Follow These Tips to Get Started on your New Venture
If your business plan is all just ideas in your head, it is difficult to convince lenders, investors, and shareholders, that you have a credible company and that you will put the financing they provide to you to good use. This is where the action plan comes in.
This popular and highly recognized management tool is a written document that shows who you are, what you plan to achieve, how you plan to transcend the risks involved in your project, and how you will provide the expected returns.
A clear, well-documented business plan is useful when starting a new business or applying for a business loan. But not only that, it provides you and your team with a roadmap and a reality check tool for running a business and keeps you on track to achieve your goals and monitor your success.
Make your Plan Comprehensive and Simple and Stay Sway From Complexity
A business plan doesn’t have to be a complicated business plan that fills hundreds of pages. In fact, it should be simple and concise, while at the same time giving the reader all the information he needs to evaluate your company’s projects and future aspirations.
There is no guaranteed formula for writing an effective business plan. The goal is to demonstrate your commitment to building a viable company and to have the necessary experience, skills, and self-confidence to make it all happen.
When getting started, consider these tips:
- Jot everything down as quickly as possible, and don’t worry about every detail, especially not on your first draft.
- Make sure the information is clear and gets straight to the point. Bankers just want to see the facts.
- Present the plan to your company’s board of directors (if appropriate), and to senior management and key employees for their feedback.
- It is usually best to have the plan written by someone inside the company. But it may be helpful to get feedback from an outside expert.
- You can also get advice from a counselor who understands the challenges facing new immigrants who want to start a business. You can find advisors through organizations such as ACCESS Employment and Futurpreneur Canada.
The first section of your business plan should provide an overview of your business. They include the following:
- Your legal and business name, business address, and contact information.
- Brief description of the business.
- Quick summaries of your project’s products or services, pricing, distribution, risk factors, and competitive advantage.
- An outline of the market in which you do business, and how your business aligns with the demographic, economic, social, industrial, market, and cultural trends.
- A description of the key players, including major competitors, suppliers, and distributors.
- Statements related to the mission, vision, and value of your company. Your assignment describes what your business does. Your vision defines what your company plans to do in the future. As for values, they provide the reader with an indication of the basic priorities in your organization; For example teamwork, integrity, and customer focus.
- applicable government regulations.
Sales and Marketing Plan
This section explains how you will attract customers, persuade them to buy, and have them come back to you afterward.
The sales and marketing plan includes a detailed picture of your target customers, the estimated demand for your products or services, and an explanation of why y
our offerings will appeal to customers. You will need to explain how your company will make a difference in the lives of your customers, and why they will prefer your products over those of competitors.
Other useful items in this section include:
- A description of your brand’s unique identity.
- Outline your customers’ buying experience (i.e. how they interact with your business).
- Your marketing goals (such as target market share or number of customers).
- A list of current customers and suppliers, if any.
- Your plans to advertise and promote your business.
- A brief description of your customer service policy.
The operating plan details your physical facilities (location, size, ownership), your capital goods (such as machinery and technical equipment), details of any future capital expenditure needs, intellectual property, furniture, research and development efforts, and any business required to achieve compliance with environmental standards.
Human Resource Plan
A sound business plan should explain how you plan to hire and retain employees and any unique challenges your HR business may face. The plan should also include an organizational structure, job descriptions, working hours, wages, benefits and leave policies, performance appraisal procedures, and information on employee training and development.
Describe the ownership structure of your business – who owns it and what type of company it is (eg a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint-stock or limited company, or “B Corp”). If you are going to buy an existing company, provide details of the acquisition agreement. Always remember that you must have a lawyer review all contracts and legal issues.
In the business plan, you make a brief table or graph (one or two pages should be enough) that shows the goals and milestones for the next several years. It can be helpful to write down the target dates and who is responsible for each task.
It is best to conclude the plan with a brief, high-level summary (here, too, one or two pages will suffice). The abstract must include the following:
- Your goals and a description of the project. (Be sure to specify if this is a new business, an expansion of an existing business, or the purchase of a new business.)
- History of the project and a description of the nature of your operations.
- The products or services they offer and their unique selling positions.
- your financing needs.
- More details on management and any advisors.
- Brief presentation of your project risk assessment and contingency planning.
- Contact information for the financial institutions you deal with.
Avoid these mistakes
- Don’t be unrealistic while developing your business plan. You must be able to justify any assumptions or expectations.
- Avoid hiding financial difficulties. Be honest with your lenders, for example, if your sales become volatile, you may prefer a flexible repayment schedule. A transparent business plan is one of the best assets you have to gain the trust of bankers and investors, whether they are your partners or people outside the company.
- Do not give insufficient information. Provide sufficient detail about the management team, marketing plans, and start-up costs.