How to Make a Business Plan

Set Your Entrepreneurial Goals into Action

What kind of things do you plan for? From a dinner menu to retirement savings, there are many instances when a plan comes in handy. However, some people decide to skip this step for some of the biggest decisions in their lifeā€”like starting a business. Learn why an entrepreneurial business plan is a crucial step for business owners and how to create one.

What is an Entrepreneurial Business Plan

So, you want to start a business? That’s wonderful! Be prepared to answer this question (because you’ll probably get asked a lot): what do you do? It may seem like a basic question, but for entrepreneurs it could be loaded with unknowns. In order to analyze and answer these unknowns, create a business plan.

A business plan is a comprehensive outline of the following:

  1. Idea. What products and services you will provide to solve a customer problem in a unique way.
  2. Strategy. An overview of your target market, the channels you’ll use to reach them, and how you’ll retain customers.
  3. Goals. Short- and long-term objectives
  4. Particulars. Your team, policies, financial projections, and competition

Creating a business plan may start out like an outline, but it transforms into a roadmap for success. It helps to focus your goals and guide you toward achieving them. It also acts as a living document that can change overtime as your business grows.

Not only is a business plan a helpful tool for business owners, but it may also be a requirement for securing funding. It also puts your mission and vision statements down on paper so you can refer back to it and share it with others.

Planning Tips

Now that you have a general idea of what a business plan is, how do you go about writing one? Whether the initial plan is for your eyes only or needs to be reviewed by investors, keeps these tips in mind:

  1. Be straightforward. The best plan is one that’s clear and concise without a lot of jargon and vague references.
  2. Use visuals. Not only will charts, graphs, and images help illustrate your points, but they’ll break up large blocks of text.
  3. Be realistic. Set yourself up for success with attainable goals, valid financial projections, and a current market analysis.

Even if the document is just for you, proofread and polish to show your professionalism. Then customize your business plan for anyone you may need to send it to, such as a business partner or investor.

While creating a business plan may seem like a chore, drafting this document will give you a deeper understanding of your business. It will help bring your vision of a success to life. Even if you can’t plan for everything, you’ll have a jumping off point and a map to help put you back on track as you journey through business ownership.