If you think that you have an idea that people are going to love and that you can make a profit out of, then that’s the first sign of you wanting to start your own business. However, starting a business is much harder than one would think as there are a lot of factors that could determine its success and failure.
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Creating a business from the ground up will require a lot of planning, as well as completely understanding what the business does, its operations, and how it will remain relevant in the industry. This is why you need to be able to come up with a business plan, and this article is going to help you create an effective one.
Startup Business Plan Template
How to Create Your Startup Business Plan
Let’s say that you’re starting up your very own business. Even if you don’t need any help in terms of financing, it’s a good idea to come up with a simple business plan. So, if you want a business plan that will help you understand what your business is and its goals, then here are the sections your business plan will have to cover and the order in which you should have them:
1. Provide a Description of Your Business
This is the first step where you will have to create a general description of your business. This should include the following:
- The type of business. You need to describe if your business is in retail or manufacturing and it has to be able to describe the products and services that it sells. You may also like hotel business plans.
- Your business location. You need to describe the facility that will serve as your business headquarters. Place the establishment’s complete address and any other information that will help people locate the area. Include the actual size of the business in square footage as well as its layout (assuming that it’s available and that you can provide it). If your business headquarters is at home, then all you need to do is place your home address and describe the space you will use. State if the establishment that you’re holding your business in is purchased or rented as well as the terms of the purchase or rental. You may also like restaurant business plans.
- Licenses and permits. If you want your business to be legitimate, then you will need to provide the business license and permits that are required for you to operate it. You may also like real estate business plan templates.
- Management and employees. You need to provide information regarding the owner (you) or owners and management of the business, along with the expected number and types of employees who will be working for you. You don’t have to make this so long as you want to make sure that this is as brief as possible. People who are going to read this section of the business plan won’t need to know a lot of information about these people other than their names and possibly their contact details and addresses, so there’s no need for you to add that much. You may also like bar business plans.
2. Create a Plan for the Products and Services that You Will Sell
This is information that a lot of investors will be looking at to see if they want to put money into your business. These sections should include the following information. You may also like financial business plans.
- A general description of all the products and services that your business is going to sell
- The pricing structures of the products and services that you are going to sell and if their prices vary on different markets
- Whether your business will be the ones to produce your products or if you plan on acquiring them from a wholesaler to resell to your customers. You may also like photography business plans.
- Provide a general description of each service that you are going to provide your customers
3. Describe the Market for Your Business
Create a description of your target market. This should include the following:
- You need to be able to provide an accurate description of what your business’ ideal customers. This would include the characteristics, attitudes, and buying behaviors of those who you want to sell your products and services to. Be sure that this description is as complete as you can possibly make it. You may also like one-page business plans.
- A discussion of the population to who your business will be selling to. This would be in terms of numbers and demographics such as age, sex, education, level of income, and any other important information. You may also like boutique business plans.
- Information regarding the buying behavior of your target market
4. Description of the Competition
This is where you’re going to have to do a ton of market research on the other businesses that are in direct competition with yours. This should include the following information:
- The number of competitors that are within your area
- The characteristics of your top three competitors
- The unique points of differences between you and your competitors
- How you are going to emphasize your products and services over that of your competitors in terms of delivery, customer service, product and service differentiation and other characteristics. You may also like travel business plans.
5. Create Your Business Marketing Plan
This is where you’ll be coming up with a marketing strategy where you’re trying to get people to know about the products and services your business is selling. So this section should include the following information:
- The ways in which you will be informing your target market regarding what you have to offer. You should write down the top 3 that comes to mind that you think will make your target market feel really interested in your products and services. You may also like car wash business plans.
- The kind of paid advertising that you are going to use to promote what your business has to offer
- The ways in which you will use publicity to promote your products and services
- The personal methods of selling that you are going to use to promote the products and services of your business
- The type of materials (flyers, banners, brochures, etc.) that you’re going to use to help you promote whatever products or services your business has to offer
When you’re thinking about your marketing strategy, you also have to remember that you need to have a budget for it as well. You won’t be able to get any of these done if you don’t have any money invested into it, so you’re going to have to create a budget for all of these activities for the first 3 years of your business. You may also like cafe business plans.
Create the Financial Statements for Your Business
This is one of the most important parts of your business plan. This the creation of all the financial documents that your business is going to need to operate. Although this is the section that’s going to take up the most of your time as well as needing a lot of effort, you’ll need to do it if you want to ensure that understand the money that’s put into your business, how you’re going to use it effectively, the money you’ll possibly gain, where you’ll get it and more. So here’s the information that you should include in your business’s financial plan:
- Startup Costs Worksheet. This financial statement should include things like the equipment, supplies, and any other resources that you’ll need for your startup. This should also include fees and licenses, payment for your advertisers, and the costs for the structure of your business. You may also like coffee shop business plans.
- The month-by-month budget for your 1st year. This should include a detailed statement which shows month-by-month sales collections, along with all of the monthly business expenses that your business will accrue. You may also like marketing business plans.
- Pro Forma Income Projections. You will need to prepare a pro forma (projected) income statement (P&L) for the first three years of operations. This will include your business’s income and expenses, along with the income tax, tax liability, and after-tax income for each of these years.
- Break-even Analysis. If you’re selling products, then you need to know how much you need to be able to sell for you to break even with the costs. Show the amount of how much you’ll need to break even on product sales
- Sources and Uses of Fund. A log of lenders and investors would want to know about this information. You need to itemize all of the financial needs of your business, along with your own personal investment into the business, so that your investors and lenders will know just how much money they should put into your business. You may also like real estate business plans.
Include Your Personal Financial Information in Your Business Plan
This is what you’ll need to provide your investors or lenders as they’ll want to know where you stand financially. By providing your personal financial information to these people, you’re basically showing them that you want to gain their trust and that they should give it to you. So long as you show that you’re financially stable, then you shouldn’t have that much of a problem gaining investors for your business project. Here is what you should bring with you for all owners for the last three years:
- The tax returns for the past three years
- Your credit report which shows your recent credit score
- Your personal financial statement.
- Your resume or your curriculum vitae
1. Create a Management and Operations Plan
This is where you provide information about the people that will be managing your business, as well as the different operations that will be going on in your business. So be sure to provide the following information:
- Owners and Directors. This is where you provide information regarding the people who own the business and those who make the top-level decisions. Show the backgrounds and qualifications of these people as well as their complete names. You may include your board of directors if you are incorporating.
- Managers and Employees. You’ll need to provide a description of the key management positions that your business is going to need. If you already have these positions filled, then you’ll need to provide the qualifications of the people that have filled them out. It’s best that you include an organization chart which shows the different positions as well as the types of employees that will be working in your business. This is meant to show the hierarchy of who’s on top and who’s on the bottom.
- Business Advisors. This is where you write down the people that are giving you key business advice such as consultants, your CPA or financial advisor, attorney, insurance agent, and even your banker. If you haven’t selected any of these people, then you will need to provide the qualifications that you’ll be looking for to fill these positions out. You may also like car wash business plans.
- Day-to-Day Operations. This is basically where you show all of the operations that will be conducted in your business on a daily basis. So you need the answers to questions such as what production processes will be used? How are you going to go about in providing your services? How are you going to market what your company has to offer? How many hours will your store be open? You may also like successful business plans.
- Accounting and Financial Operations. This is where you talk about how your business finances are going to be organized and kept track off. Describe how your accounting, billing and collections, and other financial operations will be conducted.
- Computer and Technology. You must have a description of the different computer or pieces of technology that your business will be utilizing. Is your business going to have a website? If it will, then who did you assign to maintain it? What are the hardware and software that your company computers will be using? Do you already have a system network established? What are the different electronic devices will your business be using? You need to provide answers to these questions and any other other questions related to computer and technology that are business-related. You may also like farm business plans.
2. Create an Executive Summary
This is the last step of your business plan. This document is what will summarize all of the information regarding your personal business plan and is placed at the very beginning. You want it to be as interesting as possible so that your possible investors will actually consider putting money into your business idea. In particular, the Executive Summary is intended to summarize your financial needs for startup or purchase. So here are the points that your executive summary should provide:
- Company Information. This should include the name of your company, when it was founded or purchased, the area that it’s located in when it will be open for business, and the legal form of organization.
- A one-sentence description of the product and services your business has to offer its customers and clients
- A description of the purpose of the business, it’s mission/vision, and any other information that will get readers interested in investing in your business. You may also like hotel business plans.
- A general description of your target audience, your position in the competitive market, and how you stand out from the rest of your competition
- A discussion of your business’s financial needs. This should show your own investment into the startup of your business, startup/purchase funding, and needs for operating capital during startup. You may also like salon business plans.
- A discussion of your own investment in the business and when you think the business is going to be able to break even and make a profit
Now that you have made your business, plan, there’s only one thing left for you to do.
You’re going to have to go through everything that you have written on it. You must make sure that there are no errors to the information you have provided or else you will be facing some serious problems in the near future, ones that may just prevent you from opening your business. Review it twice if you have to and be sure that there aren’t any spelling and grammar errors as well. You may also like business plan vs. business proposal.
If you would like to learn more about how to create a startup business plan or anything related to this particular topic, then all you have to do is go through any of our other available articles on our site until you can find the information that you’ll be able to utilize to help you and your business out