The sphere of entrepreneurship has long ceased to be a lot of large and already established companies and businessmen. In recent years, the concepts of “small business” and “individual enterprise” have become increasingly common, which is associated with the desire of ordinary citizens to open their own businesses. The organization of business is a complex event, which in the process of its implementation has many stages. One of the most important and basic steps in creating a successful business is drawing up a business plan. It is about the essence and features of this procedure that we will talk about today.
A few words about the concept of “business plan”
The business sphere is a storehouse of finances that arise in it not on their own, but through an infusion from entrepreneurs. Given the value of the invested funds and the risks of their loss, businessmen approach the creation of any business with the proper level of responsibility, setting out all the important provisions regarding the activities of the future enterprise on paper. This document is called a business plan and is of particular importance to a business organizer.
In general, its presence allows a businessman to:
- evaluate the feasibility of opening a particular case;
- analyze the need to invest money in business development and their approximate amount;
- predict possible problems and risks in the activities of the future organization, as well as methods for their neutralization;
- define the general concept of the case being opened.
In fact, a business plan is a materialization of a business idea, which is expressed on paper or in electronic form and reflects all the thoughts of a businessman regarding the subject of his future activities. Drawing up a business plan is important not only for the entrepreneur himself but also for his potential investors and partners because it is much more convenient to get acquainted with the concept and idea of a common business if they are properly documented than in a personal conversation with a person. So, for example, not a single reputable bank will give a person a loan to start a business in the absence of its high-quality and competent description, drawn up in documentary form.
The procedure for drawing up a business plan
If you want to open a small or medium-sized business, the entrepreneur himself can also draw up a business plan, since in this case he will not have any special difficulties. When deciding on the execution of such an important document by hand, a businessman should allocate at least 3-4 hours, or even a full working day, for the implementation of the procedure. When drawing up a plan, it is important:
- adhere to the principle of brevity in the presentation of information, clarifying all significant features regarding the project under consideration;
- structure the content of the document;
- present information about the future enterprise clearly, competently and in an understandable form.
Conventionally, the procedure for compiling can be divided into three important stages. Let’s consider each of them in more detail.
Stage #1 – Preparing to write a business plan
Having decided to “build” a business plan on an already thought-out idea, some preparatory measures should be taken. At a minimum, preparation for drafting a document should include:
- Market analysis. What is important to analyze first? In fact, everything related to the direction and type of activity will be the subject of the future business plan. Determine which organizations excel in the area of interest, and what are their strengths and weaknesses. When analyzing the market, one should consider in detail the activities of similar enterprises that are successful in this path.
- Determining the important features of your specific project. Basic parameters for consideration: strengths and weaknesses of the case being opened, prospects, and possible risks. In simple terms, it is necessary to carry out high-quality planning of the future activities of the enterprise and design a development strategy.
- Setting goals, the achievement of which should be realized by the case considered in the business plan. No significant explanation is required here. Define the specific purpose of the business you are opening, nothing more.
Having completed the basic preparation, you can proceed to the next stage in drawing up a business plan.
Stage #2 – Structured Document Design
After putting your thoughts in order, you need to do the most difficult thing – to reflect them in a structured way in a business plan. In fact, the structure of this document may have a different form and is determined directly by the compiler. For people who have little understanding of the basics of office work, the following items should be included in the business plan:
- A summary or brief description of the case being opened. Without fail, the essence of the future business, strengths and weaknesses in the competitive environment, a briefly described structure of the organization, and approximate distribution of assets are reflected here. This element of the business plan reflects in the most concise form all the information that will be presented below, so it is important to approach the compilation of a case summary with the proper level of responsibility.
- A marketing plan that includes all the features of the summarized project in terms of entering the market (determining the purpose of the launched business, target audience, competitors, methods of attracting customers, estimated duration, and order of entering the market).
- An organization’s business plan that describes aspects of the production process (necessary equipment, number of employees, principles of production or provision of services, etc.).
- Description of the organization of the workflow, where it is enough to indicate the organizational structure of the future enterprise and the principles of its work.
- The financial side of the business, in which the potential costs of opening, and the risks of losing the infused funds, and ways to minimize them are necessarily noted. In general, you should form a competent financial plan, reflecting in it all the important aspects of the financial support of the business.
To write a quality business plan, be sure to adhere to the structure noted above. Naturally, the final document will be the same in terms of content, but at the drafting stage, the structure is of great importance and largely determines the final quality of the plan.
Step #3 – Making the Business Plan Presentable
After the plan is drawn up, it remains only to arrange it beautifully. At the final stage of compiling a document, the following activities are usually carried out:
- proofreading the text for errors (lexical, syntactic, punctuation) and correcting them;
- designing the plan in an easy-to-read form (highlighting lists, determining the normal font size, etc.);
- printing and filing a business plan in a convenient booklet or file folder.
Since our century is the century of information technology, it is highly recommended to have both a paper and a digital business plan. Be sure to take care of this when compiling this document.
In conclusion, we note that it does not matter whether your business plan is drawn up for 10 pages or 100, the main thing is that all the rules noted above are fully observed and information about the case being opened is presented in a quality manner. We hope that the presented material was useful for you and gave answers to your questions. Good luck with your business plan and running your business!