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How to write a good business plan

How to write a good business plan

There is no successful entrepreneur that can confidently say that a business plan is not one of the most important parts of their business organization. It is ideal for every entrepreneur aimed at becoming successful to prepare or know how to write a business plan that will help him actualize his business goals.

It is essential that you visualize your goals and the amount of money to invest in each step of your business development and a good business plan is a road map to follow to make actualizing your goals easier and faster. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are just starting the business, already running a business, or trying to expand the business. A business plan is very crucial as it can also be a great element when you wish to secure a loan. 

To make it easy for you and to save you from the stress of cracking up your brain on how to write a business plan, here is how to write a good business plan in Nigeria that will set you up for business success and also build confidence of investors in your business.

1. Executive Summary

The Summary comes directly after the title page. The executive summary can be said to be a general overview of your business plan. It tells the readers in short details exactly what you want to achieve with the business. Contained in the executive summary are the goals of the business and a description of your company’s profile. 

Before you write your own, it is advisable to study an existing executive summary sample to help you understand how to craft yours. You can only use the sample as a guide to writing your own, you should not expressly copy it. 

It is important to note that the executive summary is written after the rest of your business plan is finished. This is because it summarizes all that is written in the business plan.

2. Business Description

Your business description is an explanation of the industry your business is operating in, what it does, and what makes it different from others. Also contained in the business description, is detailed information about your company profile.

It is important to write about the current trends in your industry when writing your company business description. You should also write about the widespread markets that are operating in the same industry as your business, and how other products or services can benefit or affect your own business. 

3. Market Analysis and Strategies

Contained in your market analysis, is a comprehensive research of your market and the competitors in your business line or industry. You become very familiar with the market when you do a thorough market analysis. It also makes it easier for you to narrow down who your immediate target customers could be. Your business can be well-positioned to claim a fair percentage of the market when you have a thoroughly researched and well-detailed market analysis.

You could also employ the services of market research firms to help you carry out a market assessment if you are finding it difficult to carry out the market research on your own. Apart from providing results, the market research firms will also help you outline a marketing plan you could follow base on the research made. It also covers different marketing strategies you can use to get a good percentage of the market.

4. Design and Development Plan

Here you provide information about your product design and development plan to your potential investors and creditors. You are expected to show them the business development plan, your product development strategy, and how the business will reach its goal by creating a précised budget for the development process.

5. Organization and Management

Contained in the business organization and management is the business structure your organization is going to adopt. Since every organization has different structures, picking the right organization and management structure plan that is concise is very important in helping you achieve your goals.

6. Service or Product Line

Here you outline the services you intend to offer, your product line, and your general product ideas. You will need to describe how your product line would be beneficial to your customers, and also show the layout of the lifecycle of the product.

You will also list your product line pricing, briefly talk about the market research of your product, the development process, and strategy of your product, and your service line.

It is important at this stage to tell a complete story of the product line of your company so that readers and potential customers reading through can understand better the product better and connect with the message you are trying to pass.

7. Sales and Market

Contained here, is how you intend to marketing or create awareness for your business and eventually turn a profit. You will outline your marketing strategies based on the information gotten from the market research and analysis you did earlier. You will also outline how you intend to reach your target customers, how you intend to position the individual brands of your products and/or services you wish to render, your promotional tactics and marketing strategies, and the price system of your products and/or services.

8. Funding Request

This stage is where all your financial needs will be stated. You should also include the total amount it would take to run the company if the purpose of your business plan is to get business funding. You should also state how you can reap strong financial profit from the business in the short or long term.

If you do not know the real expectation from where you wish to get your business funding from, getting a grant or funding through your business plan can be sometimes tricky. All you need do is to detail your business funding request in the most realistic and promising financially rewarding way that is easy for the funding agencies to understand and digest.

9. Financial Projections

Your financial projection should be detailed in the most cost-effective manner, especially if you are seeking funding from a financial agency. Ensure you find out the full information you need to include in your financial forecast so that it looks more feasible. 

You still need to be realistic in the preparation of your financial projection, even if looking or sponsors is not the purpose of writing the business plan because any assumed figure can lead to disappointment in the long run.

10. Appendix

The appendix is the last part of the business plan and it usually contains the following.

Patents, permits, and licenses

Legal documents

Letters of reference

Contracts

Book reference


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