How To Write A Small Business Plan
As a startup small business owner, you need a business plan to succeed. A well-written business plan will be a road map to structuring, running, and growing your business.
A business plan is a document in which you write your financial goals in detail while explaining how to achieve them. It defines your business objectives, identifies your target market, analyzes the competition, and outlines your strategies and tactics to succeed for the next three to five years.
This business plan shows the actionable plan for the next three to five years. You can use it as a blueprint for potential investors to evaluate the viability and profitability of your venture.
8 Steps on How to Write a Business Plan
The following are the core elements of a business plan
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Explain your product and services
- Research your target market
- Outline your marketing and sales strategy
- Have a financial plan
- Change your business plan when necessary
- Add an appendix for additional information
1. Executive summary
The first key element of a small business plan is writing an executive summary. This will serve as a concise overview of your entire plan. It includes:
- A mission statement
- Description of your services or products
- A summary of your financial growth plans
Tip: The best way to write an executive summary for your small business plan is to wait and write it last to ensure you list everything included in your business plan.
2. Company description
Your company description should contain your business name, your business location, business structure, e.g., partnership, sole proprietorship, or corporation, and managing members and their roles. Provide a background story of your business and the achievements you are proud of. Also, mention the competitive advantage that can help propel your local business to greater heights, such as providing specialized products, teaming up with industry experts, or using influencers.
Your company description should also list your goals in terms of quarters and years to help potential investors understand your goals and how you plan to achieve them.
3. Explain your product and services
Give a detailed explanation of your current and future products and services by providing full descriptions and names of each product or service you are/will be offering.
- Explain how each product/service works
- Pricing model (cost of labor, cost of final product, and profit you will make on each unit)
- Potential customers
- Supply chain
- Strategies to sell your products/services
- Distribution process
But what if you are still working on an idea? Well, the best thing is to provide proof of concept (POC). You can add diagrams and images explaining your product’s stages from beginning to end.
4. Research your target market
In this section, you will need to provide lengthy explanations of your findings on the status of your industry, competitors and how to outdo them, hurdles along the way, your target market, and how your business fits in.
5. Outline your marketing and sales strategy
Showcase your marketing strategy in this section, and while at it, ensure you create an online presence with a unique brand identity. You will also need a professional website to sell your products and choose the right social media channel for your audience. Having these tools at your fingertips will help you showcase how you plan to succeed.
6. Have a financial plan
How will you be sustaining your business financially? This section is where you will showcase your projections.
This will cover the initial investment, How much funding you will need, how long it will take to start earning a profit, and the profit projection for the years to come.
7. Change your business plan when necessary
Since your business plan is not cast in stone, you can change it as needed. Ensure your business plan is current to highlight changes in the market or profit projections.
8. Add an appendix for additional information
The appendix is the perfect place to add additional information. Add contracts, receipts, business credit history, bank statements, licenses, articles of incorporation, insurance, appraisals, and patents.
Formatting and Structure
To ensure clarity and professionalism, structure your business plan using the following format:
- Cover Page: Include your company’s name, logo, contact information, and the date.
- Table of Contents: Provide an organized list of the sections in your plan and their corresponding page numbers.
- Introduction: Begin with an attention-grabbing executive summary to engage readers and provide an overview of your business.
- Main Body: Divide your plan into sections, each focusing on a specific aspect of your business.
- Conclusion: Summarize your key points, emphasizing your business’s unique value proposition and potential for success.
Tips for Writing a successful business plan
- Establish clear goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Outline the milestones you aim to achieve and the metrics you will use to track your progress.
- Use clear and concise language, bullet points, and headings to organize information. Avoid excessive technical terms that may confuse the reader.
- Review and revise your business plan as your venture evolves. Update it with new information, market insights, and feedback from stakeholders.
How SwingPointMedia Can Help
As a digital agency, we help many businesses establish their online presence. We understand the power of social media and websites and how they can help you increase sales. We can also help you with competitive market research, marketing, design, and developmental services like website building and content creation.
When writing a small business plan for your small business, always provide an information-rich business plan to help secure funding and grow your business. Since your business plan is a guide, all the nitty gritty details will help propel your business to greater heights.