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business tips 2019

5 startup tips for writing a winning business plan in 2019

Having an effective business plan is crucial when applying for a loan or convincing potential investors to fund your growing company. A business plan is your company’s roadmap, detailing how it will achieve its sales and financial goals to make the initial investment worthwhile.

Besides raising funds, there are other benefits to writing a business plan and referring to it on a regular basis. By analyzing your plan for marketing, sales, manufacturing, website design, etc., you greatly improve your chances for success. The business plan will assist in steering the business from A to B, identifying possible problems and helping to maneuver around them.

The following five practical tips will help you better showcase your product or service and explain how it will benefit you, your customers and investors.

 

Study your target audience and know how to effectively communicate with them

First and foremost, decide who your business plan will target. Research your pool of potential investors and understand what they’re looking for, what they’ve previously invested in, and design your business plan to synergize with their business interests.

Business plans can be “externally focused”, which is to say that they target people outside of the company (e.g. investors or lenders), or they can be “internally focused”, meaning that they target people inside the company (e.g. managers or workers). Knowing the target audience of your business plan will help you keep its information both relevant and appropriate to the reader.

 

Keep your business plan short and concise

Write your business plan so that someone from outside of your expertise can understand exactly what your business is about and what it aims to achieve.

Keep content short and simple, it should be concise and easy to read. For a plan that is longer than a couple of pages, be sure to include a contents page.

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Put together a strategic marketing plan

A great business plan will always include a strategic and aggressive marketing plan. This includes achieving marketing objectives such as introducing new products, extending into or regaining market share for existing products, entering new territories for the company, etc.

Without proper marketing, it will be very hard to get the much-needed patronage of customers for hitting sales goals. To effectively market your brand to consumers, your plan should include a well-developed marketing strategy that is multi-faceted, realistic and can be consistently implemented over time.

 

Budget accordingly

Your business plan needs to have a section where budgets are allocated for each activity planned. You need to have all your numbers in order when you’re writing a business plan, especially if you’re planning to secure investment funding.

Figure out exactly how much money you need to start the business and stay operational; otherwise, you’ll run out of money. Consider everything. Start with basics like equipment costs, property (buying or leasing), legal fees and insurance.

 

Include a definitive executive summary

If an investor looks at nothing else in the business plan, this section should be front and center. Your executive summary should outline the entire plan and we don’t recommend writing it until the end. This way, you can easily summarise the plan and use it to capture your investor’s interest.

Differentiating your product and/or service from the rest of the market will help make you stand out. This applies to more than just your end product, it encompasses your whole brand experience. Make sure to express this in your executive summary.

When building a business, it is important to carefully plan and consider every factor that can impact its future. Our plan templates can provide you the right guidance to compiling a successful business plan by outlining the different parts that apply to you. Check out our online library where you can find both simple and comprehensive templates that cover funding, financial projections, and more.

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