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How to Write a Great Business Plan

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With all the templates and guides on writing business plans online, we thought we would try and give you something different.

So here is something to help you make sure you're business plan achieves its aims and answers all the questions it is meant to.

Published in: Business

How to Write a Great Business Plan

  1. 1. How to Write a Great Business Plan Oxbridge Academy Presents: and make sure you cover the important things
  2. 2. There are thousands of resources and templates on the internet to help you write a business plan…
  3. 3. There are thousands of resources and templates on the internet to help you write a business plan… boring things! But they all tend to say the same
  4. 4. This guide, however,
  5. 5. This guide, however, is here to help you make sure each section of your business plan achieves its unique and overall purpose.
  6. 6. But first things first...
  7. 7. What exactly is a business plan?
  8. 8. Simply put, a business plan is:
  9. 9. “A written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement”- Entrepreneur magazine Simply put, a business plan is:
  10. 10. A business plan is essentially a roadmap for business owners, helping them piece together all the different aspects for their future venture.
  11. 11. A business plan is essentially a roadmap for business owners, helping them piece together all the different aspects for their future venture. Consequently, a business plan also serves as a technical pitch presented to investors, banks, and other financial service providers.
  12. 12. Why does a business plan matter?
  13. 13. It allows you to: A business plan serves many purposes.
  14. 14. It allows you to: 1. Look at a business idea objectively. 2. Assess the financial feasibility of your idea. 3. Figure out how to turn that idea into a sustainable venture. 4. Make financial predictions about your venture. 5. Pitch your business idea to investors. 6. Develop a long-term growth plan. A business plan serves many purposes.
  15. 15. A business plan has a dual function to serve both you and your investors:
  16. 16. A business plan has a dual function to serve both you and your investors: A business idea might sound great at first, but planning it out will give you a more objective and practical perspective and help you reformulate it to increase its feasibility.
  17. 17. Your business plan will familiarise investors with your product or service, and will give them financial projections to help them decide whether you’re worth investing in. A business plan has a dual function to serve both you and your investors:
  18. 18. Now to start writing!
  19. 19. Do you start with a template?
  20. 20. There are countless business plan templates you can download or use online.
  21. 21. There are countless business plan templates you can download or use online. But writing a business plan is not just filling in a form!
  22. 22. While a standard business plan may consist of the following sections: 1. Executive Summary 2. Company Overview 3. Products and Services 4. Marketing and Sales Plan 5. Strategy and Implementation 6. Management Team 7. Financial Plan 8. Appendices
  23. 23. While a standard business plan may consist of the following sections: 1. Executive Summary 2. Company Overview 3. Products and Services 4. Marketing and Sales Plan 5. Strategy and Implementation 6. Management Team 7. Financial Plan 8. Appendices Depending on your business, and the purpose of your plan, you’ll include different things, focus on different aspects, and write in a different manner.
  24. 24. 1. Executive Summary
  25. 25. This first section should be able to stand alone as a summary of the whole business plan. It should cover all the important elements of your business.
  26. 26. This first section should be able to stand alone as a summary of the whole business plan. It should cover all the important elements of your business. It should be short and concise (between 1 and 2 pages long).
  27. 27. This first section should be able to stand alone as a summary of the whole business plan. It should cover all the important elements of your business. It should be short and concise (between 1 and 2 pages long). This section of your plan should compel the reader to read the whole plan.
  28. 28. Sometimes busy investors read only the executive summary. Give them a compelling reason to want to invest in your company.
  29. 29. Sometimes busy investors read only the executive summary. Give them a compelling reason to want to invest in your company.
  30. 30. 2. Company Overview
  31. 31. This section should describe your company in full. Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
  32. 32. This section should describe your company in full. Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? Remember to include a mission statement that encapsulates — at a very high-level — what you are trying to do.
  33. 33. This section should describe your company in full. Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? Remember to include a mission statement that encapsulates — at a very high-level — what you are trying to do. Lay out your company’s legal structure and ownership.
  34. 34. 3. Products and Services
  35. 35. This section is where you really sell the viability of your idea. What problem, or pain-point, does your product/service resolve for the customer?
  36. 36. This section is where you really sell the viability of your idea. What problem, or pain-point, does your product/service resolve for the customer? What is your Unique Value Proposition? What future products or services will you offer? What is the intellectual property state of your product/service?
  37. 37. This section is where you really sell the viability of your idea. What problem, or pain-point, does your product/service resolve for the customer? What is your Unique Value Proposition? What future products or services will you offer? What is the intellectual property state of your product/service? How will you source and deliver your product/service?
  38. 38. jargon and technical terminology if you can. Avoid
  39. 39. 4. Market Analysis
  40. 40. This section focuses both on your TARGET audience and your competition. Would someone buy your product, and why would they buy your product instead of someone else’s?
  41. 41. This section focuses both on your TARGET audience and your competition. Would someone buy your product, and why would they buy your product instead of someone else’s? Be as specific as possible when describing your target market. Rather make sure you dominate a niche, than misguidedly trying to sell to all.
  42. 42. This section focuses both on your TARGET audience and your competition. Would someone buy your product, and why would they buy your product instead of someone else’s? Be as specific as possible when describing your target market. Rather make sure you dominate a niche, than misguidedly trying to sell to all. Who would your ideal customer be? And why? If you have multiple audiences, construct ‘buyer personas’ to help you illustrate this.
  43. 43. This section focuses both on your TARGET audience and your competition. Would someone buy your product, and why would they buy your product instead of someone else’s? Who is your competition and how are you different?
  44. 44. This section focuses both on your TARGET audience and your competition. Would someone buy your product, and why would they buy your product instead of someone else’s? Who is your competition and how are you different? What share of the market do they have? Are they growing, or scaling back? And where will you fall in the market? How will you compete?
  45. 45. Remember, you might not only have direct competitors, but also indirect competitors (an automotive company does not only compete with other manufacturers, but also with new public transport services, for example).
  46. 46. 5. Strategy & implementation
  47. 47. If the business plan is the complete map, this section is where you indicate the route you are going to take. How are you going to get your product to your audience, and the money back in your pocket?
  48. 48. If the business plan is the complete map, this section is where you indicate the route you are going to take. How are you going to get your product to your audience, and the money back in your pocket? This section has a lot to do with your marketing and sales strategies, your price plans, distribution and related elements.
  49. 49. If the business plan is the complete map, this section is where you indicate the route you are going to take. How are you going to get your product to your audience, and the money back in your pocket? This section has a lot to do with your marketing and sales strategies, your price plans, distribution and related elements. You can also elaborate on your goals and milestones here, as well as your metrics for measuring success.
  50. 50. You are running a business in the 21st century Include a plan for conducting business and marketing online!
  51. 51. You are running a business in the 21st century Include a plan for conducting business and marketing online!
  52. 52. 6. Management team
  53. 53. A famous adage in investment goes: “I would rather invest in exceptional individuals with a mediocre idea, than mediocre individuals with an exceptional business idea.”
  54. 54. A famous adage in investment goes: “I would rather invest in exceptional individuals with a mediocre idea, than mediocre individuals with an exceptional business idea.” Who is currently in your team? Who do you still need? Is there a lack of critical skills in your management team?
  55. 55. A famous adage in investment goes: “I would rather invest in exceptional individuals with a mediocre idea, than mediocre individuals with an exceptional business idea.” Who is currently in your team? Who do you still need? Is there a lack of critical skills in your management team? Does your team profile fit the venture? What makes this team able to succeed?
  56. 56. 7. Financial plan
  57. 57. This section technically lays out: how much money you have, how much you need, how you are going to spend it, and how you are going to get back more than what you spent.
  58. 58. What is your predicted cash flow? What are your operational costs going to be? What are your cash requirements? This section technically lays out: how much money you have, how much you need, how you are going to spend it, and how you are going to get back more than what you spent.
  59. 59. What is your predicted cash flow? What are your operational costs going to be? What are your cash requirements? What are your revenue predictions? What about growth? How are you going to grow, and stay lucrative with increased expenditures? This section technically lays out: how much money you have, how much you need, how you are going to spend it, and how you are going to get back more than what you spent.
  60. 60. To reassure yourself and your investors, you can even include a disaster plan. What is your plan if you suddenly lose 35% of revenue during an economic downturn? Or, what will you do if your product becomes obsolete, like DVDs?
  61. 61. 8. Appendices
  62. 62. Here you can put all your supporting evidence and additional resources. This might include images, advertising ideas, and research graphs.
  63. 63. Here you can put all your supporting evidence and additional resources. This might include images, advertising ideas, and research graphs. Your business plan should have a logical flow to it, so don’t break up this flow with bulky extra resources.
  64. 64. What do you do next?
  65. 65. Now that you have a plan, you can use it to attract investors, to obtain bank loans, or to secure other sources of finance
  66. 66. Now that you have a plan, you can use it to attract investors, to obtain bank loans, or to secure other sources of finance and start building your business!
  67. 67. But to realise your business plan,
  68. 68. But to realise your business plan, you’ll need a whole new set of skills and knowledge…
  69. 69. Have you considered a part-time business course?
  70. 70. Oxbridge Academy offers a range of part- time distance learning courses from basic entrepreneurship short courses, to full business management qualifications.
  71. 71. Click on the buttons below to learn more! Oxbridge Academy offers a range of part- time distance learning courses from basic entrepreneurship short courses, to full business management qualifications.
  72. 72. Here are even more resources!
  73. 73. An entrepreneur should always be learning, and striving to be better. You can check out some more resources we offer below: 5 Things Start-up Entrepreneurs Need to Know 5 Things You Didn't Know about Starting a Small Business How to Start a Bookkeeping Business from Home 35 Inspiring Ideas for Starting a Small Business
  74. 74. Remember to Like or Share this SlideShare!

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