How to create a Business Plan for your Startup
Are you an entrepreneur about to launch your startup? Our experienced mentors, know how to improve your chances of success. Before you look at office space or legal advice, the first step is to compile a succinct business plan. This helps focus your thoughts and goals, as well as aid in interpreting your intentions to stakeholders and potential investors.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS PLAN?
According to Wikipedia, "A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business, the methods for attaining those goals, and the time-frame for the achievement of the goals.”
Your business plan should also describe the nature of your startup, any relevant background information, financial projections and how you are going to achieve them.
WHY YOU NEED A BUSINESS PLAN
Writing a business plan can improve your chances of success by up to 30%. Here are a few reasons any startup needs a business plan:
- Map out your approach with SMART goals
- Keep you on track and focused
- Share your company vision with stakeholders
- Gives you a better chance when pitching to investors or funding requests
- Ensures you have done your market & competitor analysis
- To avoid common startup mistakes
- Product market fit – Ensure your product or service is suited to the market and there is a demand for it.
- No funding (capital) – Secure your funding and consider all the types of capital you need upfront (intellectual capital etc).
- Competition – Identify all competitors that you may be up against and take their strategies into account when mapping out your approach.
- Pricing structure – Don’t out price yourself.
HOW TO CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR STARTUP
Here are a few elements to include in your business plan. Ensure you include a lengthy description under each section, giving enough details for potential investors and stakeholders to get a clear picture of your company, offering and approach:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Company and Management Structure
- Service and Product Line
- Market Analysis
- Marketing Strategy
- Sales Strategy
- Financial Forecast and Projections
- Funding Request or Sources
Remember your business plan is the first step towards launching your startup. Additional items to investigate and have in place are:
For advice on every topic to launching a startup, get in touch with one of Startwise’ experienced mentors. They can guide you on topics like marketing & sales, legal requirements, tax and accounting, IT & innovation, plus packages for business plan templates.