A simple dictionary definition of a plan is a set of intended actions, usually mutually related, through which one expects to achieve a goal.
According to Wikipedia, a business plan is ‘a formal statement of a set of business goals , the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals, It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.”
Why Do I Need To Write Business Plan?
1. When sourcing for funds, whether it is for a new business or an existing one, one of the major criteria required to getting it is a business plan. If you write a good business plan, you can get Nigerian banks or financial firms to give you a loan. You can use it to attract investors, partners and grants like Uwin. They would like to see if your business is viable and doing well in order to give you the money you need.
2. For a new business, you are able to know how much money, personnel, machines etc, you will needing exactly to start your business. You also get to know the time lag you need before you can start making a profit. It also helps to guide and tailor the activities of the business during the incubating stage for the period of time.
3. With a good business plan, you will be able to project the future of your business. This helps as a check and balance. So when your business is not doing as well as projected , you are able to go back to your drawing board and plan. Over a period of time, you are able to know which line of business to give a higher priority and the line/s of business to let go of.
4. With the help of a business plan, you are able to see if the steps your business has taken in the past has been viable. If it has not been, you can think of how to make them viable or to take new steps completely different from what you have been doing.
Things To Include When Writing Business Plan?
Your business plan outline should have the following :
1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Company Summary
2.1 Start-up Summary
2.2 Financial Picture of Current Business( if it is an existing business)
2.3 Company Locations and Facilities
4.0 Marketing Strategy
5.0 Management Summary
6.0 Financial Plan
Appendix which will contain your (cash projection, profit analysis) for three years..on a monthly basis.. and if it is an existing business, your old records too will be needed.
To be able to write an excellent business plan, you must carry out a good market survey to find out if people would actually need your services and how much they will be willingly to pay for it. Find out other products that would be competitors, alternate businesses if any.
With these tips, I believe you now know why you must have a business plan.
Feel free to ask me questions via comments.
And if you need help with your business plan, profiling, market survey. You can talk to Jide who will get back to me on it.