While you may be tempted to start your online business and start selling items, having a plan for your business is essential to establishing an effective business. Harvard Business Review discovered that companies who are proactive in drafting the business plan improve their chances of succeeding at a rate of 16 percent. A study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that 79 % of CEOs believe an organized planning process is a significant factor in general business strategies.
Business plans require you to think strategically and critically. They may help you obtain external financing for your next significant investment.
How do you put it together? We’ll cover the various kinds of business plans, the elements you should include in each section, and the simple template for a business plan you follow.
Types of Business Plans
Business plans serve various reasons. Sometimes, they are used to get your internal team members on the same page or to attract investors. Based on the person looking at your business plan and the goal you’re trying to achieve, You may want to modify it to have a different layout. Below are the significant kinds of business plans and what they’re designed for:
General The HTML0 format is the typical business plan format you find and is typically intended for outside gatherings. It’s complete and covers every aspect of business.
Summary: This is a truncated business plan version, which can be just one page. These are best to carry along to meet networking opportunities.
Operations/internal This business strategy is intended for your board of directors and top-level advisors. They concentrate on the inner workings of your company.
Growing: Have growth goals? This business plan gives detailed information on how the company will grow. This can be useful for internal teams as well as potential investors.
Thoroughly: This comprehensive business plan explains finances in detail. These companies usually are trying to get funds.
This is where you’re going to present your visionary idea. What’s the name of your company? Who is driving it? What was the date this document was created? These are just a few of the questions the title page must answer.
In terms of design, make sure to keep it simple. You can include your company’s logo (if you already have one). However, the style and graphics should be kept to a minimum. This is professional work and not a project for school.
Table of Contents
We’ve got a lot of material to review, but reading every page is not essential. A table of contents can simplify identifying sections that are most relevant to the reader or reference areas they would like to revisit.
The style here must be straightforward (you’ll notice this is an ongoing theme) and focused on usability.
Description of the company
It’s time to dig deep into the details of your business’s brand. We’re talking about the most critical points. Information like the name of your business, address, the date of its founding, the legal structure, the licenses, ownership information, the number of employees, and many more.
Then there are the more fun things, such as company values (a deep analysis of your mission and vision), short and long-term objectives, and how you’re positioned in the market. This is the time to show that you’ve done your studies on your competitors.
Services and products
You determine the product or service that will bring you profit. In our example, that’s the products you’re planning to dropship. Write down each item you’re going to offer (and categories for if you’ve got tons), your pricing strategy, your anticipated profits, and why people will purchase from you.
It’s good to include details about how your products will be produced and delivered. Will you be selling directly to the consumer or wholesale customers? What is the best way to pack and put together orders? How do you get the orders to the customers’ desks? How will you deal with returns? These are only a handful of the questions you’ll need to address.
Make sure to write down your meaningful relationships with the business to increase your chances of success.
If you don’t know who you’re selling your product to, It’s time to decide how you’ll reach them. This is where you’ll have to consider your marketing and sales strategy and how you plan to inform people about your company and its products.
Nowadays, brands must employ a multichannel approach to engaging potential customers through email, social media, SEO, print, and ads.
Consider what you’ve learned about the issues of your target audience and your competitors’ strengths to determine how you’ll present your distinct selling point. Pay attention to your website and websites for dropshipping companies since these are the primary points of contact. It’s essential to create a post-sales customer service and remarketing plan.
Now, let’s talk about money. Create your financial plan, outlining the current situation and where you’ll be five years from today. This can be a challenge, especially for new businesses, since you don’t have any previous data or trends to base your plans on. This is when you go back to your previous research and then use the results to create financial projections of your business’s performance.
If you’re presenting your business plan as part of an application for a loan or another financing need, then this is the place you should make your request. It’s already established why your business will be successful, and potential investors and lenders are more comfortable about the risks. Over a quarter of companies complain that they cannot obtain the capital they require. You do not want a poorly written strategy to cause why you do not.
In addition to stating and requesting the amount you’ll need, you’ll need to demonstrate how the extra capital will drive further growth for your business. Define where you’ll be spending the money, what you’ll purchase from it, and how it will yield the potential for a return on investment to your company.
A finalization of your business plan is an appendix. This is where the supporting documents are placed. We tack it on at the end because they can turn a relatively short business plan into an unwieldy, hundreds-of-pages-long document (nobody has time for that).
The appendix acts as an index section. In this way, those who want to verify some information from earlier pages of your plan can quickly navigate to the appropriate documents.