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Business Plan Template For Small Business Owners To Follow

Business Plan Template

A business plan is regarded as a road map to a successful business. It is a concise path to thread in other to attain organizational goals as it paves way for business opportunities. It also shows that careful consideration has been done as regards the pros and cons of the business. To write a business plan, a small business owner has to follow a business plan template.

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A business plan template is a guide with the aims, financial projections and all that the business plan entails. Before you write a business plan, you must do the following:

Research

Life and business are interwoven and therefore need planning. Before you venture into any business, you need to do a lot of planning and thorough research. One of the aims of doing research is to set your priorities right, find out about customers need and preference, competitor’s loophole or challenges, the market etc.

Purpose of the plan

This refers to the aims and objective you seek to achieve and how to attain them. What is the purpose for establishing the business? How do you distinguish your business from other competitors? This will help you to clarify your thought, goals and interest. In achieving this, you need to be specific and plan how to stay relevant in the business.

Target Audience

This is done in other to build a solid foundation for what you have in mind and to thrive in a business. Targeting a particular audience to benefit from your goods and service is essential as it enables you to focus on a group and tailor your service or product to their need.

See Also: How to write a business plan step by step in Nigeria.

Sales/Marketing Plan

Sales and marketing plan is a strategy that presents sales target and tactics for your business. This includes how to sell and make profit and how marketing strategy will yield positive result. Sales and marketing plans often present information about the target customers, revenue goals, structure of the team, and strategies for achieving them.

Start Writing

Once you have done your research and understood the purpose of the business plan, your target audience and your value proposition, it is then time to start writing your business plan. To write a compelling business plan, you will have to follow a business plan template.

See Also: A business plan sample that you can adapt to your business.

Business Plan Template

Executive Summary

This is usually referred to as the most essential in a business plan. It is an important element that any investor would like to see. It is usually advisable to write it last in other to capture every missing item during the process. It is usually not more than 1-2 pages and should include the following;

  • Mission statement
  • Company’s name and information
  • Business Overview
  • Target market and Ownership
  • Financial goals

It is in this session that you sell yourself to your prospective investors therefore, the language and choice of words must be strong and should be able to convince the reader.

Business Description

This involves a clear description of the business you want to venture into. It outlines organizational goals and how to achieve them. The business description section expands on your stance and the scope you wish to follow. It explains who you are, the name of your business, what you want to do, location and the organogram structure. It includes;

  • Business name
  • Business ownership
  • Organizational goals, aim and objective
  • Company Location
  • Business facilities

See Also: Reasons why you should write a business plan.

Market Analysis & Strategies

This is another important aspect of a business plan. It shows a clear understanding of your target market and competitors’ analysis, size and likely regulations on your goods and services if there is any. Here, the bulk of your analysis must be based on fact. Although, marketing strategy and analysis varies from industry to industry but it will help you to brighten some blurry part that might not have been envisaged. It involves

  • Target market (Age group, location, gender)
  • Competitors and competitive advantages
  • SWOT analysis (Strength, weakness, Opportunity and Threat)
  • Marketing strategy and budget
  • Channels and product positioning
  • Trending Market

Operations, Organization and Management

This explains the organisational structure and how the business will be run. We are talking about the manufacturing, operations and workable patterns of the business. It shows how your business will operate, the nitty-gritty of what it entails ranging from managerial responsibilities and operational complexities. It explains the business ownership type, position of the management team and board of directors as well as duties and responsibilities. You will write in details the following:

  • Manufacturing operations
  • Information chain diagram
  • Management Team Members
  • Logistics plan
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Quality control and assurance

Service and Product Line

This section gives a clear description of the product and services you wish to create or have created. How your product will meet the needs of your target audience, the advantages and disadvantages of the goods and the stage of development and possible effect it can have on people. Cogent information about the research design or intellectual property should be written as well. In this section, you must be able to convince your reader that your business is viable. You also have to emphasize on likely expansion plan of the product and the production process. It basically include;

  • Product and service description
  • Current stage of the product
  • Likely expansion
  • Competitive Products

Sales and Marketing

This includes important information on the marketing strategy to be adopted in other to promote the sales of goods and services as this is very essential to the success of any business. It is an important part in a business that is done to generate profit by focusing on your dynamism and the customers to be reached. It also explains the how and where it will be carried out. So, you will be covering the following:

  • Marketing strategy i. e Road Signage, bill board
  • Advertisement
  • One-on-one campaign strategy
  • Pricing
  • Sales forecast
  • Market Motivation

Financial Projections

This is one of the things that interest investors and what lending institutions watch out for in a business plan. They are interested in the numbers; how and when will they get their money back? In this section, make sure your assumptions are reasonable. Follow the rules and if possible get help. Also, accurate sales forecast is important. You will have the following financials ready:

  • Start-up cost
  • Balance sheet
  • Profit and loss projection
  • General financial and income projection
  • Expense forecast
  • Key financial information

Appendix

This usually is the last part of a business plan and it is optional. It contains other important information you want your investors to see. It usually include:

  • Patent and Control
  • License
  • Accurate information on the founders and board of Directors
  • Trademarks
  • Links to References

If you follow this business plan template, we are certain that you can draw up a catchy business plan. Good luck!

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