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Here Are 10 Things A Good Business Plan Should Have

A good business plan serves as a guide for building a successful venture which focus on your business idea and how you intend to make it. The plan also helps you to document your market studies, strategy, cost estimates, predict sales and control the operations. It is important for every business owner to understand the content of a good business plan and avoid the common business plan errors.

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan. – Tom Landry.

Business plan also helps the management or investors to make decision about a new venture or expansion. It is a must have document if you are relaying on an external sources of finance. It can also be used for application of government grants and supports.

Business plan

 Here are 10 outlines you should include in your business plan:
  1. Executive summary – A brief explanation of the business. It also includes goals and mission statement. Most expert recommends that you write this part last.
  2. Business Product or services – Overview of products and services of the firm. Remember customers don’t buy product but they buy benefits.
  3. Industry analysis – Explain the industry size, trend, features etc. Historical and current information can help you to forecast the trend. You may also include the Porter’s five forces analysis.
  4. Competitive analysis – Who are your current and prospect competitors and how you plan to face the competition? You should consider their strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats for you.
  5. Market analysis – Who are your target customers? Demography, location, segments and what is the market size? The size influence the demand.
  6. Management team – You need to show the planned structure and the winning executive team. Add profiles of the founders, partners or key officers. These include their skills, qualifications and accomplishments. If you lacked certain key skill within your team, indicate how you plan to close the gap e.g. learning, hiring or outsourcing.
  7. Operations – Location is key. Have you acquired the relevant licenses and permits? It also discusses about logistics, equipment, and operational value chain.
  8. Marketing strategies – how you will sell your product, pricing, strategies to enter the market. Put the customer first and the profit will follow. If you can convince the investors that you have customers, you will not lack capital.
  9. Financial plan – Financial plan includes the statement of financial position, income statement and cash flow statement. It is important you clearly show the sources and uses of funds. Remember lenders first concern is cash not profit. This section may also include financial assumptions, key financial indicators, business ratios, scenario analysis and possibly long-term financing plan.
  10. Appendices and supporting documents – any other document that can support your plan e.g. marketing researches, contracts, agreement, pictures, references, awards, resume etc.
Business plan is an important business strategy document which serve as a road map to guide the management, and to communicate the business objectives. Whether your business plan is prepared using a software or by a consultant, it is important you make sure that the plan covers the above key points.
This is a Guest Post by Ebrima Sawaneh
ebrima Ebrima Sawaneh (FCCA) is a Gambian accountant and banker based in Lagos. He founded and blogs about small business management and personal finance on Business in Gambia Blog
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About the Author
Titilayo Ama is the Co-founder of Spread Media, a #SocialMedia Coach and also a #GeekinPink. She is a passionate Business Blogger who loves helping small businesses with practical digital marketing strategies to help their businesses grow. An amazing Public Speaker on Youth Empowerment| Entrepreneurship| Girl & Tech. She is the Author of ”How Social is your Business‘” The Social Media Guide for Nigerian Businesses. Follow her on twitter: @teeteelayo
  1. Bulksms Automation Reply

    Now that i’ve read this topic i know that i am on my way to success thanks for the lecture may the good Lord continue to bless the writer for posting this topic once again thank you

  2. kene Reply

    This is really straightforward and helpful

    Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Josh Doye Reply

    wow, recently i have been doing some brainstorming on a business plan but got confused at some point; reading your post brings me back on point. Thanks for this insightful entry.

    Best Regards
    Josh Doye

  4. ikoi abode ikenna Reply

    interesting.

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