Updated: Jul 20, 2019
Creating business plans can be long winded and onerous but they’re key to business success even if you’re not seeking external funding.
A business plan can also help you keep sight on what you’re trying to deliver, help your business pivot if the market, sector or product changes and be a document for your employees to use as their business bible.
Here at Purple Yak we’ve held dozen of businesses develop and pitch there business plans to internal and external audiences. Through our experience we’ve created the below support for creating the killer business plan.
What’s the opportunity?
What’s the sales and marketing plan?
What’s your company plan? People and structure
What’s your financial plan?
Things to consider before you put pen to paper
Who is the audience? Tweak to the audience interests. If you’re pitching for funding then make sure you focus on investment and returns as well as cash flow and profit. If it’s an internal document you want to share within your business so everyone knows the plan and direction you’re moving in, then focus more on your take to market strategy, target customers, USP’s, pricing plans, etc.
Make it to the point and not too long winded, you don’t want people to get bored or start skim reading your hard work. You may need to put everything down and then go through full reviews and edits to start honing in on your final draft.
Use of language and jargon, adjust to fit your audience and sectors.
Make sure your social media output is positive and relevant, 82% of business plan reviewers will check your social channels to see who you are and what your background is.
Be confident throughout your business plan and know your plan off by heart. Nothing instils confidence in your audience than confidently articulating the plan thoroughly in the document and in a pitching scenario.
Give yourself plenty of time to write the plan and come back to review, then add more where needed.
Business Mentors are key to successful pitches and plans. They can review and help shape your plan. Add into your plan that you have been mentored as well.
Don’t get attached to your plan and idea, plans and businesses need to pivot depending on outside influences so remember the idea is only a path to your success/goals and not the end game.
Read The E Myth by Michael Gerber before even starting!
Make sure your plan fits your dedication, commitments and life.
Diving into the detail
Exec summary:This is your overview consisting of about 1-2 pages covering what your business is and summaries the business plan content. Highlight reel.
What’s the opportunity?: Cover off what you’re selling, what need are you fulfilling (within your target market) and what market are you providing for? Include a SWAT analysis of your offering. Demonstrate what sets you apart from the others in the market.
What’s the sale and marketing plan?: Outline how you will reach your target markets, how you will sell to those target markets, what you pricing plan looks like and what partnerships you will need to do this. Detail your target audience and why, cover in great detail and clarity. Highlight what your positioning statement is - are you budget or premium and why?
What’s your company and management summary?:People and structure plan: this section is all about the people and skills, who’s in the team? Are you outsourcing any elements? Include Bios of team members, previous sector experience, what gaps you have and how will you fill them? When starting a business or selling a business plan people are as important if not more than the idea itself. Include any of the following if you have them, such as a mission statement, any intellectual property you may have, companies legal structure and the ownership of the business.
What’s your financial plan?: Consider taking financial advice on this area to make sure the numbers are sound, flag in your business plan if you have had support and input from professionals. This will instil confidence for the readers and shows you’ve taken this seriously. Make sure you add revenue and sales projections for 12 months, and then up to 5 years in the future, focus high level on overall turnover, business expenses, capital expenses, etc.
Appendix:Use this section for anything that doesn’t fit in the above structure.
Adding additional BANG!
Consider the following questions and comments to make your business plan to stand out.
Put your personality and passion into your plan, it builds confidence in the reader that you’re 100% in this to make it a success, especially in the exec summary.
Is your plan scalable and can it be monitored?
What is your acquisition cost per customer?
What’s your USP? Not always product, sometimes it you and your skills, knowledge, etc.
Build your personal brand
Leverage your time online for free marketing for your business and you personally. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, forums, etc. This will help you build a profile and instil confidence in you even more.
For any additional support
If you need any help building your plan or for someone to review it then please reach out to us.
Check out our knowledge base for templates and examples.