Writing a business plan can be much like writing a white paper for your Master’s Degree program at Harvard, mind numbing and stressful! But the truth is, it really doesn’t have to be that way.
You really only need 7 KEY elements of your business plan, and then you’re all set!
The old ways of writing your business plan with an executive summary (aka Table of Contents) and all those boring parts are unnecessary.
Especially because times have really changed. A lot of Brick and Mortar Businesses are closing and losing business to the large online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
Heck, even Walmart had to close some physical locations.
People love convenience. They love being able to log onto Amazon, and order with one click (knowing their credit card info is securely saved in the website’s database).
No need to go searching for the credit card in the wallet, burrowed deep down into their ginormous purses (yes, I’m that girl).
So, before we get way off topic here, let me give you the 7 KEY elements!
- Mission Statement – This doesn’t have to be a boring account of WHY you’re starting the business. Make it fun!
Ex: My mission is to bring clean drinking water to Flint, MI so that children and adults alike can live healthy vibrant lives.
There’s a mission right there. Why are you on this journey? Why did you choose to do this? How will it benefit people?
These are questions you should ask yourself while you’re writing your mission statement.
- Product or Service – This is pretty self explanatory. What product or service will you offer?
How does it work? What’s your pricing point? Profit Margin?
- Business Operations – How will you pull this off? That’s exactly what this section is about. Do you need office space?
What type of business will you be? Manufacturing? Production Company?
What business overhead will you have upon opening?
Basically, what will it take to run your business on a day to day basis?
- Business Financials – What will it take financially for you to run your business?
What are your monthly expenses? What’s your projected monthly income?
What is your cash flow after expenses have been paid?
- Sales and Marketing – How will you promote your business?
Will you utilize Social Media to bring in new business?
Maybe a PR agency?
How will you get clients to buy from you? What’s your strategy?
- Market Research – Have you researched your market? What’s the size of your market?
Who are your competitors? How will you differ from them?
Who’s your target audience? Who are they currently buying from and why?
How will you get them to buy from you instead of competitors?
- Management and Personnel – What is your staffing plan? Who will you hire to help you run your business?
How many employees will you have? How will you hire and recruit them?
How will they be paid? Will they have benefits?
Do you have a Philosophy? Brand Culture? Logo?