A business plan is a key document for raising business funds that are indispensable for a business success. That’s why knowing how to write a business plan is a major key to grow a business.
Of course, you can tell the elements that make up your business in an easy-to-understand manner, but if you have a business plan that is so enthusiastic that you can think “I can’t do it without this person” or “I want to leave it to this person”. It will be easier to get investment and financing. In that sense, the business plan can be said to be a tool for “gathering collaborators” for the business.
In this article, I will explain in detail the important items and basic knowledge in how to write a business plan.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a document that explains the business content, corporate strategy, and profit prospects. It can also be a hint to objectively review and improve your business.
Why do you need a business plan?
A business plan is required to raise the funds needed to start and continue the business. Having the skill how to write a business plan is a huge advantage.
The sources of funds procured by companies are divided into ” loans (borrowing) ” that are obliged to repay and ” investments / investments ” that are not obliged to repay.
In the case of financing, candidates are public financial institutions such as local governments and Japan Finance Corporation, private financial institutions such as banks and credit unions, or social lending.
For investments and investments that do not require repayment, we raise funds in exchange for giving shares to venture capital and individual investors (angel investors).
Either way, you can’t withdraw money without a compelling business plan. Loans cannot pass businesses that are unlikely to repay in the screening process, and investors do not feel that they have the potential to grow significantly in the future, that is, they do not want to invest in companies that do not expect returns. is.
That is why it is important to show the continuous profitability of the business in the future in the business plan and win the trust of financial institutions and investors.
Have you decided on a business plan template?
If you search for “business plan template”, you will find various templates and formats, but there is no specific format for business plans.
The entry items and volume will change depending on the format, but the main contents are as follows.
Main contents of a business plan
- Business purpose (future vision)
- Business content (concept)
- Marketing strategy
- Profit forecast
- Cash flow (opening fund plan Balance plan
Before describing in the format, each item Let’s start by writing out and organizing your mind.
- What kind of services (products) do you offer?
- What is your target audience and market size?
- How much sales can you expect?
- What are your competitive advantages and selling points?
- What are the challenges and needs for your target?
- How to acquire and attract customers?
After summarizing the main points into words, we will further subdivide and add explanations to complete the business plan.
How to write a business plan? 8 representative items
Here are some typical examples of items that should be included in the business plan. As mentioned above, the items to be described differ depending on the format, so please refer to the required items.
Profile of founder / founding member
Describe your background (educational background / work history) and qualifications. If your background or qualifications are related to your business, it will be helpful to include the business at that time.
Make your profile understand why this person (this member) can succeed in this business. It is counterproductive to spell out the past that is not directly related to the business content, so be careful.
How to Write a Business Plan with Vision / Philosophy / Purpose
Even if you have little business experience, if you can convey your passion and desire to “make customers happy through your business” and “want to create a society like this,” you will be closer to raising funds.
We will explain the overall picture of the business, such as what kind of products and services we offer to what kind of market and target, and what kind of attractiveness and characteristics it has.
It is recommended that financial institutions describe the content as concisely as possible for the purpose of content related to products and services so that the image can be easily understood.
Strengths and features of our services and products
Even if you enter the same business as your competitors, it may seem that your business has little prospect of growth or social significance. After researching your rivals, let them know that it is a product value that can only be provided to your company so that you can understand the uniqueness of your business.
About market environment and competition
We will briefly explain the environment surrounding the business, such as market needs, business-related policy trends, and the existence of competitors. If you are able to differentiate yourself from your competitors and add value with your own ideas, make sure to appeal.
If you have materials such as statistical data, you can explain them in a table or graph in an easy-to-understand manner.
Sales and marketing strategies
No matter how good a product or service is, if we cannot find out the demand of the world and acquire customers, it will not be a business. This is an element that tends to be neglected in new ideas-oriented businesses.
Tell the public what route you want to know about the existence and benefits of your service, and how much staff and budget you will spend on marketing with a realistic plan.
Production method, supplier, etc.
No matter how good a product is, the basic principle of “making (purchasing) cheaply and selling it at a high price” cannot be excluded. In addition, for products that may affect the human body, such as foods and cosmetics, it is necessary to establish a production method that ensures safety in a clean environment.
If you secure a supplier before opening, you can tell financial institutions and investors how serious you are about your business.
This item is as important as the profit plan.
Even if your profit plan is profitable, you don’t know if you have enough cash or not. Since it is not “profitable = funded”, it is not possible to measure funds from a profit plan.
Lenders value the availability of repayable funds. If you make a financial plan and it is insufficient, it is a good idea to clearly state how much of your own funds you can repay.
Business is a world with no correct answer, but business plans writing have certain guidelines. It is important to convey your dreams and passion for starting a business, but you need to be calm and objective about the business plan you are drawing while imagining the position of the person you are reading.