Key Reasons You Need A Bankable Business Plan And Guides For Developing One.
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Key Reasons You Need A Bankable Business Plan And Guides For Developing One.

A business plan is a written description of your business’s future. That’s all there is to it–a document that describes what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Whether you are planning to start a business, running, or expanding an existing one, a business plan is very useful for business success, growth and sustainability.

A good business plan can help you secure finance, define the direction of your business and create strategies to achieve your goals.

Business Plan Writing

Key reasons you may need a bankable business plan:

1. To sell yourself on the business
2. To obtain bank financing
3. To obtain investment funds
4. To attract and obtain grants
5. To arrange strategic alliances
6. To attract key employees
7. To motivate and focus your management team
8. To obtain a large contract
9. To help with directions for managing your business, monitoring and evaluating progress.

Check for relevant resources to help develop your business plan or get professional support to guide or write for you. There are several useful templates online to guide you if you want to write by yourself. Oftentimes, grant donors provide guidelines on what they want to see in your business plan application for their purpose.

The Business Plan template steps you through the process of creating a solid, well-structured plan tailored to your business.

Consider the following when writing by yourself or using a template:

  • Audience: target your audience appropriately. Take into consideration if the business plan will be used for more than one purpose, used internally or third parties will be involved and what the audience might be interested in especially in the case of third parties, they might be looking at the total package, not just your numbers.
  • Research: make extensive and note useful research input. This will help and provide you with the right information for accurate forecast, analysis and decisions.
  • Relevance: templates are guides, note the sections that are applicable to you and those not applicable.
  • Figures: existing businesses should include actual figures in the plan, but if your business is just starting out and you are using expected figures for turnover and finances you will need to clearly show that these are expected figures or estimates.
  • Get Help if Needed: If you are not confident, knowledgeable enough or pressed for time in completing the plan yourself, get professional support to guide or write for you.

The following are the key components and elements of a business plan:

  • The cover page
  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary: this is written last, in as few words as possible and straight to the point. It is your opportunity to sell yourself and your business. Your target business plan audience should be able to quickly read your plan, find it really reasonable and be captivated by what they read. The summary should be no longer than a page and should focus on why your business is going to be successful.
  • Business Description: your business Description section allows you to give extensive details and describe your business. Here you give details about your vision, mission, goals, business location, type and legal structure, owners and management, team, partners, products and services, target customers, anticipated demand and opportunities.
  • Organization and Management Structure: this section gives details on the team structure, organogram and human resource plan. It also highlights their roles, skills, qualifications, experience, and education.
  • The marketing/ industry analysis: this section shows how the industry operates, the powers and where you fit. It shows your target market and marketing strategy. It also shows the market and industry structure, trends, the market players, the competition, buyers, the regulators, the value of the market. You might also include a SWOT analysis, in which you discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats affecting your business.
  • Pricing, Sales and promotional Strategies
  • Operational plan (and production plan as applicable)
  • Funding requirements, financial projections and analysis: this section outline how much funds you require and purpose, where you intend to obtain these funds, how much money you will need up-front, what portion you will be seeking from other sources and how much you will contribute towards the business, and the profit you intend on making in a particular timeframe. The analysis should show What are you expecting in return and financial ratios. This section requires you to include your assumptions for your financial projections.

Authour: Dr. Funke Medun

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