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How to Write a
Great Business Plan
Oxbridge Academy Presents:
and make sure you cover the important things
There are thousands of resources and
templates on the internet to help you
write a business plan…
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
This guide, however,
This guide, however,
is here to help you make sure each
section of your business plan
achieves its unique and overall purpose.
But first
things
first...
What exactly is a
business plan?
Simply put, a business plan is:
“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:
A business plan is essentially a roadmap for business
owners, helping them piece together all the different
aspects for their future venture.
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.
Why does a business plan
matter?
It allows you to:
A business plan serves many purposes.
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.
A business plan has a dual function to
serve both you and your investors:
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.
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:
Now to start writing!
Do you
start with a
template?
There are countless business plan templates
you can download or use online.
There are countless business plan templates
you can download or use online.
But writing a business plan
is not just filling in a form!
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
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.
1.
Executive
Summary
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.
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 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.
Sometimes busy investors
read only the executive
summary.
Give them a compelling reason to want to
invest in your company.
Sometimes busy investors
read only the executive
summary.
Give them a compelling reason to want to
invest in your company.
2. Company
Overview
This section should describe your
company in full.
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
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.
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.
3. Products and
Services
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?
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?
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?
jargon and technical
terminology if you can.
Avoid
4. Market Analysis
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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).
5. Strategy &
implementation
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?
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.
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.
You are running a business
in the 21st century
Include a plan for conducting business and
marketing online!
You are running a business
in the 21st century
Include a plan for conducting business and
marketing online!
6. Management
team
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.”
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?
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?
7. Financial plan
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.
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.
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.
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?
8. Appendices
Here you can put all your supporting
evidence and additional resources.
This might include images, advertising ideas, and
research graphs.
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.
What do you do next?
Now that you have a plan,
you can use it to attract investors, to
obtain bank loans, or to secure
other sources of finance
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!
But to realise your business plan,
But to realise your business plan,
you’ll need a whole new set of skills and knowledge…
Have you considered
a part-time business
course?
Oxbridge Academy offers a range of part-
time distance learning courses from
basic entrepreneurship short courses, to full
business management qualifications.
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.
Here are even
more resources!
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
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How to Write a Great Business Plan

  • 1. How to Write a Great Business Plan Oxbridge Academy Presents: and make sure you cover the important things
  • 2. There are thousands of resources and templates on the internet to help you write a business plan…
  • 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
  • 5. This guide, however, is here to help you make sure each section of your business plan achieves its unique and overall purpose.
  • 7. What exactly is a business plan?
  • 8. Simply put, a business plan is:
  • 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. A business plan is essentially a roadmap for business owners, helping them piece together all the different aspects for their future venture.
  • 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. Why does a business plan matter?
  • 13. It allows you to: A business plan serves many purposes.
  • 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. A business plan has a dual function to serve both you and your investors:
  • 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. 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. Now to start writing!
  • 19. Do you start with a template?
  • 20. There are countless business plan templates you can download or use online.
  • 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. 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. 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.
  • 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. 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. 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. Sometimes busy investors read only the executive summary. Give them a compelling reason to want to invest in your company.
  • 29. Sometimes busy investors read only the executive summary. Give them a compelling reason to want to invest in your company.
  • 31. This section should describe your company in full. Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
  • 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. 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.
  • 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. 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. 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. jargon and technical terminology if you can. Avoid
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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).
  • 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. 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. 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. You are running a business in the 21st century Include a plan for conducting business and marketing online!
  • 51. You are running a business in the 21st century Include a plan for conducting business and marketing online!
  • 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. 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. 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?
  • 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. 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. 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. 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?
  • 62. Here you can put all your supporting evidence and additional resources. This might include images, advertising ideas, and research graphs.
  • 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. What do you do next?
  • 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. 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. But to realise your business plan,
  • 68. But to realise your business plan, you’ll need a whole new set of skills and knowledge…
  • 69. Have you considered a part-time business course?
  • 70. Oxbridge Academy offers a range of part- time distance learning courses from basic entrepreneurship short courses, to full business management qualifications.
  • 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. Here are even more resources!
  • 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