How to create a business plan: a step-by-step guide

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Not all business ideas are good. For example, my friend Eric once came up with the idea of making a cell phone that can also be used as a stun gun. As you can imagine, it’s not the best product to launch.

Many people have business ideas, but the important thing is to find out if those ideas are good or not. Precisely because of that, if you try to carry out a business from one of your ideas, it will be useful to create a business plan so that you can develop your concept in detail and see if it can really work, from a logistical as well as a financial point of view.

nt that sets out the details of your business. It covers all kinds of information, including what your business will sell, what its structure will be, what the market will look like, what your plan to sell the product or service will be, what the necessary financing will be, what your financial projections are and what permits, rentals or other documentation you will need.

In essence, a business plan helps you demonstrate (to others and to yourself) whether your business idea is worth it or not. It’s the best way to take your time, look at your idea in a holistic way, and solve problems that may arise in the future even before you begin this journey.

This publication gives you tips for writing a good business plan, as well as a summary of what you should include and examples of other business plans. Let’s start with some basic and general tips before going into the details.

Tips for writing a business plan

Clearly define what makes your business different from the rest.
Before you start developing a business plan, think carefully about what makes your business unique. For example, if you plan to launch a sportswear business, you’ll need to differentiate yourself from other sportswear brands on the market.

What aspect of your business makes you stand out from the competition? Do you plan to sell garments for specific activities or sports, such as yoga or tennis? Will you use eco-friendly materials? Will you allocate a certain percentage of your profits to charities? Will your brand promote a healthy body image?

Remember that not only will you sell your product or service, but you will offer a combination of product, value and brand expertise. Think about these questions and develop the answers before delving into the details of your business plan research.

Make sure the plan is short.

Today, business plans are shorter and more concise than before. While it may be tempting to include all the results of your market research, individually develop each product you plan to sell, and describe exactly how your website will look, none of this will help you format a business plan.

While it’s a good thing that you know all these details so that you can perhaps use them at some point, you just need to include the fundamental elements in your business plan. Otherwise, you could lose the attention of your readers.

Make formatting allow for a quick glance.

Your business plan should not only be easy to read, but readers should also be able to take a quick look at it. This is where the format plays a particularly important role. Use headings and bullets, highlight or use bold to highlight the key lines or metrics you want the reader to see, and you can even attach tabs with different names to the text (either on paper or digital) for easy reference.

You can (in fact, you must) modify it on the fly.

Remember that your business plan is a living, dynamic document. That means you can update it if things change. For example, you could update your plans in the future if you plan to apply for a new funding solicitation.

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