How to make a business plan for your startup
If you are thinking of starting a business, have you written your business plan? The world of startups is growing by leaps and bounds. More than 4,000 startups exist in the world (2011-2018) right now. India has many of them. To run your business successfully, you need to make startup plans in India (and anywhere else you might start a business) and follow them. Otherwise, competitors will throw you out of the industry even before your entry.
Before you want to be a part of the league, make sure you understand the worth of a startup business plan. First, answer this—can you imagine building a skyscraper without any foundation?
Not possible, of course.
Why a business plan?
As no building can be built without any foundation, no business can come into being without a business plan. This is one contrivance that helps your business ideas come into being. The success of every business is based upon how well-structured is the idea and how well it has been executed.
All these steps are discussed and derived in your startup plan.
Starting an escooter sharing business or sowing the seeds of a startup without any concrete, well-thought-out, and detailed startup business plan is a sheer waste of efforts, investments, and time.
With the help of a business planning process, a budding entrepreneur can easily understand the need of resources, key operational area, the direction of work, needed investment, level of expertise, market conditions, and many similar and crucial aspects of running a business.
Additionally, it is your business plan that you will represent in front of your prospective investors and conceive them to put their capital into your business. A solid business plan increases your chances to get continual financial support and reduce your chances to become obsolete because of financial crunch.
So, we guess, by now the importance of a business plan is clear to you. The next thing to ponder over is how to make a startup business plan.
Is it too easy?
How it should be? Simple or complex?
Let’s find out.
The top twelve pillars of business plan
Everything looks good and impressive only if it sticks to certain quality standards. The same is true in the case of a business plan. There are top twelve points that your business plan should include by all means.
- Executive Summary – Include business information and elements of your business in startup plan.
- Company Description – Details of the company owners/partners.
- Industry analysis – Giving details about the industry and its market position to which your startup belongs.
- Market and Competition – Explaining the current market scenario, your addressable market areas, and potential competitors.
- Strategies and Goals – Your modus-operandi, mission, and visions.
- Products or Services – What is the nature of your product, and what it will do to the end-users?
- Marketing and Sales – How you are going to market the product/service, what is your sales strategy and quarter-based sales targets?
- Management and Organization – Who will run the show, how many employees you would be requiring and so on? Mention it all in the startup plan.
- Operations – How you are going to run your startup?
- Financial Performance – Forecasting financial performance and check it is your idea (or set of business ideas) is feasible or not.
- Financial Requirement – How much capital you would be required, what sort of investment you are expecting, and profit-sharing details.
- Exhibits – Closing the plan.
These pointers make any startup plan complete and comprehensive. Though all these pointers are essential for every business plan, you can alert them as per your business ideas. For example, if you solely depend on external investments then you can tailor the financial requirement section and include loan requests, direct investments and so on.
Explain different services in different sections
While starting a business, one of the most common mistakes that budding entrepreneur do is to generalize all of their services/product. All your services can be interconnected but not the same. So, make sure that you explain your different services differently. Giving a detailed product/overview is a major part of any business planning process.
For example, if you are going to come up with software development companies then keep different sections for strategic CRM, operational CRM, analytical CRM, and other types of CRM services.
Don’t write without thorough market research
Do you know that one of the key reason behind the startup failure is half or improper market investigation?
Yes. It’s shocking but right. As your product/service is going to operate in the market, it is more than necessary that you do proper market research. While you are including your market research inputs, make sure that each statement is backed by validated data and figures.
Covet for cover letter
A cover letter helps everyone a quick brief about your detailed business planning process as not every investor/team member has the same business acumen. Some are just plain novice about your addressable industry but still wants to join hands with you.
Short and simple is the key
A short and simple business plan is easy to read and understand. You want your business plan to be read and referred at every stage of business development. If it is too complex then what comes next would be highly byzantine and knotty.
Conceive it by keeping the audiences at the pivot
Keeping the audience at the pivot, while making a business plan, is imperative by all means. You should use write, pitch, and present your business plan after knowing your audiences and before starting a business.
For example, if you are starting a web development business then make sure that you are highlighting the key skills and tools that you use while creating a web and mobile application.
Don’t finalize it before proofreading
To err is human. But, that doesn’t mean it is ok to have an erroneous business plan. There is no scope for it. So, make sure that you always do professional proofreading and editing before giving the final shape to your startup business plan.
Give it a professional look
The first impression is the last impression and this philosophy makes its way into your startup business plan creating the process as well. Even if you have stick to all of the above-mentioned pointers, your business plan will suffice its purpose if it’s not represented professionally.
Make sure that you bind it in high-quality material (in case of hardcopy), using the right page and text format (New Times Roman, Charter or Garamond are preferred), giving the right and proper headings, using colored partitions and doing proper data visualization. All these steps make your business or startup plan attractive, well-sorted out and impressive.
Launching a startup can be exciting for you. But, you can’t jump into it just like that. There is a dearth need for a comprehensive startup business plan that conceptualizes your idea. So, hold the enthusiasm and channelize it properly. Start with a good plan and see how success comes to you.
About the Author
Ashish Goyal is a Business Growth Strategist at Xtreem Solution, a fuel delivery app development agency. He understands startups, enterprises, and their needs well. Apart from that, he is an expert in lead generation and inbound marketing. He has also handled marketing and growing operations. He loves to help businesses in improving their online brand visibility and sales. You can join Ashish via LinkedIn.