To start a business, you need to have a business plan. But what is the perfect business plan? A business plan is a written document that outlines the goals and objectives of your business. The point of this article is to help you write the best possible business plan for your company so that it can be successful in whatever industry you are in. Let’s get started!
If you want to raise funding for your startup, make sure the documents you produce will be appealing in today’s fundraising environment.
Business Plans vs. Pitch Decks
A business plan is an external document that presents a company’s strategy and approach to getting funding. It typically includes financial forecasts, competitive assessments, operational layouts of start-ups, and basic industry analysis.
A pitch deck is more about teaching people internally how the machine works and what the various departments are doing.
Whether you are going to the bank or approaching your own sphere of influence, you might need to write a business plan for them.
What to include in a pitch deck:
- 12-month expense projections
- Marketing plans
- Customer acquisition costs
- Customer value
- Proof of consistent improvement
- Knowing your burn rate (and never falling below 6 months of cash)
Business Plans vs. Executive Summaries
While the content is similar, an executive summary has different requirements.
An executive summary often serves as a cover for a business plan and it’s essential for those trying to gain commercial real estate or SBA loan funding. This is a short document that summarizes your business and plans. If it is well-written, reviewers may choose to work with you based on the plan alone.
What makes a great business plan?
A great business plan will be sure to include all the necessary elements (format, substance, key information), and don’t spare any time or energy investing in your project.
What to include in your business plan:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Products and Services
- Marketing Plan
- Operational Plan
- Management & Organization
- Startup Expenses & Capitalization
- Financial Plan
Building a profitable and sustainable venture takes more than just it starting. The best time to start building your business plan is now, not later. No matter what kind of company you have, more streamlined formats and templates are available to help create your business plan. So don’t let this aspect of the process slow you down.