Business plan format for entrepreneurs

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👋🏾, Sanjay and Natasha here, Creating a business plan is a big deal. And one that most people take way too seriously. You should, however, consider creating one as simple and effective as possible. There are three main steps: identifying the product/service you're going to sell, determining how you will sell it, and determining an exit strategy. Identifying the product/service you're going to sell is easy; there are books, courses, and even conferences you can learn from. You can also learn from other people who've already invented/started businesses that are doing well.

When it comes to starting your own business, there are countless lists and resources out there. From business incubators and investment funds to online courses and blogs, there's a great deal of information out there about how to start a business. However, when it comes to creating an effective company plan, there's a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding it.

A business plan is the backbone of any successful business. From here, it gets complicated. From identifying the right location for your company to creating the product and maintaining a healthy profit, numerous moving parts must align for your idea to succeed. In today's post, I'll go over the best business plans from major companies so you can improve yours. These plans will be competitive due to being similar and having one major benefit: having a high percentage of completed items (that are not still open for business).

Why is it important to write a business plan at all?

Most people have too much uncertainty in their lives right now to start rebuilding from scratch. Starting a business means leaping faith, even if it feels risky. The benefits of starting a business far outweigh the risks. A successful business allows you to focus on the things that matter: your family, your happiness, your health, and the future. Being an entrepreneur means learning about situations that might otherwise cause you stress — taking action instead of reacting, seeing surprise instead of decline, trusting your instincts instead of being told what to do, and showing up every day with excitement instead of anxiety.

There are many potential side benefits to creating a business plan — not just the time it saves you but also the judgment it allows you to pass on opportunities. Evaluating your business idea objectively is fundamental to seeing the right path forward for your business. When you look at other people's finished products, do they have a good handle on their overall vision and plan for success? Is there room for improvement but not enough detail to make it happen? Are they taking real steps toward achieving their goals?

In most cases, starting a business is not a move that should be taken lightly. The emotional highs and lows associated with starting a business can be overwhelming. Likewise, starting a business can be an overwhelming number of decisions and tasks. While you are certainly free to decide what you want to do, having a clear direction can help set priorities and clarify what is important to you in life. Planning your business endeavours ahead of time helps protect you from feeling overwhelmed and allows you to enjoy the process of creating and running your business–instead of fight or flight mode.

Sections to focus on for your business plan

Executive summary

A one-page summary of your whole plan, typically written after the rest of the plan is completed. Your summary explains how you'll accomplish each goal or activity. It might include steps toward achieving the goal, an objective, and steps toward meeting that objective. Achieving a goal is usually simple and linear; meeting an objective usually requires several steps and involves some combination of activity and decision-making. It's helpful if you can use steps to briefly illustrate your point, even if it's just an illustration of a process (for example, making a plan, sticking to it, completing something and then testing to see if it worked).

Company description

A good company description helps potential customers make informed decisions about your organization. For example, it could provide useful context about why a certain service or product is offered or give people something to think about before deciding whether to join or not. You have to do due diligence when writing a description, though. You need to figure out why your business exists and what makes you different from competitors. This won't be possible if you just copy-and-pasted someone else's blog post without reading it first.

Market analysis

If you want to know exactly how much traffic your site will get in the future, how many customers will show up at your store using specific search keywords, or how hard your competitors are trying to rank in search, this report is for you. It'll also include market analysis to know which keywords are driving the most traffic and why. Finally, we'll share target market thinking so you can effectively target your future customers using Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, Pinterest Ads and Email Marketing, etc.

Marketing plan 

A marketing plan is the cornerstone of SEO. It would be best if you had a solid plan in place from the get-go to make sure that your business has the best chance at success. In most cases, having a marketing plan will help you achieve several goals in one fell swoop. Marketing can seem like a daunting prospect — there are countless things to consider and few minutes to devote to it. But it's really not all that hard when you look at the bigger picture. When you make the right decisions with the information available to you, your brand will prosper no matter how small your efforts appear to be.

Products and services

It's a good idea to write down your product or service's benefits (and problems) in great detail. Having this database around can help build a strong sense of credibility when pitching potential partners. It also makes it easier to decide what should go into funding your venture – money you can put into the business without worrying about how it will be spent.

Logistics and operations plan

Logistics and Operations Plan (LOP) is a crucial part of what it takes to succeed in the logistics industry. It outlines all the steps involved in the entire supply chain. Everything from ordering raw materials to storing and handling them through to delivering the products on time to your customers. It's critical to have an effective strategy to ensure your business has a continuous flow of deliveries throughout the day, resulting in lower employee turnover rates and cost savings for your business.

Financial plan

Financial projections help make sure that both you and your organization are planning for the future based on thought-through decisions being made today. This is an important step when developing your retirement plan as well as any other multi-year financial plan.

Conclusion

You want to turn your ideas into reality, but sometimes you can't figure out how. It would help if you had a way to structure ideas, so they become actionable. And that's where templates come in. There are templates for everything from SEO suggestions to business plans. Once you've found your favourite template (and there are plenty), use it to ensure your ideas follow a common structure before further discussion. 

Use Templates? Sure you do. And why shouldn't they? If you are anything like me, your ideal business plan (or MVP) is far more complex than it needs to be. You could spend hours writing down every possible scenario you could encounter and still not have chosen the best option. Templates can help. They're like brain furniture — they help organize information and make it easier to access the things you need. Why? Because as entrepreneurs, our brains are often cluttered with too many thoughts and ideas – particularly when we get started – and it becomes difficult to locate the single, best solution for each situation.

Being an entrepreneur is more than just setting up your own business and taking it online. Starting and growing a successful side hustle or business can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. However, the challenges of growing an online side hustle or business from scratch can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. This is where aspiring entrepreneurs need the right tools to succeed. Too often, people launch an entrepreneur website, then experience frustration as they struggle to get off the ground. This is true even if they are following a traditional business model — like starting a curly hair business from the comfort of your living room. 

LET'S GET SH*T DONE, TOGETHER! 

Before starting with creating business plans and all of that which is important, starting with The Aspiring Entrepreneur Mindset 101 Guide Bundle will coach you on making your new business a success! With this bundle, you will get the first four parts of the guide highlighting four common problems that many new entrepreneurs run into and how to solve them. Each booklet will cover four topics, "Optimize your routine, schedule your time, talk to people (networking) and Find your target market, provides some action steps on how one can use networking, and optimize their schedule.