How to write a KICK-ASS business plan

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When you’re starting out as a business, it’s far too easy (and far too common) for entrepreneurs to begin the journey without having a clear vision or path forward. So many of us are just chomping at the bit to start making money without any direction on where they want to be in 1 year, let alone year 5, and often, you actually come across people who have owned their business for years…with NO SET GOAL!

So we thought it would be helpful to provide our top tips for writing a business plan - whether you’re just about to start, or perhaps coming to this a bit late!

1) What a load of waffle!

Whether your business plan is aimed at investors, or simply to give you a sense of direction, the best piece of advice we could give you would be to keep your plan concise. No one wants to read 10 sentences when your point can be made in only 2.

2) The beauty of the Elevator Pitch

So generally, the first section you complete in a business plan is the Executive Summary and your Objectives. But we’d also advise adding on an ‘Elevator Pitch’. What is this you ask? Imagine standing with someone in an elevator and you’re moving between floors… you have 20 seconds to explain your business to them before they reach their floor. If you can’t do that then Houston…we have a problem. Take another look at it.

3) Money makes the world go round

Before you can determine your strategy and tactics, you really need to estimate some financial projections. Maybe you have an investor, injected some cash into the business yourself or started at zero, either way it’s imperative that you conduct some research into similar businesses, what cash you could make over your first year, and what to do with the start-up funds that you have.

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4) Know your audience

It may sound like common sense, but spelling out what your product or service does, is an important part of your plan. This is especially true if you have colleagues who conduct the same exercise, to find they have a completely different answer to you. If this occurs, then this is something that needs to be looked at again. After getting your service description right, discuss your audience/target market and then get into a competitor analysis. Where do you sit in the market? Who else is there? And who is doing a similar activity, REALLY WELL?

5) A method to the madness

Using the information you have set out so far and considering your budget and financial projections, think about where the best channel is to focus your initial marketing or promotional efforts. How are you going to invest your time and money?

Thanks for reading our latest blog! We’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments and we’ll respond as soon as we can.