Build the Right Business Plan for You
Anyone who has ever bought a new baseball cap understands that finding the right fit can be a process. There are a ton of different sizes to choose from with incremental differences in each size, not to mention wondering if the hat will shrink or your head will grow. An easy solution to the situation is to buy a one-size-fits-all hat or even a possibly
less stylish snap-back hat.
Many entrepreneurs may feel the same way the first time they begin trying to write a business plan. The internet is flooded with business plan pointers and templates. Most have recurring themes that match but quite a few differ in their opinion of business plan structure or even necessity. So, are business plans necessary? And if so, does a one-size-fits-all business plan exist?
Are Business Plans Necessary?
To answer this question in short, absolutely, but maybe not for the reasons that are obvious. A business plan is often written because “it’s what successful businesses do” and “you need it to get funding.” While these statements are not false they are not the ultimate reasons why the business plan is absolutely essential. Your business plan should be a personal learning tool to learn about your business, your industry, and how you fit in the landscape. Going through the process of creating a business plan teaches you valuable information regarding your start-up which can lead to greater success down the road.
What Should My Business Plan Contain?
While there are templates, coaches, and software (such as eBusinessPlan) to help you answer this question, the answer is ultimately up to you. Your business plan should paint a picture of your business and draw readers into your idea, convincing them that you will be a successful venture. This goal is achieved by providing relevant details, numbers, statistics, and analysis. Common sections of a business to cover these items are;
• The Executive Summary
• Financial Statements
• Market Analysis
• Management & Company Structure
• Product & Services
• Marketing Plan
Within these sections you must decide what sets your business apart from others.
Create a Personality through Your Business Plan
At the end of the day, people don’t buy into new businesses because of a document, but instead because of the people behind the document. Your business plan should be professional, but also portray the kind of person you are and why you will be successful. Be conscience of the voice you use in your business plan and be sure it appeals to your intended audience.
Because the business plan is a document that reflects you, it should not be identical to any other business plan out there. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business plan. Templates and software are very beneficial tools to building a business plan but their contents should be determined by you, the entrepreneur. Templates and software are flexible tools to help you get started but they will not be the deciding factor in your business plan’s success. You are. And as said before, people are buying you, show them who you are through your business plan.