How to Write a Business Plan – A Complete Guide

In today’s fiercely competitive world, there is absolutely no place for guesswork. Even if you happen to be highly skilful, there is a need for proper planning. If you won’t plan, your end result wouldn’t be as different as those of failed business owners. So, you better plan things properly before starting a business.

A business plan is simply a roadmap that helps you in determining the future course of action to be followed by you so that you work smoothly and properly. A business plan isn’t merely a tool to attract an investor or secure a bank loan, but, it also assists you in finding answers to various important questions like:

  • What to do?
  • How to do?
  • When to do?

Right below I have shared the best and comprehensive format of writing a business plan with each element or component explained in plain English:

1. Cover page

The cover page is the first important component of a typical business plan. I like to call a cover page the first impression because it is the first page an investor or a banker whom you approach for funding sees. The more beautifully and neatly you write a cover page, more interested your prospective investor gets in the reading of the remaining portion of your business plan.

What should you highlight on a cover page is your company’s name, logo, title and date, address, contact details etc

2. Executive summary

An executive summary is the foundational and of course the most important component of a typical business plan. It conveys clearly what you want your investors to read? In brief, while you begin to write an executive summary, you will have to introduce:

  • Yourself
  • Your business
  • Your product or service

2. Business description

Business description is the second most important component of your business plan. In this component, you got to outline your:

  • Vision
  • Legal structure
  • Organisational size
  • Business location

3. Competitor analysis

The third section of a typical business plan is competitor analysis. You have to research and describe who are your close competitors or rivals? and what are their key strengths and weaknesses so that you are able to spot out possible threats and opportunities.

4. Market analysis

Market analysis is the fourth important part of your business plan. You need to describe your target market environment and you must prove that your product or service has a substantial growth.

5. Marketing plan

Marketing plan section explains the answer for how your business will get customers to buy products or services? In addition, you will need to explain your USP ( unique selling proposition ), pricing strategy, sales plan and advertising strategy. 

6. Operational plan 

The operational plan component explains answers to following questions:

  • How to get your products or services to your target market?
  • Who is doing what? and what are their day to day activities?
  • Which suppliers to be used?
  • What are your labor requirements?

7. Management & financial plan

In the management plan section, you need to describe your management team, staff, and ownership structure while as the financial plan component explains how investors can be attracted to fund your startup and moreover, it helps in determining the viability of your business as well. Thank you!

Satyabrata Dash

About Author:

Satyabrata Dash, a Bhubaneswar, Odisha based professional who apart from working with Hinduja Globals, loves to write on startups, work issues and not to mention entrepreneurship.