Business Plan Templates
Hundreds of readymade business plan templates can be downloaded free from the Internet. They can be used to make excellent business plans provided you are armed with the required information.
There are no set rules about how to write an excellent business plan. However, your business plan needs to incorporate these basics:
- Cover Page: List your company’s name, logo, contact details and sphere of operation.
- Synopsis: Give a brief description of your business, its relevance to the market and uniqueness of your products or services.
- Company Structure: Mention your academic achievements, experience and that of key personnel in your company.
- Financial Information: Latest financial information if your business is established. Alternatively, start-ups can provide details about seed money and how they intend to fund the business.
- Marketing Strategy: Give details about how you intend to go about popularizing your product to target clientele and the channels you will deploy.
- Advertising Plans: Speak about the use of advertisements, social media and blogs your company plans to use for customer outreach.
- Customer Profile: State the type of customers- such as industries, households, individuals, educational institutions and others that your company already has on board or wishes to attract for future business.
- Legal status: Include all details such as commercial registration, licensing, compliance with industry standards, international certifications and other information that gives your company complete legitimacy.
- Staff Requirements: Include details about your existing staff and their roles in the organization. Highlight their achievements at previous jobs and in your business. Also discuss projections for staff in foreseeable future.
- Growth Opportunities: Any business plan that excludes growth opportunities is absurd. While it is difficult to project growth due to uncertainties in policies and politics, you can write about these based on past and current performance in the market.
Generally, small business plan, start-up business plan or new business plan will have to incorporate a funding proposal, unless you are capable of financing the venture through savings or borrowings from relatives and friends. Usually, an excellent business plan will include these elements:
● Amount of money you will invest.
● Funding needed from external sources.
● Ways and means you will deploy to get financing.
● Previous records of loans or borrowings from banks, venture capitalists or crowd-funding platforms and other lenders, if any.
● Return on Investment made to lenders, where you were funded by an external source.
Seeking Funds in Business Plan
While writing a funding proposal, specify how much money you will need over the next three to five years for new business/start-up or for expansion and new projects. Explicitly state how this money will be utilized and need for this expense. Next, mention the sources from which you intend to raise the funds such as bank loan, venture capital or crowd funding, mortgaging or selling assets. Be very specific about how you intend repaying the money with a tentative schedule of installments. Consider staff salaries, operational expenses, taxes and legal obligations as well as costs on logistics, infrastructure and other essentials of your business before arriving at Return on Investment you can pay to venture capitalists, crowd-funding platforms, banks and other lenders. Seek repayment ‘holidays’ or exemption from paying installments on borrowings for a specific period such as a year. This will allow you adequate time to garner funds needed to service the loans. Cite various sources and interest rates/ Return on Investment they are seeking from your business. This will help you get competitive rates, provided you make an excellent business plan.
Business Plan, Feasibility Report & Project Report
Often financers seek a detailed project report and feasibility study along with a business plan. Such a demand can arise from banks, venture capitalists or crowd-funding platforms where the amount sought is high or you submit a business plan for some unique enterprise. The three are separate documents. A feasibility study has to be done and submitted by a qualified assessor that can include an industry expert, Chartered Accountant or engineer with relevant experience. Project reports are written by people skilled in assessing projects and writing in-depth, the various aspects it involves.
A simple business plan can however be penned by you, as owner or entrepreneur.
Funding nowadays is not easy to come across due to thousands of start-ups mushrooming across the world. Banks are reluctant to lend due to high volumes of Non Performing Assets (NPAs).
In this scenario, an excellent business plan can help you procure required funding.
Other than merely a fund-seeking document, business plans also serve as guidelines to the owners, key staff and employees of an enterprise. It enables them to get a clear vision about where their employer wants to position the company and subtly informs them of duties they need to perform.
An excellent business plan helps boost staff confidence and speaks volumes of good to business associates. You can make a good business plan by following some of the above mentioned steps and help your enterprise grow.