Let me start by saying, “a well-written business plan won’t fix a bad idea”
Having a good idea is far more important than the quality of the writing of your business plan, after all, the best written business plan in the world is not going to make a bad idea succeed. A good business idea deserves a good business plan, and whilst formatting, layout, spelling and editing are all nice, it’s the quality of the content that’s most important. A good business will create a good business plan.
A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It also contains background information about the organization and team attempting to reach those goals.
It has plan has two primary purposes. First, and foremost, it should be used to help run your company with a more cohesive vision. It is your roadmap. By truly analysing your plan for marketing, sales, manufacturing, distribution, website design, etc, you greatly improve your chances for success.
A written business plan forces you to think realistically, objectively and unemotionally about your business, it leads to questioning of past and future assumptions, it makes it easier to communicate objectives and strategies to bankers, partners, employees, financial backers and so on.
Here are the key elements of a winning business plan.
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Products and services
- Sales and marketing
- Management team
- Financial forecasts, cashflow & balance sheet summary