A business plan is a very important aspect in starting or expanding a business. There is a lot to take into consideration, and for many, the process can be frustrating and overwhelming. Before you sit down and start typing out your plan, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Before you make your first keystroke, you need to clearly identify who you are writing the plan for. Your audience will dictate the length, style and information highlighted in your final plan. Make sure to do some research to help you understand what sort of information your target reader will be looking for and focus on that information in your plan. The information that may be crucial for a lender may be of little importance to your employees and vice versa.
What Is the Goal of Your Business Plan?
Once you have established who you’re writing to, it’s important to understand why you are writing the plan. The end objective will also play a role in the length, level of detail and information included in your plan. If you are writing to ask for a large loan from a lender, you are going to want to write a very detailed 50-page plan with a strong focus on the financial analysis section. However, if you are presenting a plan for expansion to members of your management team, you will want to keep it brief and focus more on structural changes with just a basic overview of the financial plan.
Do I Have a Strategy for Implementing This Business Plan?
This may not sound like something you need to establish before you start writing, but having an implementation strategy will be a huge asset when writing your plan. Understanding how you plan to enact the various initiatives laid out in your plan ensures that you won’t have any holes in the plan that you may later have to defend to your target audience. This plan is not just meant to be written, read and discarded, it should be a living document that guides the operation of your company. For that reason, going into the writing process with a clear strategy can save you a lot of grief later on.
Once you have answered these questions, you can feel more confident about the quality of your final business plan. A little preparation before you start writing can save you precious time and give you the confidence you need to write the perfect plan.