How to write a winning business plan
The truth, if you want to know, is, not every business plan wins – some lose actually. This is strange, I know, but it is true. I will expatiate in a moment. Preparing a good business plan will definitely take time, but if done well, it will be worth your investment of energy and resources in the long run. The keyword there is, “If done well.” If it is not done well, your business plan can actually make you to lose a lot of things rather than winning.
What is a business plan and why is it important?
Essentially, a business plan is a document that provides useful information to potential investors and lenders about a business, how ‘investable’ the business idea is, and used to determine many other parameters which investors would normally use to judge whether a business or an idea is worth funding or investing in.
More importantly, a business plan spells out the entire operation plan on which a company will run by. This is perhaps the most important purpose of a business plan because it serves as an important blueprint which directs entire course of the business, and enables the business owner to achieve the business goals which he has set for the business from the onset. Most entrepreneurs have good business ideas but they rarely possess ALL the required knowledge, skills and expertise required to run a business successfully and make it profitable. Good business plans are those which are comprehensive, well thought-out, and provide the basis for business owners to make sound business decisions.
How does a business plan win or lose?
Quite simply, I’ll just stick with the two purposes of a business plan I have highlighted above. When a business plan achieves those tow main purposes, it has won. When a business plan fails to achieve either or both of the purposes stated above, it has actually failed – it lost!
When you write a business plan for the purpose of raising funds for your business idea, let’s say you apply for a loan or a grant – or perhaps you are trying to convince some investors to throw some money into your business, and after all has been said and done, you end up not getting the loan, the grant, or the funds you need, then the business plan failed. It is as simple as that. In the same vein, if your goal for writing the business plan is to have a document that will guide you on your business journey, be your roadmap which you can always consult at different junctures for decision making and clarifying the right course of action at every given point in time – this is a very good reason to have a business plan written, but if you get to critical points along your business journey where you should turn to your plan to determine what should be the next course of action and it can neither tell you, or at least, suggest a solution or course of action – then it has failed also. The plan is not a winning business plan. So, the question then would be, “How do we write a winning business plan?” To answer that, let us begin by learning about the characteristics of a winning business plan.
Characteristics of a winning business plan
At any point in time, and under any circumstance, if a business plan exhibits the following characteristics, it most like will win, and help the business owner to achieve important feats along the lifetime of the business.
- It is well researched
One of the mistakes that business owners make is to write a business plan document that is full of assumptions and filled with claims that are not well researched. More often than not, the assessors of your business plan (whether you have submitted it for a grant competition, or to apply for loan – or any other related purposes) are experienced people who know exactly what they are looking for in your document. They can easily tell if your facts do not match market figure or if your claims are too fictitious and are not real. Carrying out thorough research in the process of writing your business plan may not seem to be an easy thing to do but it will always prove to be a worthy effort because it is in serious research that you gain real market insights that are used to make your projections in your business plan. A business plan that is based on lies and unverified claims will almost always fail – it cannot win; neither can it get you your desired result.
- It is written in simple and plain language
Many entrepreneurs and business owners usually want to write to kill, in other words, they want to impress the assessors of their business plans by all means. Some people believe that the assessors will respect them and reckon with their business plans because of the big grammars used. To be clear, the easier it is for an assessor to understand and comprehend your business concept, the better for you and your business. The more difficult it becomes for the assessors to understand the whole, or a part, of the message you are trying to get across, the less your chances of winning whatever is at stake.
READ ALSO: 25 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A BUSINESS PLAN
- It contains important elements of a business plan
Certain elements are important and compulsory if a business plan will make sense. Absence of such element immediately renders a business plan useless. There is no way you will write a business plan and forget to include any of those parts. Omitting any of those components in a business plan will make it to fail automatically. Below are those components that are very critical and must be included in a business plan that wins.
- Executive Summary
No matter how beautifully a business plan was written, no matter how much of effort has gone into writing it, even if the research was top-notch and the facts and figures were first rate, without an executive summary, a business plan will most likely end in the waste bin. “Why?”, you would want to ask. The reason simply is that, most of the people who need to read your business plan for assessment purposes are busy people who needs the executive summary which summarizes the entire content of the business plan document as a quick read to determine whether the main document is worth reading at all. So, if it is missing, the chances of your business plan being read is very slim – and if it never gets read, you already know what that means, isn’t it?
The other important components of a winning business plan include the following:
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Description of Management and Organization
- Breakdown of Your Products and Services
- Marketing Plan
- Sales Strategy
- Financial Projections
There are many features of a winning business plan, and depending on industry, owner’s business objectives, level of details required, etc., the business plan may possess these features in varying degree. However, the features presented above are most general for any type of business plan and can form your basis for judging whether your business plan will be a winning plan, or not.
If you need a service of a Professional Business plan writer, then Dayo Adetiloye Business Hub is the place to go Call or WhatsApp us now on 081 0563 6015, 080 7635 9735 or send an email to email@example.com and we will solve any of your business plan problems.
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