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How to write a good business plan

For any company to succeed, a business plan is extremely vital. A good business plan is what helps manage a company and steer them in the right direction. A plan helps a business describe their product or service in detail and put together a strong marketing strategy.

To begin with, a business plan should summarise the proposal of the product or service a company is establishing. This should be done in no more than a couple of lines.

A good business plan should then go into detail about what your marketing strategy is going to involve. You should cover aspects such as, who your target market is and the size of the audience. The opportunities and threats that will affect your product or service should be covered within the marketing strategy and how your business is going to overcome these.

The next stage of your business plan should outline the details of your product or service. You will need to explain the unique selling points and how they differ from the competition. The business plan should summarise who the competition are, what they sell, how much market share they have and how your product or service is going to lean customers to your business rather than the competition’s.

Once your idea has been explained, it is key to specify your management team. Whoever is involved in the execution of your product or service should be included within the plan, showing the skills, qualifications and accomplishments that they bring to the table.

At this point, potential investors will want to see full descriptions of all revenue streams including, product sales, advertising, services and licensing. Also, the company’s cost structure should be written in detail. The sales forecast, cash flow and projected profit and loss account are a must for up to five years’ ahead but remember to avoid being over optimistic and be as realistic as possible.

A business plan is just the beginning of the process of building up your product or service so it is important to constantly review and update it throughout the development and success of your business.