How To Write A Business Plan For Success In Nigeria
Have you been wondering how to write a business plan for your fantastic business idea to help you succeed? This article for writing a business plan details the most important parts and what should be included in to make it a success.
“A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.” – Wikipedia
Importance Of A Business Plan
- A business plan helps set the direction for a business
- It establishes business performance
- Facilitates communication
- It helps in the evaluation of a company’s operations
- Business plans are standard procedures if you hope to get any capital.
How To Write A Business Plan
The Executive Summary
To me, the executive summary is the most important piece of your business plan. It follows the title page within the overall outline of the business plan. As the name implies, this is where you summarize what your business is about, reasons why your business will succeed, in this passage you convey to the reader what you want and what you hope to achieve.
It is just like an “abstract page”. This page should highlight all the strengths of your plan and not weaknesses and should be featured at the very beginning. Note: it should be the last piece to be written, because it is an executive summary of all your other pages.
For new businesses, consider including some of these points in your executive summary
- Experience and introduction – Answer questions like, “why do you want to start this business, how does your background or knowledge contribute to where you hope to take the business to?”
- Detailed Research and analysis – This is where you show your reader with facts and statistics that you have done your homework by researching and that you are knowledgeable about the business or industry you intend to join. Ensure that you highlight the needs in the market that you are satisfying and what differentiates your strategy from what is already obtainable.
- Description of your business – It is important that you describe to your readers what your business is all about. This section should be highly detailed, allowing the reader to quickly comprehend the goals and concept of your business.
Your analysis of the market forces you to become familiar with all aspects of the market, demonstrating your understanding of the target industry as well as the market you have chosen to enter. This is the section where you provided statistical data showing any research you have done findings and conclusions drawn from the research.
Things to include in your market analysis
- Market size
- Potential market share gain
- Regulations and restrictions
5 Quick Tips
- Define the problem – Every business plan needs to start with a clear explanation of the problem that the business aims to solve. The problem should be described in simple terms, quantifying the cost in cash or time spent.
- Proffer solution and benefits – this is where you explain how your product or service will work and it will work. Ensure you write in clear terms so that a potential customer can quickly grasp the benefits.
- Explain the business model – this section should clearly detail how you and potential will make profit. This details what percentage of earnings each person gets, how much money is to spent from reserve funds and to budget for miscellaneous. By mere inspection of your business model, an investor should be able to understand the potential for your business to grow.
- Explain your required funding – any potential investor would want to know how you arrived at the amount of capital you are requesting for and would like to see a step by step description of how you plan to utilize the funds.
- Detail your strategy for investor return – this is important if you are counting on get funds from investors who are eager to know how much returns they will get and in what duration.
3. Analysis Of Competition
This is where you should identify your competition by product line or service and market segment. Determine the strength and weakness of your competitors and develop strategies that will give you an advantage over them.
Marketing is simply the process of creating customer awareness and since customers are the most important factors in the success of a business, this step is critical in your business plan. Your marketing strategy should be unique. Your marketing strategies should include:
This should include every strategy that will help your business grow. It could be a way of increasing your human resources or even buying other businesses.
Channels of distribution
Depending on your preference, distribution channels could include retailers, key distributors etc.
This has to do with how you plan to reach your customers. It could be through social media, newspapers, television, radio or conferences, etc.
This stage details how you plan to sell your products or services rendered.
Request For Funding
If you are just starting out with less funds and your plan is to source for funding for your business, this business plan will help you get the funding you need. Note that request for funding should include some of the following:
- How much you currently require
- Whether the initial funding will be sufficient or would there be need to request for more funds
- How you plan to use the funds
- What your financial plans is for the future.
It is recommended that you develop your financial projections as soon as you are done analyzing the market and set clear objectives. The importance of this is to ensure that resources are properly allocated. Below are list of financial statements that should be included in your business plan.
- Prospective financial information
- Historical financial information
You may consider including an appendix in your business plan.
The most effective business plans are not usually the longest, but the most creative, quality content and attention getting. A business plan that gives the reader a lot to imagine about the business and its prospects. Every doubts and questions should completely be answered leaving the reader with no doubt than to believe you plan has been well thought out and researched.