrepreneur or someone looking to enter the business world, you might find yourself wondering whether or not you need a business plan. Most often, small business owners, and those who want to be small business owners, find that they do require a business plan – especially if they are in need of any sort of funding or want to establish themselves as legit.
But, if you’ve never written a business plan before, would you even know where to begin? Luckily, for those who need help to write a business plan, it is closer than they think!
What May Help Writing Business Plan
A well crafted business plan is one of the most crucial success factors for any start-up company. Yet, surprisingly enough, it is also one of the steps that is most often overlooked. It is no wonder that the businesses that fail to plan, research and outline their first, second and even five year goals seldom make it out of the gate.
The processes involved in the planning stage are meticulous. They require ample time, research, detail management and an understanding of basic economics and development. For the novice business owner, this can be very overwhelming.
In the proceeding paragraphs you will find the basic requirements for making a business plan, including:
- Why you need a business plan
- Tips to collect the relevant information
- The business plan outline
Creating a Business Plan – Where to Start
Before you even begin Googling phrases like ‘help me write a business plan’ , you might be asking yourself why you even need a business plan to begin with. Can’t you just take your product or service, start to market it and hope to turn a profit? Sure you could, but you might have difficulty staying on track or hitting targets – especially if you haven’t clearly defined what those targets are and how you plan to hit them.
A business plan, for all intents and purposes, is a clearly defined document that not only describes the nature of your business, but also outlines strategies, objectives, goals, sales and marketing targets and financial forecasts. Your business plan should be able to assist you in:
- Delivering a clear picture of your overall business idea
- Uncoveringpotential challenges and determining solutions
- Forecasting and establishinggoals
- Trackingyour progress
Most importantly, should you ever require any sort of business funding, you will require a business plan as investors and financial institutions will want more than just ‘your word’ and an overview of your service offerings to go on when deciding whether or not to back your business.
What should be included in your business plan?
Your business plan needs to be as detailed and through as possible. However, resist the urge to include every possible stitch of information in your plan. You will want to leave some content for your operational or marketing plans. When drafting your business plan:
- Stick to what anyone reading it will need to know
- Cut out any fluff
- Proof read to ensure that there are no spelling errors
You might choose to include the more detailed information in an appendix. This includes:
- Detailed financials or forecasts
- Any sort of market research or technical specs
- Resumes of key management or leadership staff
- Product or sales literature
Your business plan need to focus on the ‘now’ but speak to the ‘future’. It is imperative that you never embellish things like sales or cashflow. Financiers want to know that you are responsible.
Keep it professional.
- Remember to include a cover page and a table of contents
- Always include an executive summary
- Charts and graphs can be extremely helpful
When describing what your business does, or the types of products you sell, try not to be too technical.
- Describe your products or services in a way that clearly states what sets you apart from your competitors.
- Indicate the real benefits of your business. If there might be any disadvantages, how will you overcome these?
- Do you have any planned developments?
You might find it useful to conduct a SWOT ANALYSIS. This is when you explore and explain the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the overall success of your business.
- Strengths could be things like the name of your brand, your product quality or your management team.
- Weaknesses could include lack of funding, or a small customer base.
- Opportunities could be things like a growing demand or a major competitor phasing out of the market.
- Threats could mean things like economical challenges or new competitors entering a flooded market sphere.
Asking ‘Who can Help Me Write a Business Plan?’
Writing a business plan is not an easy feat. In fact, many business plans – especially for larger or more complex businesses – are several pages long and require ample research hours and solid planning skills. You might be faced with the task of preparing your business plan on your own, or you could be asking ‘who can help me with my business plan’? Truthfully, there are a number of resources available to those who need a little extra guidance in preparing or writing their business plan. You might choose to:
- Download a complete business plan template online
- Hire a consultant
- Speak with your bank
- Meet with a small business help center
- Take a college entrepreneurial course
- Look for a mentor or a trusted individual who has gone through the process before
- Hire a third party writer who is experience in writing business plans and proposals
There are so many options available, and this is where our business writers step in to help. The key is to research what resources are available to you and determine how to best put them into action.