- 11.4 The Business Plan
- 1.1 Entrepreneurship Today
- 1.2 Entrepreneurial Vision and Goals
- 1.3 The Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Review Questions
- Discussion Questions
- Case Questions
- Suggested Resources
- 2.1 Overview of the Entrepreneurial Journey
- 2.2 The Process of Becoming an Entrepreneur
- 2.3 Entrepreneurial Pathways
- 2.4 Frameworks to Inform Your Entrepreneurial Path
- 3.1 Ethical and Legal Issues in Entrepreneurship
- 3.2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
- 3.3 Developing a Workplace Culture of Ethical Excellence and Accountability
- 4.1 Tools for Creativity and Innovation
- 4.2 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention: How They Differ
- 4.3 Developing Ideas, Innovations, and Inventions
- 5.1 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
- 5.2 Researching Potential Business Opportunities
- 5.3 Competitive Analysis
- 6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions
- 6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process
- 6.3 Design Thinking
- 6.4 Lean Processes
- 7.1 Clarifying Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
- 7.2 Sharing Your Entrepreneurial Story
- 7.3 Developing Pitches for Various Audiences and Goals
- 7.4 Protecting Your Idea and Polishing the Pitch through Feedback
- 7.5 Reality Check: Contests and Competitions
- 8.1 Entrepreneurial Marketing and the Marketing Mix
- 8.2 Market Research, Market Opportunity Recognition, and Target Market
- 8.3 Marketing Techniques and Tools for Entrepreneurs
- 8.4 Entrepreneurial Branding
- 8.5 Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
- 8.6 Sales and Customer Service
- 9.1 Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting Strategies
- 9.2 Special Funding Strategies
- 9.3 Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs
- 9.4 Developing Startup Financial Statements and Projections
- 10.1 Launching the Imperfect Business: Lean Startup
- 10.2 Why Early Failure Can Lead to Success Later
- 10.3 The Challenging Truth about Business Ownership
- 10.4 Managing, Following, and Adjusting the Initial Plan
- 10.5 Growth: Signs, Pains, and Cautions
- 11.1 Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” Approach
- 11.2 Designing the Business Model
- 11.3 Conducting a Feasibility Analysis
- 12.1 Building and Connecting to Networks
- 12.2 Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team
- 12.3 Designing a Startup Operational Plan
- 13.1 Business Structures: Overview of Legal and Tax Considerations
- 13.2 Corporations
- 13.3 Partnerships and Joint Ventures
- 13.4 Limited Liability Companies
- 13.5 Sole Proprietorships
- 13.6 Additional Considerations: Capital Acquisition, Business Domicile, and Technology
- 13.7 Mitigating and Managing Risks
- 14.1 Types of Resources
- 14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
- 14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
- 15.1 Launching Your Venture
- 15.2 Making Difficult Business Decisions in Response to Challenges
- 15.3 Seeking Help or Support
- 15.4 Now What? Serving as a Mentor, Consultant, or Champion
- 15.5 Reflections: Documenting the Journey
- A | Suggested Resources
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Describe the different purposes of a business plan
- Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan
- Describe and develop the components of a full business plan
Unlike the brief or lean formats introduced so far, the business plan is a formal document used for the long-range planning of a company’s operation. It typically includes background information, financial information, and a summary of the business. Investors nearly always request a formal business plan because it is an integral part of their evaluation of whether to invest in a company. Although nothing in business is permanent, a business plan typically has components that are more “set in stone” than a business model canvas , which is more commonly used as a first step in the planning process and throughout the early stages of a nascent business. A business plan is likely to describe the business and industry, market strategies, sales potential, and competitive analysis, as well as the company’s long-term goals and objectives. An in-depth formal business plan would follow at later stages after various iterations to business model canvases. The business plan usually projects financial data over a three-year period and is typically required by banks or other investors to secure funding. The business plan is a roadmap for the company to follow over multiple years.
Some entrepreneurs prefer to use the canvas process instead of the business plan, whereas others use a shorter version of the business plan, submitting it to investors after several iterations. There are also entrepreneurs who use the business plan earlier in the entrepreneurial process, either preceding or concurrently with a canvas. For instance, Chris Guillebeau has a one-page business plan template in his book The $100 Startup . 48 His version is basically an extension of a napkin sketch without the detail of a full business plan. As you progress, you can also consider a brief business plan (about two pages)—if you want to support a rapid business launch—and/or a standard business plan.
As with many aspects of entrepreneurship, there are no clear hard and fast rules to achieving entrepreneurial success. You may encounter different people who want different things (canvas, summary, full business plan), and you also have flexibility in following whatever tool works best for you. Like the canvas, the various versions of the business plan are tools that will aid you in your entrepreneurial endeavor.
Business Plan Overview
Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we’ll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan. If you are able to successfully design a business model canvas, then you will have the structure for developing a clear business plan that you can submit for financial consideration.
Both types of business plans aim at providing a picture and roadmap to follow from conception to creation. If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept.
The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, dealing with the proverbial devil in the details. Developing a full business plan will assist those of you who need a more detailed and structured roadmap, or those of you with little to no background in business. The business planning process includes the business model, a feasibility analysis, and a full business plan, which we will discuss later in this section. Next, we explore how a business plan can meet several different needs.
Purposes of a Business Plan
A business plan can serve many different purposes—some internal, others external. As we discussed previously, you can use a business plan as an internal early planning device, an extension of a napkin sketch, and as a follow-up to one of the canvas tools. A business plan can be an organizational roadmap , that is, an internal planning tool and working plan that you can apply to your business in order to reach your desired goals over the course of several years. The business plan should be written by the owners of the venture, since it forces a firsthand examination of the business operations and allows them to focus on areas that need improvement.
Refer to the business venture throughout the document. Generally speaking, a business plan should not be written in the first person.
A major external purpose for the business plan is as an investment tool that outlines financial projections, becoming a document designed to attract investors. In many instances, a business plan can complement a formal investor’s pitch. In this context, the business plan is a presentation plan, intended for an outside audience that may or may not be familiar with your industry, your business, and your competitors.
You can also use your business plan as a contingency plan by outlining some “what-if” scenarios and exploring how you might respond if these scenarios unfold. Pretty Young Professional launched in November 2010 as an online resource to guide an emerging generation of female leaders. The site focused on recent female college graduates and current students searching for professional roles and those in their first professional roles. It was founded by four friends who were coworkers at the global consultancy firm McKinsey. But after positions and equity were decided among them, fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of the business emerged between two factions, according to the cofounder and former CEO Kathryn Minshew . “I think, naively, we assumed that if we kicked the can down the road on some of those things, we’d be able to sort them out,” Minshew said. Minshew went on to found a different professional site, The Muse , and took much of the editorial team of Pretty Young Professional with her. 49 Whereas greater planning potentially could have prevented the early demise of Pretty Young Professional, a change in planning led to overnight success for Joshua Esnard and The Cut Buddy team. Esnard invented and patented the plastic hair template that he was selling online out of his Fort Lauderdale garage while working a full-time job at Broward College and running a side business. Esnard had hundreds of boxes of Cut Buddies sitting in his home when he changed his marketing plan to enlist companies specializing in making videos go viral. It worked so well that a promotional video for the product garnered 8 million views in hours. The Cut Buddy sold over 4,000 products in a few hours when Esnard only had hundreds remaining. Demand greatly exceeded his supply, so Esnard had to scramble to increase manufacturing and offered customers two-for-one deals to make up for delays. This led to selling 55,000 units, generating $700,000 in sales in 2017. 50 After appearing on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Daymond John that gave the “shark” a 20-percent equity stake in return for $300,000, The Cut Buddy has added new distribution channels to include retail sales along with online commerce. Changing one aspect of a business plan—the marketing plan—yielded success for The Cut Buddy.
Link to Learning
Watch this video of Cut Buddy’s founder, Joshua Esnard, telling his company’s story to learn more.
If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept. This version is used to interest potential investors, employees, and other stakeholders, and will include a financial summary “box,” but it must have a disclaimer, and the founder/entrepreneur may need to have the people who receive it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) . The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, providing supporting details, and would be required by financial institutions and others as they formally become stakeholders in the venture. Both are aimed at providing a picture and roadmap to go from conception to creation.
Types of Business Plans
The brief business plan is similar to an extended executive summary from the full business plan. This concise document provides a broad overview of your entrepreneurial concept, your team members, how and why you will execute on your plans, and why you are the ones to do so. You can think of a brief business plan as a scene setter or—since we began this chapter with a film reference—as a trailer to the full movie. The brief business plan is the commercial equivalent to a trailer for Field of Dreams , whereas the full plan is the full-length movie equivalent.
Brief Business Plan or Executive Summary
As the name implies, the brief business plan or executive summary summarizes key elements of the entire business plan, such as the business concept, financial features, and current business position. The executive summary version of the business plan is your opportunity to broadly articulate the overall concept and vision of the company for yourself, for prospective investors, and for current and future employees.
A typical executive summary is generally no longer than a page, but because the brief business plan is essentially an extended executive summary, the executive summary section is vital. This is the “ask” to an investor. You should begin by clearly stating what you are asking for in the summary.
In the business concept phase, you’ll describe the business, its product, and its markets. Describe the customer segment it serves and why your company will hold a competitive advantage. This section may align roughly with the customer segments and value-proposition segments of a canvas.
Next, highlight the important financial features, including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment. Like the financial portion of a feasibility analysis, the financial analysis component of a business plan may typically include items like a twelve-month profit and loss projection, a three- or four-year profit and loss projection, a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a breakeven calculation. You can explore a feasibility study and financial projections in more depth in the formal business plan. Here, you want to focus on the big picture of your numbers and what they mean.
The current business position section can furnish relevant information about you and your team members and the company at large. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how you formed the company, to describe its legal status (form of operation), and to list the principal players. In one part of the extended executive summary, you can cover your reasons for starting the business: Here is an opportunity to clearly define the needs you think you can meet and perhaps get into the pains and gains of customers. You also can provide a summary of the overall strategic direction in which you intend to take the company. Describe the company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives, overall business model, and value proposition.
Rice University’s Student Business Plan Competition, one of the largest and overall best-regarded graduate school business-plan competitions (see Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea ), requires an executive summary of up to five pages to apply. 51 , 52 Its suggested sections are shown in Table 11.2 .
Are You Ready?
Create a brief business plan.
Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. Then create a brief business plan for that business. See if you can find a version of the company’s actual executive summary, business plan, or canvas. Compare and contrast your vision with what the company has articulated.
- These companies are well established but is there a component of what you charted that you would advise the company to change to ensure future viability?
- Map out a contingency plan for a “what-if” scenario if one key aspect of the company or the environment it operates in were drastically is altered?
Full Business Plan
Even full business plans can vary in length, scale, and scope. Rice University sets a ten-page cap on business plans submitted for the full competition. The IndUS Entrepreneurs , one of the largest global networks of entrepreneurs, also holds business plan competitions for students through its Tie Young Entrepreneurs program. In contrast, business plans submitted for that competition can usually be up to twenty-five pages. These are just two examples. Some components may differ slightly; common elements are typically found in a formal business plan outline. The next section will provide sample components of a full business plan for a fictional business.
The executive summary should provide an overview of your business with key points and issues. Because the summary is intended to summarize the entire document, it is most helpful to write this section last, even though it comes first in sequence. The writing in this section should be especially concise. Readers should be able to understand your needs and capabilities at first glance. The section should tell the reader what you want and your “ask” should be explicitly stated in the summary.
Describe your business, its product or service, and the intended customers. Explain what will be sold, who it will be sold to, and what competitive advantages the business has. Table 11.3 shows a sample executive summary for the fictional company La Vida Lola.
This section describes the industry, your product, and the business and success factors. It should provide a current outlook as well as future trends and developments. You also should address your company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Summarize your overall strategic direction, your reasons for starting the business, a description of your products and services, your business model, and your company’s value proposition. Consider including the Standard Industrial Classification/North American Industry Classification System (SIC/NAICS) code to specify the industry and insure correct identification. The industry extends beyond where the business is located and operates, and should include national and global dynamics. Table 11.4 shows a sample business description for La Vida Lola.
Industry Analysis and Market Strategies
Here you should define your market in terms of size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential. You’ll want to include your TAM and forecast the SAM . (Both these terms are discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis .) This is a place to address market segmentation strategies by geography, customer attributes, or product orientation. Describe your positioning relative to your competitors’ in terms of pricing, distribution, promotion plan, and sales potential. Table 11.5 shows an example industry analysis and market strategy for La Vida Lola.
The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy as it relates to the competition. You want to be able to identify who are your major competitors and assess what are their market shares, markets served, strategies employed, and expected response to entry? You likely want to conduct a classic SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) and complete a competitive-strength grid or competitive matrix. Outline your company’s competitive strengths relative to those of the competition in regard to product, distribution, pricing, promotion, and advertising. What are your company’s competitive advantages and their likely impacts on its success? The key is to construct it properly for the relevant features/benefits (by weight, according to customers) and how the startup compares to incumbents. The competitive matrix should show clearly how and why the startup has a clear (if not currently measurable) competitive advantage. Some common features in the example include price, benefits, quality, type of features, locations, and distribution/sales. Sample templates are shown in Figure 11.17 and Figure 11.18 . A competitive analysis helps you create a marketing strategy that will identify assets or skills that your competitors are lacking so you can plan to fill those gaps, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. When creating a competitor analysis, it is important to focus on the key features and elements that matter to customers, rather than focusing too heavily on the entrepreneur’s idea and desires.
Operations and Management Plan
In this section, outline how you will manage your company. Describe its organizational structure. Here you can address the form of ownership and, if warranted, include an organizational chart/structure. Highlight the backgrounds, experiences, qualifications, areas of expertise, and roles of members of the management team. This is also the place to mention any other stakeholders, such as a board of directors or advisory board(s), and their relevant relationship to the founder, experience and value to help make the venture successful, and professional service firms providing management support, such as accounting services and legal counsel.
Table 11.6 shows a sample operations and management plan for La Vida Lola.
Here you should outline and describe an effective overall marketing strategy for your venture, providing details regarding pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, media usage, public relations, and a digital presence. Fully describe your sales management plan and the composition of your sales force, along with a comprehensive and detailed budget for the marketing plan. Table 11.7 shows a sample marketing plan for La Vida Lola.
A financial plan seeks to forecast revenue and expenses; project a financial narrative; and estimate project costs, valuations, and cash flow projections. This section should present an accurate, realistic, and achievable financial plan for your venture (see Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for detailed discussions about conducting these projections). Include sales forecasts and income projections, pro forma financial statements ( Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team , a breakeven analysis, and a capital budget. Identify your possible sources of financing (discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis ). Figure 11.19 shows a template of cash-flow needs for La Vida Lola.
Entrepreneur In Action
Laughing man coffee.
Hugh Jackman ( Figure 11.20 ) may best be known for portraying a comic-book superhero who used his mutant abilities to protect the world from villains. But the Wolverine actor is also working to make the planet a better place for real, not through adamantium claws but through social entrepreneurship.
A love of java jolted Jackman into action in 2009, when he traveled to Ethiopia with a Christian humanitarian group to shoot a documentary about the impact of fair-trade certification on coffee growers there. He decided to launch a business and follow in the footsteps of the late Paul Newman, another famous actor turned philanthropist via food ventures.
Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee two years later; he sold the line to Keurig in 2015. One Laughing Man Coffee café in New York continues to operate independently, investing its proceeds into charitable programs that support better housing, health, and educational initiatives within fair-trade farming communities. 55 Although the New York location is the only café, the coffee brand is still distributed, with Keurig donating an undisclosed portion of Laughing Man proceeds to those causes (whereas Jackman donates all his profits). The company initially donated its profits to World Vision, the Christian humanitarian group Jackman accompanied in 2009. In 2017, it created the Laughing Man Foundation to be more active with its money management and distribution.
- You be the entrepreneur. If you were Jackman, would you have sold the company to Keurig? Why or why not?
- Would you have started the Laughing Man Foundation?
- What else can Jackman do to aid fair-trade practices for coffee growers?
What Can You Do?
Textbooks for change.
Founded in 2014, Textbooks for Change uses a cross-compensation model, in which one customer segment pays for a product or service, and the profit from that revenue is used to provide the same product or service to another, underserved segment. Textbooks for Change partners with student organizations to collect used college textbooks, some of which are re-sold while others are donated to students in need at underserved universities across the globe. The organization has reused or recycled 250,000 textbooks, providing 220,000 students with access through seven campus partners in East Africa. This B-corp social enterprise tackles a problem and offers a solution that is directly relevant to college students like yourself. Have you observed a problem on your college campus or other campuses that is not being served properly? Could it result in a social enterprise?
Work It Out
Franchisee set out.
A franchisee of East Coast Wings, a chain with dozens of restaurants in the United States, has decided to part ways with the chain. The new store will feature the same basic sports-bar-and-restaurant concept and serve the same basic foods: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. The new restaurant can’t rely on the same distributors and suppliers. A new business plan is needed.
- What steps should the new restaurant take to create a new business plan?
- Should it attempt to serve the same customers? Why or why not?
This New York Times video, “An Unlikely Business Plan,” describes entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, Michigan.
- 48 Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future . New York: Crown Business/Random House, 2012.
- 49 Jonathan Chan. “What These 4 Startup Case Studies Can Teach You about Failure.” Foundr.com . July 12, 2015. https://foundr.com/4-startup-case-studies-failure/
- 50 Amy Feldman. “Inventor of the Cut Buddy Paid YouTubers to Spark Sales. He Wasn’t Ready for a Video to Go Viral.” Forbes. February 15, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestreptalks/2017/02/15/inventor-of-the-cut-buddy-paid-youtubers-to-spark-sales-he-wasnt-ready-for-a-video-to-go-viral/#3eb540ce798a
- 51 Jennifer Post. “National Business Plan Competitions for Entrepreneurs.” Business News Daily . August 30, 2018. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6902-business-plan-competitions-entrepreneurs.html
- 52 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition . March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf
- 53 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition. March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf; Based on 2019 RBPC Competition Rules and Format April 4–6, 2019. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2019-RBPC-Competition-Rules%20-Format.pdf
- 54 Foodstart. http://foodstart.com
- 55 “Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company.” Giving Compass. April 8, 2018. https://givingcompass.org/article/hugh-jackman-journey-to-starting-a-social-enterprise-coffee-company/
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Business Plan Examples and Sample For Students
Business Plan Examples For Students. Business Proposal Examples for Students. Also, Business Plan Sample pdf for Students. Business Plan Examples For Students Entrepreneurship PDF.
The business plan refers to the company’s written statement explaining the business proposal. It includes the executive summary, product and service, operation, marketing, and financial plan.
The employee makes the business plan to represent the organization to stakeholders, customers, and affiliates. It proposes the business strategy entirely. So, a business plan is also known as a business proposal. The business plan is crucial for a company to achieve competitive advantages. The business plan’s key elements are an executive summary, background, product and service, organizational structure , sales and marketing strategy, financial and operational plan, and more.
Business Plan Examples For Students
A business plan example refers to a business proposal sample that thoroughly explains the organization, including the executive summary of the financial statement. It also indicates the business report example or business proposal format. An example of a business plan certainly includes the executive summary of the business, operating strategy, start-up financial projections, financial projections, etc. The business plan example for students is also known as the business report format.
Business plan writing is a mandatory assignment for students in entrepreneurship. It is also a compulsory assignment for business students.
The business proposal is also compulsory for getting a bank loan. The organization needs it to make agreements with other organizations. The bank authority surely asks the organization to submit a business plan with the bank loan application. The other names of a business plan are business proposal, report, profile, and more. A business plan example is also known as an example of a company profile , business proposal example, sample, and format.
Business Plan Examples For Student Entrepreneurship
Today, the authors present a business plan example for students. They wrote it while they were students in entrepreneurship courses at the Faculty of Economics and Management University Putra Malaysia (UPM). The lecturer sets group assignments for the students; therefore, the students make the business plan example to complete the group assignment. Thus, this business plan or proposal example for students certainly assists business administration students. It also assists students in BBA, MBA, economics, finance, and business communication courses and researchers.
The author also wrote business plan examples for students about food .
Example of Business Report
The students set the company name “BambooS.” It sells reusable and eco-friendly bamboo straws. Straws are a unique product in Malaysia that can be customized for length and diameter. Besides, the company offers engraving services for customers. So, customers can customize a meaningful word on the bamboo straw for engraving. In addition, it provides a designed pouch as packaging for our straw that looks smart.
Business Plan Example and Sample For Students
1.0 Executive Summary Of Business Plan
BambooS Sdn. Bhd. company was created by a group of 10 students in the Basic Entrepreneurship course. This company is named BambooS. It produces and sells bamboo-based products. The capital S in the company’s name stands for straw. The original idea came from a student. And we chose Bamboo as the main ingredient of the products. Currently, we focus on producing eco-friendly straws to serve our customers. The products are the best quality yet affordable straws.
Our product is also biodegradable as it is made from Bamboo. We also guarantee that customers can use our products many times. It is reusable and easy to wash and carry. The straw size is customizable. So customers choose the size based on their preferences. In addition, our specialty is not only in our product but also in our packaging.
Each member will contribute RM 100. We are ten members in a group. The total paid-up capital is RM 1000. We set up our warehouse in the Serdang area to produce, package, and store our products. We are making the straw as per the customer’s demand and request. For the marketing part, we are advertising and promoting our product through social media sites, such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and e-commerce, such as Shopee. We adopt the lean canvas business model tool to assess the outcome of the business.
2.0 Background of the Company
2.2 Company overview
2.3 Vision And Mission Statement
2.3.1 vision statement.
To become the most notable company in Malaysia for producing eco-friendly bamboo straws.
2.3.2 Mission Statement
We want to fulfill the objective of satisfying customers with our eco-friendly products. We want to reduce pollution by using reusable straws anywhere and anytime.
2.4 Keys To Success
The Keys to Success for BambooS Include the following:
Table: 4 Keys of Success
2.5 Organizational Chart
3.0 Administration anD Human Resource Plan
3.1 business strategies.
Business strategy is crucial to maintain business growth.
The personal preferences of corporate management do not influence good business strategies. We emphasize every department’s function. It ensures the plans run smoothly to meet goals. We need to be achieved them. We have put as much emphasis on the efficiency of each Department.
Our company has set several strategies to achieve the company objectives. However, these strategies have been made based on every Department’s suggestion.
a. Administration and Human Resources Department
- The admin and human resource department monitors all the business operations. It manages employees’ and management problems.
- It also solves problems that affect people management programs in the long run.
- Moreover, it follows the five-gap model of service quality to ensure service quality.
b. Marketing Department
- This department handles marketing of the product and promotional activities in order to reach the products to a vast amount of potential clients.
- It also promotes the business and mission of an organization through social media.
c. Operational Department
- This department ensures that all the equipment and material are ready to run the operation smoothly. It ensures that all products are of good quality. This department follows the eight principles of TQM to ensure product and service quality.
- Additionally, this department has the ultimate accountability for profit and loss and seeks to maximize shareholder return on investment.
3.2 Management Team
3.3 Job Descriptions
4.0 Market Plan
BambooS Sdn. Bhd. support the “Save The Earth” campaign by producing eco-friendly Bamboo straws. These straws are environmentally friendly products. Therefore, these products are alternatives to plastic straws. The government has imposed restrictions on the use of plastic straws. They also create social awareness of to use of natural products.
Hence, It is an important driving factor of our market strategy. In addition, the surging demand for drinking beverages, including juices and Boba drinks and then the save the turtle campaign, is also propelling the demand for bamboo straws across the globe. Bamboo straws are reusable compared to plastic; they are better for health, durable & robust, and it is an environmentally friendly product. The products will contribute to reducing global warming and preventing climate change globally .
4.2 Objective of Marketing
Our objective in producing Bamboo straws is to encourage consumers to use natural, eco-friendly products. Why are bamboo straws better than metal? Firstly, Bamboo comes from a natural source. So it is naturally sturdy and easy to collect. We do not need to use chemicals to make straws.
Additionally, metal straws are not pocket friendly compared to Bamboo. Moreover, metal will rust when in contact with water and oxygen. Bamboo stock is much cheap, less work, and easy to collect. Our marketing strategy will focus mainly on reusable principal and are much more trendy to youngsters because we have an engraving service to attract them.
4.3 Analysis of Marketing
4.3.1 market trend.
The demand for bamboo straws has risen due to growing environmental attention. Additionally, plastic straws have been reduced due to state restrictions. However, the bamboo straw market is expected to achieve high growth shortly. In addition, BambooS Sdn. Bhd is a unique company in Malaysia. We produce our straw ourselves, and we provide safety and hygiene assurance. The buyer can engrave their name on the straw. Nowadays, customers want recognition for something they buy or support. They are also sincere about ‘Save the Earth’ and deserve to flex.
4.3.2 External Environment Analysis
Our first demographic psychographic and geographic target market is University Putra Malaysia (UPM). Since we are students of UPM, it is easier to approach our target customers, including students and staff. Students tend to bring their water bottles or flask to classes. It is one step toward being environmentally friendly; thus, we promote their effort by selling bamboo straws. In addition, we will promote our product at cafes or food courts at the faculty and library. We also establish a booth at super shops.
4.3.3 Internal Environment Analysis
4.3.4 Market Opportunities
Our bamboo straw comes with a pouch; thus, it is hygienic and easy to bring everywhere. We also provide a small brush to ensure deep cleaning of the inner straw. Our product is able to be used again and again. So students and staff can save money. They do not need to bring straws in large volumes. The structure of our bamboo straw is strong and sturdy; thus, it will not break if soaked in water for a long time, unlike paper straws.
4.4 Target Market
- S size is fit for ordinary drinks, fully liquid
- L size is suited for Boba drink or any drink that has topping.
- People use straws for drinking tea, juice, frappe, and Boba.
- Restaurants, cafes, food court, canteen, food stalls, super shops around UPM
4.4.2 Consumer Market and Buyer Behaviour
(i) Students and staff at UPM (ii) Cafe and Restaurant at UPM
- New business strategy for eco-friendly products in the market.
- Our production, process, and packaging materials match zero pollution.
- Providing Engraved service
- Customized and Eco-friendly bamboo straws of different sizes
- Made of organic material
- Unique punch made by the jute bag.
4.5 4 P’s Marketing Strategy
4.5.1 product strategy.
To make our product unique, we ensure the quality and safety of our products always satisfy our customers.
Our product comes neatly packaged in a unique eco-friendly punch. It is made of a jute bag. The natural bag is designed to think people use bamboo straws every day.
Our company provides customized products. We resize and engrave the bamboo straws to attract more customers. So, our customers can request any size and imprint their straw with any logo or design they like. Our product comes in two sizes: the regular size for the standard drink, fully liquid, and the large size for the Boba drink or drink that has topped. Customers can send us their logo or name on social media sites. Personalized bamboo straws look fantastic across social media.
4.5.2 Price Strategy
Price is the payment given by one party to the other in order to get the return for goods or services. It is necessary as it determines our profit and business survival. Two factors affect our pricing strategy to increase our profits. The internal factor that affects our pricing strategy is production and management cost. At the same time, the external factor is the competitive environment.
Our management team decided to sell the straw in four sets: A, B, C, and D. Our company decided to set the price at RM 10.00 for set A. This set includes the common Bamboo straw, brush, and pouch. Then SET B cost RM 12.00, including the Boba size straw, brush, and pouch. SET C and SET D are more special because they include the engraving service. The engraving cost is RM 8.00 for each Set. As we mentioned before, we resize products for clients. So our customers can personally request to resize the straw. We charge it costs RM 9.00 per set.
4.5.3 Place Strategy
Place strategy is also known as distribution strategy, wherein the organization decides the mode of distribution for the product. The pacing strategy plays an important role in selling the products. We have chosen the market, cafe, or restaurant adjacent to the University Putra Malaysia. Our main target market is UPM staff and students.
Furthermore, we also decided to make it easy for our customers to find our product by using the shopping app, Shopee apps. We chose these apps because Shopee is the best option if you want to start selling online at a low cost and big money.
4.5.4 Promotion Strategy
Promotion is the advertising process to provide information to different parties about the products. It is a communication process that influences the customer to buy products. In order to get customers’ attention and obtain a more significant market share, Bamboos Sdn. Bhd uses digital and internet marketing.
We have set up social media accounts, Instagram, Facebook, Shopee, and Blogspot, to promote our business. The marketing team will upload the promotional content to social media sites. This is because most people stay on social media sites mostly. With that, social media sites are the easiest way to buy anything we want without going out. Moreover, online shopping has become popular in this era, and all these social media sites have become the hottest sites, especially Instagram, which has a high rating in advertisements. Many companies use social media to sell their products and services by putting corporate information in their accounts.
Social Media Advantages
Social media are free sites where we can reach a large number of customers. Hence, we use social media to do hard and soft selling.
We fully develop every post to attract customers. In addition, we will always update our posts and story feeds. We ensure that customers are more exposed to our product. Next, we also use social media hashtags. We use hashtags such as #Bamboos, #SafeTheEarth, and more to make it easier for customers. The marketing team uses social media for the ordering process.
Similarly, we will place the generated links on each social media to encourage the product ordering process. Our company also makes sure transactions with our customers are easy. Finally, we also produce videos to promote our sales. The video will achieve the highest social media reach for views and engagement.
We tend to focus more on WhatsApp groups, Shopee, and Instagram since our target audience is UPM students. Many students are involved in WhatsApp groups, such as on faculty, college, hostels, and club. WhatsApp and Instagram are more popular among students as the place they spend most of their time. WhatsApp is the most popular social media site in Malaysia.
5.0 operations planning
5.1 location and address.
We will mainly sell the straw on social media sites. The production team will handle the production process. They resize and wash the Bamboo at the warehouse in Selangor, Malaysia. The social media sites are Instagram, Facebook, Shopee, Blogspot, and WhatsApp. Supplies will be directly delivered to the responsible members for further processing based on our buyer’s order.
5.2 Objective of Operations
We aim to produce and deliver good quality Bamboo Straw. Our team ensures that all products are effective and attractive. We also must gain customers’ trust and happiness with our service, including price and delivery. We also make sure our products are cleaned and safe for use. Our team is very responsive to making good-quality straws. In addition, our company has ultimate responsibility for profit and loss. However, we seek partners for more investment.
5.3 Operation Strategies
A few strategies have been set up to ensure that our business runs smoothly throughout the week and meets our objectives.
The bamboo stock was from a supplier via the Shopee platform, and the pouch supplies were from Giftstalk Sdn. Bhd. The company logo’s printing service was also included when we ordered the pouch from suppliers. Moreover, we order coconut fiber cleaning brush stock and packing Boxes from Shopee. We also surveyed purchasing and made sure that our supplies were reasonable. All the supplies are ordered online and delivered to our company via specialized courier due to the Covid- 19 pandemic.
The bamboo straw will be customized and delivered to the customer using J&T Express, Ninja Van, and cash-on-delivery service, which will ease our delivery.
Thus, we have decided on the following suppliers as our supplies providers:
- Wing.DIY – Shopee- For Bamboo Stock
- GIFTSTALK SDN BHD)- For Pouch Supplies
- Gd. Pack -Shopee)- For Paper Boxes Stock – Sandpaper Holder with Plastic.
5.5 Process Planning
5.6 Implementation Schedule
5.7 Machinery and Equipment Including GST
6.0 Financial Plan
A financial plan can be defined as a process of framing procedures, and budgets regarding the financial activities of concern. This is done to ensure good financial and investment procedures.
Generally, the financial plan is used to know an investor’s current pay and future financial state by using current known variables to predict future income, asset values, and withdrawal plans.
A financial plan is one of the most crucial parts of a business. Some of the importance of a financial plan are:
- A financial plan provides the direction of one’s business.
- It also helps understand how finances impact one’s business.
- Additionally, it helps to manage income better.
6.2 Purpose of the Financial Department
A few purposes are as below:
- Firstly, it determines capital conditions.
- Secondly, it operates the fund nicely for different purposes.
- Finally, it maintains proper cash flow.
6.3 Project Implementation Cost
Source of Fund
Our money is used as the start-up capital with a contribution of RM100.00 per shareholder, bringing the total investment to RM 1000.00.
6.4 List of Expenses
Twelve partners funded a total of RM1000.00 to cover all business costs, which is RM 617.29. Expenses are in terms of buying raw materials, equipment, and delivery fees. We will not invest all amount to the business.
The equipment is counted as fixed cost as they are bought in bulk. Refer to 6.4 (List of Expenses) for detailed information.
6.5 Record of List of Sales
6.6 Income Statement
After one month of business, BambooS ended up with RM 1600.00 from 7 different products. This includes selling 15 units of Set 1, 25 of Set 2, 35 of Set 3, and 30 of Set 4. Leftovers for bamboo straws are found. The income statement shows that the business’s net profit after one month of operation is RM 988.39, approximately 98.8% of capital invested into the business.
6.7 Cash Flow Statement
The case flow statement shows that the initial capital on hand is RM 1000.00, and at the end of the business, the total surplus (after deducting all expenses) is RM 1982.71.
The RM 1982.71 includes RM 100 capital invested by every shareholder at the beginning of the business. By dividing the remaining money after deduction, each shareholder would find themselves receiving an extra RM 98.27. Hence, every
6.8 Balance Sheet
At the start of the business (22 March 2021), the initial capital share is RM 300.00. There is no liability such as a loan.
At the end of 9 weeks’ business (22 June 2021), the cash on hand increased to RM 1982.71, as well as the owner’s equity. The firm’s net worth is RM 1982.71, done by subtracting liabilities from assets.
6.9 Financial Analysis
BambooS has a net profit margin of 61.42%. BambooS also has a break-even point of RM 126.50. Sales passing this break-even point means that BambooS can start making profits.
Set 1 has a break-even point of RM 11.90, and set 2 have it at RM 23.72. The break-even point for set 3 is RM 55.34, while set 4 has a break-even point of RM 35.58.
The interest for the business is 0.9827 or 98.27%. This means for every RM 1 capital invested in the business; the shareholders can get back RM 0.98 as profit.
Based on the business plan template or business proposal example that we have made, BambooS will give us profitable returns. The assumptions we made for these three months are conservative as we know that our company is still in the beginning, and the marketing and promotion are still in the early phase. The company sets systematic planning to reach the target. Thus, BambooS are very confident that our company will be able to grow in the future and become the most popular brand in the world.
We will always ensure that everyone in the company cooperates well in order to achieve the business target profit. We hope that BambooS will be the best company for producing eco-friendly straws in Malaysia. Our company assists UPM students and staff in reducing plastic usage.
Problem Faced and Solutions in Business
Every business will need to face many challenges to sustain success. As a new business, we also must face many things to achieve our business goal.
Firstly, we confirmed the product we would sell; everyone gave their opinions and ideas. This leads to 10 different products and services on the list. So we need to vote for the best one. We had faced a healthy argument on picking the best product. After discussion, we finally came out with the idea of producing an eco-friendly product. We focused on global warming issues and finally decided to produce and sell bamboo straws.
Moreover, we also have to face a conflict in fixing the vendors. We need to find the best vendors that offer the most reasonable price for us to produce the bamboo straw. The cost must be tele with our starting capital. In order to solve this, everyone has done their research on all the possible suppliers until we find the best one to choose from.
To avoid extreme market competitors, our team chose a blue ocean strategy to create a new market to achieve competitive advantages.
Business Proposal Examples For Students PDF
A business proposal is a short business plan. The business proposal describes the business process. However, a business proposal includes an executive summary, problem statements, product, finance, and solution. The example of a business proposal for students certainly guides others to create a business plan. This business plan sample teaches how to write business plan assignments for students. Students might learn how to write a simple business plan and proposal.
Additionally, the business plan example assists employees in creating a professional business proposal. It is also a perfect example of a business plan for eco-friendly products. Therefore, this business plan teaches students to write a green business plan sample.
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Author: M M Kobiruzzaman
M M Kobiruzzaman is a researcher, lecturer, and academic & creative content writer. He studied for a Master of Management By Research at the School of Business and Economics Faculty, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Previously, he graduated from the Department of Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His research interests contained Journalism, Social Media Communication, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Corporate Communication. He has published several journal articles globally. He prefers to impart academic knowledge to other people through content writing. View all posts by M M Kobiruzzaman
10 thoughts on “Business Plan Examples and Sample For Students”
Good Day! Can I ask your permission to use your template in my class discussion? It is very detailed and all the components present in this format.
Yes, You Can.
Great work,keep it up
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great article . check out datatoleas.com
Nice work keep on educating me I bet your help
This template is the best I have seen It’s so detailed You have everything you are looking for
It’s a good sample for up coming entrepreneurs,keep it up 👍🏻
Mr Kobiruzzaman thanks so much am Kimera Kenneth from Uganda but your content is so useful.
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The importance of a business plan
Business plans are like road maps: it’s possible to travel without one, but that will only increase the odds of getting lost along the way.
Owners with a business plan see growth 30% faster than those without one, and 71% of the fast-growing companies have business plans . Before we get into the thick of it, let’s define and go over what a business plan actually is.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a 15-20 page document that outlines how you will achieve your business objectives and includes information about your product, marketing strategies, and finances. You should create one when you’re starting a new business and keep updating it as your business grows.
Rather than putting yourself in a position where you may have to stop and ask for directions or even circle back and start over, small business owners often use business plans to help guide them. That’s because they help them see the bigger picture, plan ahead, make important decisions, and improve the overall likelihood of success.
Why is a business plan important?
A well-written business plan is an important tool because it gives entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as their employees, the ability to lay out their goals and track their progress as their business begins to grow. Business planning should be the first thing done when starting a new business. Business plans are also important for attracting investors so they can determine if your business is on the right path and worth putting money into.
Business plans typically include detailed information that can help improve your business’s chances of success, like:
- A market analysis : gathering information about factors and conditions that affect your industry
- Competitive analysis : evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
- Customer segmentation : divide your customers into different groups based on specific characteristics to improve your marketing
- Marketing: using your research to advertise your business
- Logistics and operations plans : planning and executing the most efficient production process
- Cash flow projection : being prepared for how much money is going into and out of your business
- An overall path to long-term growth
10 reasons why you need a business plan
I know what you’re thinking: “Do I really need a business plan? It sounds like a lot of work, plus I heard they’re outdated and I like figuring things out as I go...”.
The answer is: yes, you really do need a business plan! As entrepreneur Kevin J. Donaldson said, “Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support—you’ll eventually get lost and starve! Though it may sound tedious and time-consuming, business plans are critical to starting your business and setting yourself up for success.
To outline the importance of business plans and make the process sound less daunting, here are 10 reasons why you need one for your small business.
1. To help you with critical decisions
The primary importance of a business plan is that they help you make better decisions. Entrepreneurship is often an endless exercise in decision making and crisis management. Sitting down and considering all the ramifications of any given decision is a luxury that small businesses can’t always afford. That’s where a business plan comes in.
Building a business plan allows you to determine the answer to some of the most critical business decisions ahead of time.
Creating a robust business plan is a forcing function—you have to sit down and think about major components of your business before you get started, like your marketing strategy and what products you’ll sell. You answer many tough questions before they arise. And thinking deeply about your core strategies can also help you understand how those decisions will impact your broader strategy.
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2. To iron out the kinks
Putting together a business plan requires entrepreneurs to ask themselves a lot of hard questions and take the time to come up with well-researched and insightful answers. Even if the document itself were to disappear as soon as it’s completed, the practice of writing it helps to articulate your vision in realistic terms and better determine if there are any gaps in your strategy.
3. To avoid the big mistakes
Only about half of small businesses are still around to celebrate their fifth birthday . While there are many reasons why small businesses fail, many of the most common are purposefully addressed in business plans.
According to data from CB Insights , some of the most common reasons businesses fail include:
- No market need : No one wants what you’re selling.
- Lack of capital : Cash flow issues or businesses simply run out of money.
- Inadequate team : This underscores the importance of hiring the right people to help you run your business.
- Stiff competition : It’s tough to generate a steady profit when you have a lot of competitors in your space.
- Pricing : Some entrepreneurs price their products or services too high or too low—both scenarios can be a recipe for disaster.
The exercise of creating a business plan can help you avoid these major mistakes. Whether it’s cash flow forecasts or a product-market fit analysis , every piece of a business plan can help spot some of those potentially critical mistakes before they arise. For example, don’t be afraid to scrap an idea you really loved if it turns out there’s no market need. Be honest with yourself!
Get a jumpstart on your business plan by creating your own cash flow projection .
4. To prove the viability of the business
Many businesses are created out of passion, and while passion can be a great motivator, it’s not a great proof point.
Planning out exactly how you’re going to turn that vision into a successful business is perhaps the most important step between concept and reality. Business plans can help you confirm that your grand idea makes sound business sense.
A critical component of your business plan is the market research section. Market research can offer deep insight into your customers, your competitors, and your chosen industry. Not only can it enlighten entrepreneurs who are starting up a new business, but it can also better inform existing businesses on activities like marketing, advertising, and releasing new products or services.
Want to prove there’s a market gap? Here’s how you can get started with market research.
5. To set better objectives and benchmarks
Without a business plan, objectives often become arbitrary, without much rhyme or reason behind them. Having a business plan can help make those benchmarks more intentional and consequential. They can also help keep you accountable to your long-term vision and strategy, and gain insights into how your strategy is (or isn’t) coming together over time.
6. To communicate objectives and benchmarks
Whether you’re managing a team of 100 or a team of two, you can’t always be there to make every decision yourself. Think of the business plan like a substitute teacher, ready to answer questions any time there’s an absence. Let your staff know that when in doubt, they can always consult the business plan to understand the next steps in the event that they can’t get an answer from you directly.
Sharing your business plan with team members also helps ensure that all members are aligned with what you’re doing, why, and share the same understanding of long-term objectives.
7. To provide a guide for service providers
Small businesses typically employ contractors , freelancers, and other professionals to help them with tasks like accounting , marketing, legal assistance, and as consultants. Having a business plan in place allows you to easily share relevant sections with those you rely on to support the organization, while ensuring everyone is on the same page.
8. To secure financing
Did you know you’re 2.5x more likely to get funded if you have a business plan?If you’re planning on pitching to venture capitalists, borrowing from a bank, or are considering selling your company in the future, you’re likely going to need a business plan. After all, anyone that’s interested in putting money into your company is going to want to know it’s in good hands and that it’s viable in the long run. Business plans are the most effective ways of proving that and are typically a requirement for anyone seeking outside financing.
Learn what you need to get a small business loan.
9. To better understand the broader landscape
No business is an island, and while you might have a strong handle on everything happening under your own roof, it’s equally important to understand the market terrain as well. Writing a business plan can go a long way in helping you better understand your competition and the market you’re operating in more broadly, illuminate consumer trends and preferences, potential disruptions and other insights that aren’t always plainly visible.
10. To reduce risk
Entrepreneurship is a risky business, but that risk becomes significantly more manageable once tested against a well-crafted business plan. Drawing up revenue and expense projections, devising logistics and operational plans, and understanding the market and competitive landscape can all help reduce the risk factor from an inherently precarious way to make a living. Having a business plan allows you to leave less up to chance, make better decisions, and enjoy the clearest possible view of the future of your company.
Understanding the importance of a business plan
Now that you have a solid grasp on the “why” behind business plans, you can confidently move forward with creating your own.
Remember that a business plan will grow and evolve along with your business, so it’s an important part of your whole journey—not just the beginning.
Now that you’ve read up on the purpose of a business plan, check out our guide to help you get started.
The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.
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The importance of business plan: 5 key reasons.
A key part of any business is its business plan. They can help define the goals of your business and help it reach success. A good business plan can also help you develop an adequate marketing strategy. There are a number of reasons all business owners need business plans, keep reading to learn more!
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is a Business Plan?
5 reasons you need a well-written business plan, how do i make a business plan, key takeaways.
A business plan contains detailed information that can help determine its success. Some of this information can include the following:
- Market analysis
- Cash flow projection
- Competitive analysis
- Financial statements and financial projections
- An operating plan
A solid business plan is a good way to attract potential investors. It can also help you display to business partners that you have a successful business growing. In a competitive landscape, a formal business plan is your key to success.
Check out all of the biggest reasons you need a good business plan below.
1. To Secure Funding
Whether you’re seeking funding from a venture capitalist or a bank, you’ll need a business plan. Business plans are the foundation of a business. They tell the parties that you’re seeking funding from whether or not you’re worth investing in. If you need any sort of outside financing, you’ll need a good business plan to secure it.
2. Set and Communicate Goals
A business plan gives you a tangible way of reviewing your business goals. Business plans revolve around the present and the future. When you establish your goals and put them in writing, you’re more likely to reach them. A strong business plan includes these goals, and allows you to communicate them to investors and employees alike.
3. Prove Viability in the Market
While many businesses are born from passion, not many will last without an effective business plan. While a business concept may seem sound, things may change once the specifics are written down. Often, people who attempt to start a business without a plan will fail. This is because they don’t take into account all of the planning and funds needed to get a business off of the ground.
Market research is a large part of the business planning process. It lets you review your potential customers, as well as the competition, in your field. By understanding both you can set price points for products or services. Sometimes, it may not make sense to start a business based on the existing competition. Other times, market research can guide you to effective marketing strategies that others lack. To have a successful business, it has to be viable. A business plan will help you determine that.
4. They Help Owners Avoid Failure
Far too often, small businesses fail. Many times, this is due to the lack of a strong business plan. There are many reasons that small businesses fail, most of which can be avoided by developing a business plan. Some of them are listed below, which can be avoided by having a business plan:
- The market doesn’t need the business’s product or service
- The business didn’t take into account the amount of capital needed
- The market is oversaturated
- The prices set by the business are too high, pushing potential customers away
Any good business plan includes information to help business owners avoid these issues.
5. Business Plans Reduce Risk
Related to the last reason, business plans help reduce risk. A well-thought-out business plan helps reduce risky decisions. They help business owners make informed decisions based on the research they conduct. Any business owner can tell you that the most important part of their job is making critical decisions. A business plan that factors in all possible situations helps make those decisions.
Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to help you create a business plan. A simple search can lead you to helpful tools, like a business plan template . These are helpful, as they let you fill in the information as you go. Many of them provide basic instructions on how to create the business plan, as well.
If you plan on starting a business, you’ll need a business plan. They’re good for a vast number of things. Business plans help owners make informed decisions, as well as set goals and secure funding. Don’t put off putting together your business plan!
If you’re in the planning stages of your business, be sure to check out our resource hub . We have plenty of valuable resources and articles for you when you’re just getting started. Check it out today!
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What Is a Business Plan?
Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, elements of a business plan, special considerations.
- Business Plan FAQs
Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How To Write One
Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Investopedia / Ryan Oakley
A business plan is a document that defines in detail a company's objectives and how it plans to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written road map for the firm from marketing , financial, and operational standpoints. Both startups and established companies use business plans.
A business plan is an important document aimed at a company's external and internal audiences. For instance, a business plan is used to attract investment before a company has established a proven track record. It can also help to secure lending from financial institutions.
Furthermore, a business plan can serve to keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and on target for meeting established goals.
Although they're especially useful for new businesses, every company should have a business plan. Ideally, the plan is reviewed and updated periodically to reflect goals that have been met or have changed. Sometimes, a new business plan is created for an established business that has decided to move in a new direction.
- A business plan is a document describing a company's core business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
- Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
- A business plan can also be used as an internal guide to keep an executive team focused on and working toward short- and long-term objectives.
- Businesses may create a lengthier traditional business plan or a shorter lean startup business plan.
- Good business plans should include an executive summary and sections on products and services, marketing strategy and analysis, financial planning, and a budget.
Want Funding? You Need a Business Plan
A business plan is a fundamental document that any new business should have in place prior to beginning operations. Indeed, banks and venture capital firms often require a viable business plan before considering whether they'll provide capital to new businesses.
Operating without a business plan usually is not a good idea. In fact, very few companies are able to last very long without one. There are benefits to creating (and sticking to) a good business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and working through potential obstacles to success.
A good business plan should outline all the projected costs and possible pitfalls of each decision a company makes. Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they can have the same basic elements, such as an executive summary of the business and detailed descriptions of its operations, products and services, and financial projections. A plan also states how the business intends to achieve its goals.
While it's a good idea to give as much detail as possible, it's also important that a plan be concise to keep a reader's attention to the end.
A well-considered and well-written business plan can be of enormous value to a company. While there are templates that you can use to write a business plan, try to avoid producing a generic result. The plan should include an overview and, if possible, details of the industry of which the business will be a part. It should explain how the business will distinguish itself from its competitors.
Start with the essential structure: an executive summary, company description, market analysis, product or service description, marketing strategy, financial projections, and appendix (which include documents and data that support the main sections). These sections or elements of a business plan are outlined below.
When you write your business plan, you don’t have to strictly follow a particular business plan outline or template. Use only those sections that make the most sense for your particular business and its needs.
Traditional business plans use some combination of the sections below. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making. Regardless, try to keep the main body of your plan to around 15-25 pages.
The length of a business plan varies greatly from business to business. Consider fitting the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Then, other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and included as appendices.
As mentioned above, no two business plans are the same. Nonetheless, they tend to have the same elements. Below are some of the common and key parts of a business plan.
- Executive summary: This section outlines the company and includes the mission statement along with any information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and location.
- Products and services: Here, the company can outline the products and services it will offer, and may also include pricing, product lifespan, and benefits to the consumer. Other factors that may go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
- Market analysis: A firm needs a good handle on its industry as well as its target market. This section of the plan will detail a company's competition and how the company fits in the industry, along with its relative strengths and weaknesses. It will also describe the expected consumer demand for a company's products or services and how easy or difficult it may be to grab market share from incumbents.
- Marketing strategy: This section describes how the company will attract and keep its customer base and how it intends to reach the consumer. A clear distribution channel must be outlined. The section also spells out advertising and marketing campaign plans and the types of media those campaigns will use.
- Financial planning: This section should include a company's financial planning and projections. Financial statements, balance sheets, and other financial information may be included for established businesses. New businesses will include targets and estimates for the first few years plus a description of potential investors.
- Budget: Every company needs to have a budget in place. This section should include costs related to staffing, development, manufacturing, marketing, and any other expenses related to the business.
Unique Business Plans Help
The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its singularity and potential for success.
Types of Business Plans
Business plans help companies identify their objectives and remain on track to meet goals. They can help companies start, manage themselves, and grow once up and running. They also act as a means to attract lenders and investors.
Although there is no right or wrong business plan, they can fall into two different categories—traditional or lean startup. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the most common. It contains a lot of detail in each section. These tend to be longer than the lean startup plan and require more work.
Lean startup business plans, on the other hand, use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans aren't as common in the business world because they're short—as short as one page—and lack detail. If a company uses this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or lender requests it.
A complete business plan must include a set of financial projections for the business. These forward-looking financial statements are often called pro-forma financial statements or simply the " pro-formas ." They include an overall budget, current and projected financing needs, a market analysis, and the company's marketing strategy.
Other Considerations for a Business Plan
A major reason for a business plan is to give owners a clear picture of objectives, goals, resources, potential costs, and drawbacks of certain business decisions. A business plan should help them modify their structures before implementing their ideas. It also allows owners to project the type of financing required to get their businesses up and running.
If there are any especially interesting aspects of the business, they should be highlighted and used to attract financing, if needed. For example, Tesla Motors' electric car business essentially began only as a business plan.
Importantly, a business plan shouldn't be a static document. As a business grows and changes, so too should the business plan. An annual review of the company and its plan allows an entrepreneur or group of owners to update the plan, based on successes, setbacks, and other new information. It provides an opportunity to size up the plan's ability to help the company grow.
Think of the business plan as a living document that evolves with your business.
A business plan is a document created by a company that describes the company's goals, operations, industry standing, marketing objectives, and financial projections. The information it contains can be a helpful guide in running the company. What's more, it can be a valuable tool to attract investors and obtain financing from financial institutions.
Why Do Business Plans Fail?
Even if you have a good business plan, your company can still fail, especially if you do not stick to the plan! Having strong leadership with a focus on the plan is always a good strategy. Even when following the plan, if you had poor assumptions going into your projections, you can be caught with cash flow shortages and out-of-control budgets. Markets and the economy can also change. Without flexibility built into your business plan, you may be unable to pivot to a new course as needed.
What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?
The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers a quick explanation of its business. The company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide since it's just getting started.
Sections can include: a value proposition, a company's major activities and advantages, resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital, a list of partnerships, customer segments, and revenue sources.
Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."
- Business Basics Guide 1 of 46
- Business Ethics: Definition, Principles, Why They're Important 2 of 46
- Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How To Write One 3 of 46
- Organizational Structure for Companies With Examples and Benefits 4 of 46
- Which Type of Organization Is Best For Your Business? 5 of 46
- What Are the Major Types of Businesses in the Private Sector? 6 of 46
- Corporate Culture Definition, Characteristics, and Importance 7 of 46
- What Is an S Corp? 8 of 46
- LLC vs. Incorporation: Which Should I Choose? 9 of 46
- Private Company: What It Is, Types, and Pros and Cons 10 of 46
- Sole Proprietorship: What It Is, Pros & Cons, Examples, Differences From an LLC 11 of 46
- What Is Bootstrapping? What It Means and How It's Used in Investing 12 of 46
- Crowdfunding: What It Is, How It Works, Popular Websites 13 of 46
- Seed Capital: What It Is, How It Works, Example 14 of 46
- Venture Capital: What Is VC and How Does It Work? 15 of 46
- Startup Capital Definition, Types, and Risks 16 of 46
- Capital Funding: Definition, How It Works, and 2 Primary Methods 17 of 46
- Series Funding: A, B, and C 18 of 46
- Small Business Administration (SBA): Definition and What It Does 19 of 46
- Upper Management: What it is, How it Works 20 of 46
- What is the C Suite?: Meaning and Positions Defined 21 of 46
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO): What They Do vs. Other Chief Roles 22 of 46
- Operations Management: Understanding and Using It 23 of 46
- Human Resource Planning (HRP) Meaning, Process, and Examples 24 of 46
- Brand: Types of Brands and How to Create a Successful Brand Identity 25 of 46
- What Is Brand Personality? How It Works and Examples 26 of 46
- What Is Brand Management? Requirements, How It Works, and Example 27 of 46
- What Is Brand Awareness? Definition, How It Works, and Strategies 28 of 46
- Brand Loyalty: What It Is, and How to Build It 29 of 46
- Brand Extension: Definition, How It Works, Example, and Criticism 30 of 46
- What Is Social Networking? 31 of 46
- Affiliate Marketer: Definition, Examples, and How to Get Started 32 of 46
- What Is Commercialization, Plus the Product Roll-Out Process 33 of 46
- Digital Marketing Overview: Types, Challenges, and Required Skills 34 of 46
- Direct Marketing: What It Is and How It Works 35 of 46
- Marketing in Business: Strategies and Types Explained 36 of 46
- What Are Marketing Campaigns? Definition, Types, and Examples 37 of 46
- How to Do Market Research, Types, and Example 38 of 46
- Micromarketing Explained: Definition, Uses, and Examples 39 of 46
- Network Marketing Meaning and How It Works 40 of 46
- Product Differentiation: What It Is, How Businesses Do It, and the 3 Main Types 41 of 46
- Target Market: Definition, Purpose, Examples, Market Segments 42 of 46
- Outside Sales: What They are, How They Work 43 of 46
- What Is a Sales Lead? How It Works and Factors Affecting Quality 44 of 46
- Indirect Sales: What it is, How it Works 45 of 46
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Entrepreneurship Report, Business Plan
2019, Entrepreneurship, Business Plan
An executive summary is a general overview. Its purpose is to summarize, organize the key points of the business plan for the readers and saving them time while preparing them for upcoming content. It must be clear, short and concise. When seeking new partners, business loans or funding it sums up the business plan and opportunity in a tight document. "This is your key to getting more capital. Only an effective one will unlock that door or get commercial lenders or investors to give you any more attention" According to the author Alejandro Cremades. It states what problem is the product/service is going to solve. In which market, is the solution will be proposed and a brief about the state of the competition in this market, it include also some financial highlights. This business plan is about a new company "ChatFabrica" a solution provider for businesses that want an alternative for traditional customer support and communication tools. Companies are investing heavily to have a consistent and effective help center that can respond to customer requests at anytime so our agency will provide this bot through Artificial Intelligence so businesses can offer a unique experience through interaction with their customers. The market isn't crowded for now and the companies able to propose chatbots aren't numerous, the competition is a little bit aggressive. A chatbot is a computer-based program designed to simulate a conversation with human users especially over the internet. The chatbot market will be valued about $2.2B in 2024 compared to $357M in 2017. Our funding will be from a joint venture with Creative Virtual Ltd one of the key players in the global chatbot market along with Nuance Communications Codebaby, Anboto, Inbenta Technologies Inc, and Aivo. The use of Chatbot is segmented in two-part, Web-based and Mobile-based. Our competitive advantage remains in an online sale, that don't require any business owner to relocate, our chatbot effectiveness is higher because of the cognitive support provided by our specialists that result into a compelling customer experience. Profitability will be positive from the 1 st Quarter of the next year, while always searching for funds to expand our teams and evolve our technology.
Studies in Media and Communication
Andreas Veglis , Theodora A . Maniou
With the advent of Web 2.0, new forms of journalism arose, paving the way for the implementation of computational and automatization processes in all aspects of mass communication. As such, chatbots have already been adapted in the news media platforms bringing forward a series of issues and effects upon journalistic narrative, content and professional practices. This paper presents the role of chatbots and their characteristics, discusses the application of different types of chatbots in the news media and presents a theoretical overview of the advantages and disadvantages regarding their adaptation in journalism, as well as key ethical concerns connected to the emergence of this new journalistic narrative.
In: Kompatsiaris I. et al. (eds) Internet Science. INSCI 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10673. Springer, Cham
Petter Bae Brandtzaeg
There is a growing interest in chatbots, which are machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces for data and service providers. However, no studies have empirically investigated people's motivations for using chatbots. In this study, an online questionnaire asked chatbot users (N = 146, aged 16–55 years) from the US to report their reasons for using chatbots. The study identifies key motivational factors driving chatbot use. The most frequently reported moti-vational factor is " productivity " ; chatbots help users to obtain timely and efficient assistance or information. Chatbot users also reported motivations pertaining to entertainment, social and relational factors, and curiosity about what they view as a novel phenomenon. The findings are discussed in terms of the uses and gratifications theory, and they provide insight into why people choose to interact with automated agents online. The findings can help developers facilitate better hu-man–chatbot interaction experiences in the future. Possible design guidelines are suggested, reflecting different chatbot user motivations.
Giuliano Gaia , Ann Borda , Pietro Cuomo
Chatbots have caught the headlines recently with businesses starting to adopt them to stimulate conversation with customers. But what are chatbots? How do they work? What can they do for museums and their audiences?
Zeitschrift für Tourismuswissenschaft
Companies from the travel, tourism and hospitality industry have started adopting robots, artificial intelligence and service automation technologies (RAISA) in their operations. Self-check-in kiosks, robotic pool cleaners, delivery robots, robot concierges, chatbots, etc., are used increasingly by tourism companies and transform the ways they create and deliver services. This paper investigates the impact of RAISA technologies on travel, tourism and hospitality companies – their operations, facilities design, marketing, supply chain management, human resource management, and financial management. The paper emphasises that in the future companies will divide into two large segments – high-tech tourism companies offering standardized cheap robot-delivered services, and high-touch companies, which rely on human employees.
Chatbots have been around for decades. However, the real buzz around this technology did not start until the spring of 2016. Reasons for the sudden renewed interest in chatbots include massive advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and a major usage shift from online social networks to mobile-messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Kik, and Viber. The first of these reasons holds promise that intelligent chatbots may well be within reach. The second concerns service providers' need to reach users in the context of mobile messaging. However, in spite of these drivers, current chatbot applications suggest that conversational user interfaces still face substantial challenges, generally speaking, as well as for the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Chatbots imply not only a change in the interface between users and technology; they also imply changing user dynamics and patterns of use.
British Journal of Marketing Studies
An unprecedented explosion of innovation in the areas of big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, block-chains, self-driving cars, and mobile services has made changes permanent with higher customer expectations and growing switching loyalty to new products and services. The central question addressed by the study is how the digital fragmentation is disrupting the global business environment for new product growth, customer experiences and marketing innovation in supporting marketing decisions. This study used qualitative content analysis methodology and relied on recent marketing research articles, case studies, and digital analytics surveys. The findings of the study contribute to the evolving discussion on how the innovative digital globalization powered by free-flowing data with evolving customer experiences is giving way to the success of the new product. The final sections provide directions for future digital innovation, the customer experience research and product marketing success, with significant implications for academicians, practitioners, and policymakers.
Ann Borda , Giuliano Gaia
This paper explores how chatbots can offer opportunities for museums and galleries in engaging their audiences through recent developments, and through a case study approach focusing on the design and implementation of an audience development pilot in Milan involving four historic house museums (Case Museo di Milano). The pilot aimed to find new and interesting ways to engage teenagers in visiting these museums through visualising narrative using a convergence of chatbot technology and gamification.
As the technology is advancing, businesses need to apply it in solving some of the problems it is undergoing. in this businesses, customers are found at a fix carrying their shopping. However, with the help of the technology, they able to use the given app to solve such problems.
The purpose of this research is to analyze factors that influence millennial’s technology acceptance of chatbot in the banking industry in Indonesia. In this quantitative research, innovativeness is the exogenous variable, while the endogenous variables are perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude towards using and behavioral intention. This research used primary data gathered from distributed questionnaires, directly from the millennial people in Indonesia. Using simple random sampling technique to total sample of 400 people out of the total population of 90 million people. Statistical analysis in this research is conducted using Partial Least Square Structural Equation Model (PLS–SEM). The result shows that innovativeness, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and attitude towards using the chatbot affected behavioral intention
Operation Management is very important disciplined in production and service sector business to prosper. This paper discussed the three important strategic dimensions as design good services, quality management and supply chain management of the world giant digital company Microsoft Corporation. The study found that Microsoft has correctly handled the strategic areas of operation management and well manage them. Especially Microsoft used the right blend of human resources and advance technology for success especially artificial intelligence and industry 4.0. Microsoft processing strong strength areas such as the leader in the cloud business, highest global presence, a large number of product portfolios and brand equity are some strong area. To compare and contrast the 4Vs concept with Microsoft, the researcher has selected it is one of the closest competitor International Business Machines (IBM) corporation and found both of the performing very well in the industry having its individual culture and highly recognized their flagship brand due to own identity.
Asian Social Science
Rome, IAI, June 2019, 20 p. (IAI Papers ; 19|13), ISBN 978-88-9368-105-6
Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) , nicola bilotta , Simone Romano
Student Personal Assistant using Machine Learning
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CHI '19 Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Maria Roussou , Sara Perry , Angeliki Tzouganatou , Sierra McKinney
Journal of Applied Structural Equation Modeling
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What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates
Published: June 07, 2023
In an era where more than 20% of small enterprises fail in their first year, having a clear, defined, and well-thought-out business plan is a crucial first step for setting up a business for long-term success.
Business plans are a required tool for all entrepreneurs, business owners, business acquirers, and even business school students. But … what exactly is a business plan?
In this post, we'll explain what a business plan is, the reasons why you'd need one, identify different types of business plans, and what you should include in yours.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a documented strategy for a business that highlights its goals and its plans for achieving them. It outlines a company's go-to-market plan, financial projections, market research, business purpose, and mission statement. Key staff who are responsible for achieving the goals may also be included in the business plan along with a timeline.
The business plan is an undeniably critical component to getting any company off the ground. It's key to securing financing, documenting your business model, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality.
What is a business plan used for?
The purpose of a business plan is three-fold: It summarizes the organization’s strategy in order to execute it long term, secures financing from investors, and helps forecast future business demands.
Business Plan Template [ Download Now ]
Working on your business plan? Try using our Business Plan Template . Pre-filled with the sections a great business plan needs, the template will give aspiring entrepreneurs a feel for what a business plan is, what should be in it, and how it can be used to establish and grow a business from the ground up.
Purposes of a Business Plan
Chances are, someone drafting a business plan will be doing so for one or more of the following reasons:
1. Securing financing from investors.
Since its contents revolve around how businesses succeed, break even, and turn a profit, a business plan is used as a tool for sourcing capital. This document is an entrepreneur's way of showing potential investors or lenders how their capital will be put to work and how it will help the business thrive.
All banks, investors, and venture capital firms will want to see a business plan before handing over their money, and investors typically expect a 10% ROI or more from the capital they invest in a business.
Therefore, these investors need to know if — and when — they'll be making their money back (and then some). Additionally, they'll want to read about the process and strategy for how the business will reach those financial goals, which is where the context provided by sales, marketing, and operations plans come into play.
2. Documenting a company's strategy and goals.
A business plan should leave no stone unturned.
Business plans can span dozens or even hundreds of pages, affording their drafters the opportunity to explain what a business' goals are and how the business will achieve them.
To show potential investors that they've addressed every question and thought through every possible scenario, entrepreneurs should thoroughly explain their marketing, sales, and operations strategies — from acquiring a physical location for the business to explaining a tactical approach for marketing penetration.
These explanations should ultimately lead to a business' break-even point supported by a sales forecast and financial projections, with the business plan writer being able to speak to the why behind anything outlined in the plan.
Free Business Plan [Template]
Fill out the form to access your free business plan., 3. legitimizing a business idea..
Everyone's got a great idea for a company — until they put pen to paper and realize that it's not exactly feasible.
A business plan is an aspiring entrepreneur's way to prove that a business idea is actually worth pursuing.
As entrepreneurs document their go-to-market process, capital needs, and expected return on investment, entrepreneurs likely come across a few hiccups that will make them second guess their strategies and metrics — and that's exactly what the business plan is for.
It ensures an entrepreneur's ducks are in a row before bringing their business idea to the world and reassures the readers that whoever wrote the plan is serious about the idea, having put hours into thinking of the business idea, fleshing out growth tactics, and calculating financial projections.
4. Getting an A in your business class.
Speaking from personal experience, there's a chance you're here to get business plan ideas for your Business 101 class project.
If that's the case, might we suggest checking out this post on How to Write a Business Plan — providing a section-by-section guide on creating your plan?
What does a business plan need to include?
- Business Plan Subtitle
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- The Business Opportunity
- Competitive Analysis
- Target Market
- Marketing Plan
- Financial Summary
- Funding Requirements
1. Business Plan Subtitle
Every great business plan starts with a captivating title and subtitle. You’ll want to make it clear that the document is, in fact, a business plan, but the subtitle can help tell the story of your business in just a short sentence.
2. Executive Summary
Although this is the last part of the business plan that you’ll write, it’s the first section (and maybe the only section) that stakeholders will read. The executive summary of a business plan sets the stage for the rest of the document. It includes your company’s mission or vision statement, value proposition, and long-term goals.
3. Company Description
This brief part of your business plan will detail your business name, years in operation, key offerings, and positioning statement. You might even add core values or a short history of the company. The company description’s role in a business plan is to introduce your business to the reader in a compelling and concise way.
4. The Business Opportunity
The business opportunity should convince investors that your organization meets the needs of the market in a way that no other company can. This section explains the specific problem your business solves within the marketplace and how it solves them. It will include your value proposition as well as some high-level information about your target market.
5. Competitive Analysis
Just about every industry has more than one player in the market. Even if your business owns the majority of the market share in your industry or your business concept is the first of its kind, you still have competition. In the competitive analysis section, you’ll take an objective look at the industry landscape to determine where your business fits. A SWOT analysis is an organized way to format this section.
6. Target Market
Who are the core customers of your business and why? The target market portion of your business plan outlines this in detail. The target market should explain the demographics, psychographics, behavioristics, and geographics of the ideal customer.
7. Marketing Plan
Marketing is expansive, and it’ll be tempting to cover every type of marketing possible, but a brief overview of how you’ll market your unique value proposition to your target audience, followed by a tactical plan will suffice.
Think broadly and narrow down from there: Will you focus on a slow-and-steady play where you make an upfront investment in organic customer acquisition? Or will you generate lots of quick customers using a pay-to-play advertising strategy? This kind of information should guide the marketing plan section of your business plan.
8. Financial Summary
Money doesn’t grow on trees and even the most digital, sustainable businesses have expenses. Outlining a financial summary of where your business is currently and where you’d like it to be in the future will substantiate this section. Consider including any monetary information that will give potential investors a glimpse into the financial health of your business. Assets, liabilities, expenses, debt, investments, revenue, and more are all useful adds here.
So, you’ve outlined some great goals, the business opportunity is valid, and the industry is ready for what you have to offer. Who’s responsible for turning all this high-level talk into results? The "team" section of your business plan answers that question by providing an overview of the roles responsible for each goal. Don’t worry if you don’t have every team member on board yet, knowing what roles to hire for is helpful as you seek funding from investors.
10. Funding Requirements
Remember that one of the goals of a business plan is to secure funding from investors, so you’ll need to include funding requirements you’d like them to fulfill. The amount your business needs, for what reasons, and for how long will meet the requirement for this section.
Types of Business Plans
- Startup Business Plan
- Feasibility Business Plan
- Internal Business Plan
- Strategic Business Plan
- Business Acquisition Plan
- Business Repositioning Plan
- Expansion or Growth Business Plan
There’s no one size fits all business plan as there are several types of businesses in the market today. From startups with just one founder to historic household names that need to stay competitive, every type of business needs a business plan that’s tailored to its needs. Below are a few of the most common types of business plans.
For even more examples, check out these sample business plans to help you write your own .
1. Startup Business Plan
As one of the most common types of business plans, a startup business plan is for new business ideas. This plan lays the foundation for the eventual success of a business.
The biggest challenge with the startup business plan is that it’s written completely from scratch. Startup business plans often reference existing industry data. They also explain unique business strategies and go-to-market plans.
Because startup business plans expand on an original idea, the contents will vary by the top priority goals.
For example, say a startup is looking for funding. If capital is a priority, this business plan might focus more on financial projections than marketing or company culture.
2. Feasibility Business Plan
This type of business plan focuses on a single essential aspect of the business — the product or service. It may be part of a startup business plan or a standalone plan for an existing organization. This comprehensive plan may include:
- A detailed product description
- Market analysis
- Technology needs
- Production needs
- Financial sources
- Production operations
According to CBInsights research, 35% of startups fail because of a lack of market need. Another 10% fail because of mistimed products.
Some businesses will complete a feasibility study to explore ideas and narrow product plans to the best choice. They conduct these studies before completing the feasibility business plan. Then the feasibility plan centers on that one product or service.
3. Internal Business Plan
Internal business plans help leaders communicate company goals, strategy, and performance. This helps the business align and work toward objectives more effectively.
Besides the typical elements in a startup business plan, an internal business plan may also include:
- Department-specific budgets
- Target demographic analysis
- Market size and share of voice analysis
- Action plans
- Sustainability plans
Most external-facing business plans focus on raising capital and support for a business. But an internal business plan helps keep the business mission consistent in the face of change.
4. Strategic Business Plan
Strategic business plans focus on long-term objectives for your business. They usually cover the first three to five years of operations. This is different from the typical startup business plan which focuses on the first one to three years. The audience for this plan is also primarily internal stakeholders.
These types of business plans may include:
- Relevant data and analysis
- Assessments of company resources
- Vision and mission statements
It's important to remember that, while many businesses create a strategic plan before launching, some business owners just jump in. So, this business plan can add value by outlining how your business plans to reach specific goals. This type of planning can also help a business anticipate future challenges.
5. Business Acquisition Plan
Investors use business plans to acquire existing businesses, too — not just new businesses.
A business acquisition plan may include costs, schedules, or management requirements. This data will come from an acquisition strategy.
A business plan for an existing company will explain:
- How an acquisition will change its operating model
- What will stay the same under new ownership
- Why things will change or stay the same
- Acquisition planning documentation
- Timelines for acquisition
Additionally, the business plan should speak to the current state of the business and why it's up for sale.
For example, if someone is purchasing a failing business, the business plan should explain why the business is being purchased. It should also include:
- What the new owner will do to turn the business around
- Historic business metrics
- Sales projections after the acquisition
- Justification for those projections
6. Business Repositioning Plan
When a business wants to avoid acquisition, reposition its brand, or try something new, CEOs or owners will develop a business repositioning plan.
This plan will:
- Acknowledge the current state of the company.
- State a vision for the future of the company.
- Explain why the business needs to reposition itself.
- Outline a process for how the company will adjust.
Companies planning for a business reposition often do so — proactively or retroactively — due to a shift in market trends and customer needs.
For example, shoe brand AllBirds plans to refocus its brand on core customers and shift its go-to-market strategy. These decisions are a reaction to lackluster sales following product changes and other missteps.
7. Expansion or Growth Business Plan
When your business is ready to expand, a growth business plan creates a useful structure for reaching specific targets.
For example, a successful business expanding into another location can use a growth business plan. This is because it may also mean the business needs to focus on a new target market or generate more capital.
This type of plan usually covers the next year or two of growth. It often references current sales, revenue, and successes. It may also include:
- SWOT analysis
- Growth opportunity studies
- Financial goals and plans
- Marketing plans
- Capability planning
These types of business plans will vary by business, but they can help businesses quickly rally around new priorities to drive growth.
Getting Started With Your Business Plan
At the end of the day, a business plan is simply an explanation of a business idea and why it will be successful. The more detail and thought you put into it, the more successful your plan — and the business it outlines — will be.
When writing your business plan, you’ll benefit from extensive research, feedback from your team or board of directors, and a solid template to organize your thoughts. If you need one of these, download HubSpot's Free Business Plan Template below to get started.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Do you REALLY need a business plan?
The top three questions that I get asked most frequently as a professional business plan writer will probably not surprise you:
- What is the purpose of a business plan – why is it really required?
- How is it going to benefit my business if I write a business plan?
- Is a business plan really that important – how can I actually use it?
Keep reading to get my take on what the most essential advantages of preparing a business plan are—and why you may (not) need to prepare one.
The importance, purpose and benefit of a business plan is in that it enables you to validate a business idea, secure funding, set strategic goals – and then take organized action on those goals by making decisions, managing resources, risk and change, while effectively communicating with stakeholders.
Let’s take a closer look at how each of the important business planning benefits can catapult your business forward:
1. Validate Your Business Idea
The process of writing your business plan will force you to ask the difficult questions about the major components of your business, including:
- External: industry, target market of prospective customers, competitive landscape
- Internal: business model, unique selling proposition, operations, marketing, finance
Business planning connects the dots to draw a big picture of the entire business.
And imagine how much time and money you would save if working through a business plan revealed that your business idea is untenable. You would be surprised how often that happens – an idea that once sounded so very promising may easily fall apart after you actually write down all the facts, details and numbers.
While you may be tempted to jump directly into start-up mode, writing a business plan is an essential first step to check the feasibility of a business before investing too much time and money into it. Business plans help to confirm that the idea you are so passionate and convinced about is solid from business point of view.
Take the time to do the necessary research and work through a proper business plan. The more you know, the higher the likelihood that your business will succeed.
2. Set and Track Goals
Successful businesses are dynamic and continuously evolve. And so are good business plans that allow you to:
- Priorities: Regularly set goals, targets (e.g., sales revenues reached), milestones (e.g. number of employees hired), performance indicators and metrics for short, mid and long term
- Accountability: Track your progress toward goals and benchmarks
- Course-correction: make changes to your business as you learn more about your market and what works and what does not
- Mission: Refer to a clear set of values to help steer your business through any times of trouble
Essentially, business plan is a blueprint and an important strategic tool that keeps you focused, motivated and accountable to keep your business on track. When used properly and consulted regularly, it can help you measure and manage what you are working so hard to create – your long-term vision.
As humans, we work better when we have clear goals we can work towards. The everyday business hustle makes it challenging to keep an eye on the strategic priorities. The business planning process serves as a useful reminder.
3. Take Action
A business plan is also a plan of action . At its core, your plan identifies where you are now, where you want your business to go, and how you will get there.
Planning out exactly how you are going to turn your vision into a successful business is perhaps the most important step between an idea and reality. Success comes not only from having a vision but working towards that vision in a systematic and organized way.
A good business plan clearly outlines specific steps necessary to turn the business objectives into reality. Think of it as a roadmap to success. The strategy and tactics need to be in alignment to make sure that your day-to-day activities lead to the achievement of your business goals.
4. Manage Resources
A business plan also provides insight on how resources required for achieving your business goals will be structured and allocated according to their strategic priority. For example:
Large Spending Decisions
- Assets: When and in what amount will the business commit resources to buy/lease new assets, such as computers or vehicles.
- Human Resources: Objectives for hiring new employees, including not only their pay but how they will help the business grow and flourish.
- Business Space: Information on costs of renting/buying space for offices, retail, manufacturing or other operations, for example when expanding to a new location.
Cash Flow It is essential that a business carefully plans and manages cash flows to ensure that there are optimal levels of cash in the bank at all times and avoid situations where the business could run out of cash and could not afford to pay its bills.
Revenues v. Expenses In addition, your business plan will compare your revenue forecasts to the budgeted costs to make sure that your financials are healthy and the business is set up for success.
5. Make Decisions
Whether you are starting a small business or expanding an existing one, a business plan is an important tool to help guide your decisions:
Sound decisions Gathering information for the business plan boosts your knowledge across many important areas of the business:
- Industry, market, customers and competitors
- Financial projections (e.g., revenue, expenses, assets, cash flow)
- Operations, technology and logistics
- Human resources (management and staff)
- Creating value for your customer through products and services
Decision-making skills The business planning process involves thorough research and critical thinking about many intertwined and complex business issues. As a result, it solidifies the decision-making skills of the business owner and builds a solid foundation for strategic planning , prioritization and sound decision making in your business. The more you understand, the better your decisions will be.
Planning Thorough planning allows you to determine the answer to some of the most critical business decisions ahead of time , prepare for anticipate problems before they arise, and ensure that any tactical solutions are in line with the overall strategy and goals.
If you do not take time to plan, you risk becoming overwhelmed by countless options and conflicting directions because you are not unclear about the mission , vision and strategy for your business.
6. Manage Risk
Some level of uncertainty is inherent in every business, but there is a lot you can do to reduce and manage the risk, starting with a business plan to uncover your weak spots.
You will need to take a realistic and pragmatic look at the hard facts and identify:
- Major risks , challenges and obstacles that you can expect on the way – so you can prepare to deal with them.
- Weaknesses in your business idea, business model and strategy – so you can fix them.
- Critical mistakes before they arise – so you can avoid them.
Essentially, the business plan is your safety net . Naturally, business plan cannot entirely eliminate risk, but it can significantly reduce it and prepare you for any challenges you may encounter.
7. Communicate Internally
Attract talent For a business to succeed, attracting talented workers and partners is of vital importance.
A business plan can be used as a communication tool to attract the right talent at all levels, from skilled staff to executive management, to work for your business by explaining the direction and growth potential of the business in a presentable format.
Align performance Sharing your business plan with all team members helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the long-term vision and strategy.
You need their buy-in from the beginning, because aligning your team with your priorities will increase the efficiency of your business as everyone is working towards a common goal .
If everyone on your team understands that their piece of work matters and how it fits into the big picture, they are more invested in achieving the objectives of the business.
It also makes it easier to track and communicate on your progress.
Share and explain business objectives with your management team, employees and new hires. Make selected portions of your business plan part of your new employee training.
8. Communicate Externally
Alliances If you are interested in partnerships or joint ventures, you may share selected sections of your plan with the potential business partners in order to develop new alliances.
Suppliers A business plan can play a part in attracting reliable suppliers and getting approved for business credit from suppliers. Suppliers who feel confident that your business will succeed (e.g., sales projections) will be much more likely to extend credit.
In addition, suppliers may want to ensure their products are being represented in the right way .
Professional Services Having a business plan in place allows you to easily share relevant sections with those you rely on to support the organization, including attorneys, accountants, and other professional consultants as needed, to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Advisors Share the plan with experts and professionals who are in a position to give you valuable advice.
Landlord Some landlords and property managers require businesses to submit a business plan to be considered for a lease to prove that your business will have sufficient cash flows to pay the rent.
Customers The business plan may also function as a prospectus for potential customers, especially when it comes to large corporate accounts and exclusive customer relationships.
9. Secure Funding
If you intend to seek outside financing for your business, you are likely going to need a business plan.
Whether you are seeking debt financing (e.g. loan or credit line) from a lender (e.g., bank or financial institution) or equity capital financing from investors (e.g., venture or angel capital), a business plan can make the difference between whether or not – and how much – someone decides to invest.
Investors and financiers are always looking at the risk of default and the earning potential based on facts and figures. Understandably, anyone who is interested in supporting your business will want to check that you know what you are doing, that their money is in good hands, and that the venture is viable in the long run.
Business plans tend to be the most effective ways of proving that. A presentation may pique their interest , but they will most probably request a well-written document they can study in detail before they will be prepared to make any financial commitment.
That is why a business plan can often be the single most important document you can present to potential investors/financiers that will provide the structure and confidence that they need to make decisions about funding and supporting your company.
Be prepared to have your business plan scrutinized . Investors and financiers will conduct extensive checks and analyses to be certain that what is written in your business plan faithful representation of the truth.
10. Grow and Change
It is a very common misconception that a business plan is a static document that a new business prepares once in the start-up phase and then happily forgets about.
But businesses are not static. And neither are business plans. The business plan for any business will change over time as the company evolves and expands .
In the growth phase, an updated business plan is particularly useful for:
Raising additional capital for expansion
- Seeking financing for new assets , such as equipment or property
- Securing financing to support steady cash flows (e.g., seasonality, market downturns, timing of sale/purchase invoices)
- Forecasting to allocate resources according to strategic priority and operational needs
- Valuation (e.g., mergers & acquisitions, tax issues, transactions related to divorce, inheritance, estate planning)
Keeping the business plan updated gives established businesses better chance of getting the money they need to grow or even keep operating.
Business plan is also an excellent tool for planning an exit as it would include the strategy and timelines for a transfer to new ownership or dissolution of the company.
Also, if you ever make the decision to sell your business or position yourself for a merger or an acquisition , a strong business plan in hand is going to help you to maximize the business valuation.
Valuation is the process of establishing the worth of a business by a valuation expert who will draw on professional experience as well as a business plan that will outline what you have, what it’s worth now and how much will it likely produce in the future.
Your business is likely to be worth more to a buyer if they clearly understand your business model, your market, your assets and your overall potential to grow and scale .
Business plan purpose: what is the purpose of a business plan.
The purpose of a business plan is to articulate a strategy for starting a new business or growing an existing one by identifying where the business is going and how it will get there to test the viability of a business idea and maximize the chances of securing funding and achieving business goals and success.
Business Plan Benefits: What are the benefits of a business plan?
A business plan benefits businesses by serving as a strategic tool outlining the steps and resources required to achieve goals and make business ideas succeed, as well as a communication tool allowing businesses to articulate their strategy to stakeholders that support the business.
Business Plan Importance: Why is business plan important?
The importance of a business plan lies in it being a roadmap that guides the decisions of a business on the road to success, providing clarity on all aspects of its operations. This blueprint outlines the goals of the business and what exactly is needed to achieve them through effective management.
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Planning, Startups, Stories
Tim berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime., 10 benefits of business planning for all businesses.
(Note: I posted this Wednesday on the Small Business Administration’s Industry Word blog, where I am a guest expert. I’m reposting it here because it seems appropriate. View the original .)
And I’d like to point out that none of these benefits require a big formal business plan document. A lean business plan (as in What Business Plan Type is Best for Me) is usually enough. It takes an hour or two to do the first plan, then just an hour or two to review and revise monthly.
Here are those top ten benefits.
- See the whole business . Business planning done right connects the dots in your business so you get a better picture of the whole. Strategy is supposed to relate to tactics with strategic alignment. Does that show up in your plan? Do your sales connect to your sales and marketing expenses? Are your products right for your target market? Are you covering costs including long-term fixed costs, product development, and working capital needs as well? Take a step back and look at the larger picture.
- Strategic Focus . Startups and small business need to focus on their special identities, their target markets, and their products or services tailored to match.
- Set priorities . You can’t do everything. Business planning helps you keep track of the right things, and the most important things. Allocate your time, effort, and resources strategically.
- Manage change . With good planning process you regularly review assumptions, track progress, and catch new developments so you can adjust. Plan vs. actual analysis is a dashboard, and adjusting the plan is steering.
- Develop accountability . Good planning process sets expectations and tracks results. It’s a tool for regular review of what’s expected and what happened. Good work shows up. Disappointments show up too. A well-run monthly plan review with plan vs. actual included becomes an impromptu review of tasks and accomplishments.
- Manage cash . Good business planning connects the dots in cash flow. Sometimes just watching profits is enough. But when sales on account, physical products, purchasing assets, or repaying debts are involved, cash flow takes planning and management. Profitable businesses suffer when slow-paying clients or too much inventory constipate cash flow. A plan helps you see the problem and adjust to it.
- Strategic alignment . Does your day-to-day work fit with your main business tactics? Do those tactics match your strategy? If so, you have strategic alignment. If not, the business planning will bring up the hidden mismatches. For example, if you run a gourmet restaurant that has a drive-through window, you’re out of alignment.
- Milestones . Good business planning sets milestones you can work towards. These are key goals you want to achieve, like reaching a defined sales level, hiring that sales manager, or opening the new location. We’re human. We work better when we have visible goals we can work towards.
- Metrics . Put your performance indicators and numbers to track into a business plan where you can see them monthly in the plan review meeting. Figure out the numbers that matter. Sales and expenses usually do, but there are also calls, trips, seminars, web traffic, conversion rates, returns, and so forth. Use your business planning to define and track the key metrics.
- Realistic regular reminders to keep on track . We all want to do everything for our customers, but sometimes we need to push back to maintain quality and strategic focus. It’s hard, during the heat of the everyday routine, to remember the priorities and focus. The business planning process becomes a regular reminder.
These tips are great for beginners .
This article is a must-read for anyone looking to start their own business. It covers the basics of what it takes to get started with your future in mind!
Great article and very well written! Keep up the good work!
Either starting a business or just collaborating for a gig, It is very important to have a likewise mindset partner. And especially we are into supply and manufacturing which you explained very well.
This is an insightful read for young entrepreneurs. We understand the value of content.
I have personally never been able to plan or organize things without penning them down on a piece of paper. It helps me visualize things in a better way. Also, seeing things written down in front of me helps connect the dots. A great article and absolutely in line with my perspective. Cheers!
Wow, I had never considered the fact that business planning can help you keep track of the most important things and prioritize them. My entire life I have strived to be an organized person, and I think it is a good skill to have when it comes to a professional career. Do you know how often one should revise a plan in order to make corrections according to new circumstances and opportunities?
@Sam, generally once a month, but it depends on the nature and specifics of the business. Some can last 2-3 months without review … and you don’t necessarily correct every time you review the plan. Thanks for asking.
Thank you very much for helping the world to understand the genesis of how to plan business and make it reality in life. Business is made by minded person with great and love.
Hi Tim I appreciate you for writing this article,it has really helped me understand the importance of planning and how vital it is to a business and now to me planning is like the foundation of each and every business,keep up with the good work.
Very useful article and very well written. A business plan is important for every person who is planning to start a business because of the mentioned benefits in the article. Thanks for sharing it.
I was looking for the full list of books you recommend in each of these categories, but the link at the end of the article doesn’t seem to be working. I’m particularly interested in good “Applied Statistics” and “Statistical Analysis” books, if that helps. Could you point me to the list with your recommendations?
Sorry, all four links at the bottom of the article work for me, so I can’t help you with links. The closest thing I have to a list of book recommendations is the blog category books here on this blog, which is a list of blog posts about books, most of which are books I recommend. But I have no recommendations for books related to applied statistics or statistical analysis, that’s not my expertise.
That is really interesting that business planning can help you catch new developments and adjust. Something I have been thinking about lately is starting an online business. It has been something that seems to do well for others, and I want to find the opportunities.
I like how you said that business planning helps you keep track of the important stuff. That seems like a really important thing to do because it would allow you to progress more. Focusing on the necessary and essential would really mean that you could do more and accomplish more it seems to me.
Very good summary. I think one great benefit of developing/using Business Plans is that it will give you the chance of training your mindset and exercise the forrest-tree approach. One of the key elements of the BP is to drill down from the overall defined strategy, down to the critical success factors and define metrics to achieve them. As you gain experience, this way of thinking will become more and more embedded and I honestly believe it will help you be a more analytical person i.e. be able to better build BP’s. That is obviously my opinion, some people might argue.
Thanks again Antonio
Thank you Antonio for the welcome addition. I agree with you, another great benefit is the drilling down with the forest-tree thinking. Thanks for adding that. Tim
Hi Tim I couldn’t agree more. I could weep at the networking meetings I go to when I ask how many businesses have business plans and only my hand goes up (and those of my clients :-)) It’s how to persuade them that this really is an important thing to do when they think they are poddling along quite happily now. I’ve tried waving my plan at them and telling them it just got me a £1k grant and if they want a grant too, come to me and I’ll help them! The lot of a decent business coach/consultant can be a frustrating one 🙂
Thanks Karen, and I hope you emphasize the “coach” element in your practice, so that your clients always understand that it’s something they do, with you helping. Check out this one: https://timberry.bplans.com/2007/07/my-worst-ever-b.html (still very valid today).
And thanks for your addition. Glad to have you here.
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3 Best SMART Goal Examples and How To Achieve Them SMART goals create an action plan to help you reach your goals. Read on to learn how to develop and achieve your own SMART goals.
By Entrepreneur Staff • Jun 1, 2023
Everyone has goals in life that they want to achieve either in their personal or professional lives. But once you have set a goal, how do you achieve it?
Continue reading for everything you need to know about SMART goals and the steps you can take to help achieve yours.
What is a SMART goal?
So you know what a goal is, but what is a SMART goal ?
SMART is an acronym first termed by George T. Doran in 1981 that helps you narrow down the steps that are necessary for helping you to achieve your goal.
The SMART acronym stands for the following criteria:
- Specific: You have a clear and concise goal you are working towards.
- Measurable: You have particular criteria that help measure progress and how close you are to attaining your goal.
- Achievable: Your goal is realistic and is not impossible to reach.
- Realistic: It is an attainable goal and fits into your life plan.
- Timely: Your goal has a clear time frame which includes a beginning and due date to help create a sense of urgency. This allows you to implement efficient time management processes to achieve your goal.
Related: What Are SMART Goals and How Can You Set and Achieve Them? | Entrepreneur
What is a specific SMART goal?
Now that you know what a SMART goal is, it is essential to take it a step further and make it a specific SMART goal. Specific SMART goals have a much higher chance of actually being achieved.
To create a specific SMART goal, the following five "W" questions need to be considered:
- Who: Who is part of the goal?
- What: What exactly do you want to accomplish?
- Where: Where is this goal going to take place and be achieved?
- When: When do you want to accomplish this goal?
- Why: Why do you want to succeed with this goal?
An example of a specific SMART goal is "I want to lose weight."
To make this a specific SMART goal, it would be "I want to become a member of the gym down the block from my home and work out five days a week to get in better shape."
Related: Use This Acronym to Create and Complete S.M.A.R.T. Goals | Entrepreneur
Why are SMART goals important?
SMART goals are essential, as they help you focus on what you want to achieve and create a step-by-step plan on how to achieve them.
In fact, some research found that 76% of participants who wrote down their goals , created a step-by-step plan and did weekly check-ins with a friend achieved their goals. That is 33% higher than those who didn't.
Related: The 5 Golden Rules of Goal-Setting | Entrepreneur
How do you create a SMART goal?
There are five steps you can take to create your SMART goal-setting plan. Here's a detailed description of these steps to help put you on the path to reaching your goals.
When writing your SMART goals, being as clear as possible is vital.
For example, if you work in the marketing industry, your job post likely centers around key performance indicators (KPIs).
In this case, you may want to choose a specific KPI or metric to improve. This improvement can include anything from visitors, leads or customers.
You also want to write down the names of team members working with you to achieve this goal.
Implement measurable goals
One key feature of SMART goals is that they should be measurable .
This is important as you need to be able to track your progress to see if the path you are currently on is working or not.
For example, instead of saying that you want to increase the traffic to your site by a certain date, be more specific and say you want to increase traffic by 25% by that date.
This way, you have a specific goal to measure your progress by.
Related: How to Set Measurable Goals and Achieve Maximum Success | Entrepreneur
Set realistic and achievable goals
An achievable goal takes into consideration the probability that you can actually achieve it .
It is imperative to choose relevant goals based on your own stats and not industry benchmarks so that they are realistic and achievable for you.
For example, if you wanted to increase your website traffic and have been seeing an increase of 5%, an achievable goal would be to increase traffic by eight to 10% rather than 25%.
This way, you are setting a realistic goal and not just setting yourself up for failure.
Related: Have a Plan, Not a Dream | How to Set Realistic Goals for Your New Business | Entrepreneur
Choose goals that fit your life plan
Choosing personal goals that fit into your life plan or business goals to help with your professional development is crucial.
Choosing goals that help promote a healthy work-life balance and fit into your overall life plan is important.
Choosing your own smart goals relevant to your lifestyle helps narrow your goals and makes you more aware of the factors you need to consider when figuring out what steps to take to achieve them.
Goals should be time-bound with a clear start and end date
A time-based SMART goal helps keep you on track and allows you to easily track progress toward your goal. When writing smart goals, it is vital to track your progress, which puts just enough pressure on yourself to accomplish them.
For example, instead of saying you want to increase traffic to your website by 8-10% each month, you would say you want to increase traffic by 8-10% and reach 70,000 visitors by the end of June.
Related: 8 Ways to Stay Accountable With Your Goals | Entrepreneur
4 Steps to help achieve your goals
There is no point in having a goal if you have no idea how to accomplish it. Once you've defined your goal, there are a few steps to take to help you stay on track .
A few reasons why SMART goals are important are because they:
- Help you create a clear goal rather than a vague one.
- They provide a way to track your progress toward your goal.
- They provide realistic and achievable objectives to work towards.
- They help reduce unnecessary steps that can waste time and take you farther from your goal.
- They help set a clear start and end date for achieving your goal.
Related: 5 Mindset Secrets to Achieve Your Goals Faster | Entrepreneur
1. Write your goals down
Writing down your goals and placing them somewhere you can regularly see them is crucial. If your goal includes team members, put it somewhere everyone can see it regularly.
Putting your goal down in writing helps make it more real and is an excellent reminder of what you are working towards.
2. Share your goals with others
When you share your goal with other people, it helps keep you accountable and enables you to avoid procrastination.
Once you have shared it with someone else, it is like committing yourself to work hard to achieve your goal. Just make sure that the people you share your goals with are supportive and will provide the encouragement you need instead of making you second guess yourself.
Related: Try This Trick to Help You Achieve Your Goals | Entrepreneur
3. Track your progress regularly
It is crucial to track your progress regularly. If it is a short-term goal, you may want to have a daily or weekly check-in to see how you are doing.
If it is a long-term goal you are working towards, you may want to constantly check in at the end of the month to see how you are progressing.
Depending on the time frame of your goal and who is involved, you may even want to have a check-in at the end of the year to see how things are progressing. Regular check-ins can help keep you on track and redirect you if your current work isn't working. It is better to figure out what isn't working sooner rather than later so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
4. Celebrate your accomplishments
When you accomplish a step toward your goal, celebrate it. You don't need to wait until your entire goal has been accomplished to celebrate your achievements.
If you notice you are making significant progress when you complete one of your check-ins, you must acknowledge that milestone and realize that all your hard work is paying off.
Related: Celebrate Milestone Successes To Maintain A Positive Work Environment | Entrepreneur
What are some examples of SMART goals?
Whether it be in your work or personal life, there are always goals you want to achieve.
Here are a few SMART goal examples to help you model your professional and personal goals after.
Related: When Looking for a Job, Know Your SMART Goals | Entrepreneur
You want to complete a specific work project
- Specific: You are experiencing much traffic from people on their mobile devices to your company website.
Unfortunately, your site isn't very responsive on mobile devices and customers don't have a good experience.
Your goal is to launch a mobile app by the end of the second quarter, which involves help from the software development, design and marketing teams.
- Measurable: Creating a mobile app may take a lot of time and resources.
To make it worth the time and money required, you want 60,000 people to install the app within six months of launching it.
- Achievable: All departments needed to create the app have signed on to help.
You can then focus on project management and set regular check-ins with all team members to ensure everyone is on the same page, that the workflow is running smoothly and that they are reaching their targets.
- Relevant: Being able to improve the customer experience for customers accessing your website on their mobile devices is the number one goal of your company by the end of next year.
- Time-Bound: To achieve 60,000 app installs within six months of launching, the app needs to be launched by June and an aggressive marketing campaign put in place that continues until the end of the year.
Related: How to Focus on Your Goals and Work More Efficiently | Entrepreneur
You want to improve your grades
- Specific: You received a failing grade on your last math exam.
To raise your grade, you need to improve your work with fractions.
You need to raise your grade in the next two months to pass the class.
- Measurable: Within two months, you need to be able to multiply and divide fractions.
You should be able to correctly answer and show your work regarding any questions you receive on an exam related to fractions.
- Achievable: Multiplying and dividing fractions is essential to passing the class and advancing your academic career.
You can hire a tutor and set time aside daily to work on multiplying and dividing fractions to help improve your skill set. You can also ask fellow students for help if needed.
- Relevant: Passing math is required to progress to the next step of your academic career.
You are working hard towards your academic goals and need to pass math to achieve your end goal.
- Time-Bound: In two months, you should be able to multiply and divide fractions with minimal to no errors.
You want to be comfortable working with fractions to pass the class easily.
Related: 10 Habits That Help You Learn Twice as Fast | Entrepreneur
You want to improve your health
- Specific: Your doctor suggested you lose weight to help lower your blood pressure. They have recommended you add physical exercise to your daily routine to lose 10 pounds.
You want 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise daily to help you lose 10 pounds in two months.
- Measurable: Within two months, you want to lose 10 pounds and reach your daily exercise goal of 30 minutes of moderate activity.
To help keep you on track, you will log your daily activity in a journal and do weekly weigh-ins.
- Achievable: Being able to lose 10 pounds and lower your blood pressure is essential to your physical well-being.
You will add 30 minutes of physical exercise every day by taking a brisk walk at lunch in the park close to your workplace.
- Relevant: Losing 10 pounds and increasing your daily physical activity is critical in helping to lower your blood pressure.
You are working hard to improve your health and overall well-being and need to lower your blood pressure.
- Time-Bound: In two months, you want to have lost 10 pounds, added 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise to your daily routine and lowered your blood pressure.
You want to be more physically fit and on your way to a healthier life.
Related: 9 Proven Ways to Lose Weight for Busy People | Entrepreneur
SMART goals can be life-changing
Implementing SMART goals can help you focus on the things in life that matter to you.
Taking the time to identify your goals and incorporate the steps above to create your own SMART action plan is key.
By simply defining your goals, creating a step-by-step plan to achieve them and putting in the hard work needed, you can be well on your way to achieving your SMART goals and changing your life for the better.
Check out Entrepreneur's other guides and articles for more information about creating and achieving your own SMART goals.
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Purdue extension EC-735 The Elements of a Business Plan: First Steps for New Entrepreneurs Cole Ehmke and Jay AkridgeDepartment of Agricultural Economics By organizing your thoughts on a possible business venture into a business plan, you begin the process of creating a successful enterprise.
Highlights Learning Objectives By the end of this section, you will be able to: Describe the different purposes of a business plan Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan Describe and develop the components of a full business plan
abstract In creating and building a business, the entrepreneur assumes all the responsibilities for development and management, as well as the risks and rewards. Many businesses do not survive because business owners fail to develop an effective plan.
Remote jobs View more jobs on Indeed What is a business plan for entrepreneurs? A business plan for entrepreneurs is a document that lists the objectives and goals of the business. It includes information on how the business will specifically achieve its goals, including sales, marketing and product development.
The Business Plan •Vary in depth, detail, and quality •Tech vs. low tech businesses •Examples •www.bplans.com •WCU Library •"The business planning guide : creating a plan for success in your own business" by David H. Bangs, Jr. •"Business plans handbook. Volume 10 : a compilation of actual business plans developed by
The term of business plan is an element that holds an important place in the language of financiers and investors. Most of the discussions between entrepreneurs and financiers are wearing the elements of a business plan. The business plan is not a form to be completed to request of a loan officer, a
Last, it is important to define that a business plan provides an overall detailed view of the venture. Literature agrees that there are three main reasons so that every enterprise has the need for a business plan. The main reason for writing a business plan is to determine the feasibility of the business idea. Feasibility in this
... This concept, the ability to plan and manage projects to achieve goals as well as creativity, innovation, and risk-taking (EU Commission Report 2008:10).
Starting a business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging and risky. One of the most important things an entrepreneur can do to ensure the success of their ...
Business Plan or Proposal Examples For Students' Entrepreneurship. The students set the company name "BambooS.". It sells reusable and eco-friendly bamboo straws. Straws are a unique product in Malaysia that can be customized for length and diameter. Besides, the company offers engraving services for customers.
1. To help you with critical decisions The primary importance of a business plan is that they help you make better decisions. Entrepreneurship is often an endless exercise in decision making and crisis management. Sitting down and considering all the ramifications of any given decision is a luxury that small businesses can't always afford.
Below is an explanation of everything that goes into a standard business plan as well as business plan examples. Each section starts with a brief description, and ends with an example, using the fictional company Raw Bar, an e-commerce store that sells its own line of skincare products. By the end of the post, you'll have a better idea of ...
1. To Secure Funding Whether you're seeking funding from a venture capitalist or a bank, you'll need a business plan. Business plans are the foundation of a business. They tell the parties that you're seeking funding from whether or not you're worth investing in.
Volume 61, Issue 1 https://doi.org/10.1177/216507991306100104 PDF / ePub More Abstract In creating and building a business, the entrepreneur assumes all the responsibilities for development and management, as well as the risks and rewards. Many businesses do not survive because business owners fail to develop an effective plan.
Business Plan: A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a ...
Entrepreneurship Report, Business Plan. An executive summary is a general overview. Its purpose is to summarize, organize the key points of the business plan for the readers and saving them time while preparing them for upcoming content. It must be clear, short and concise. When seeking new partners, business loans or funding it sums up the ...
3. The Structure of a Business Plan The business plan follows a similar structure whatever the size of the organization. The basic elements of a business plan are presented below: 3.1 Executive Summary The executive summary gives an overview of the business plan. It should not be more than two
The business plan is an undeniably critical component to getting any company off the ground. It's key to securing financing, documenting your business model, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality. Business plans are a required tool for all entrepreneurs, business owners, business ...
The importance, purpose and benefit of a business plan is in that it enables you to validate a business idea, secure funding, set strategic goals - and then take organized action on those goals by making decisions, managing resources, risk and change, while effectively communicating with stakeholders.
Essay writing help has this amazing ability to save a student's evening. For example, instead of sitting at home or in a college library the whole evening through, you can buy an essay instead, which takes less than one minute, and save an evening or more. A top grade for homework will come as a pleasant bonus!
Business planning helps you keep track of the right things, and the most important things. Allocate your time, effort, and resources strategically. Manage change. With good planning process you regularly review assumptions, track progress, and catch new developments so you can adjust. Plan vs. actual analysis is a dashboard, and adjusting the ...
1. Write your goals down. Writing down your goals and placing them somewhere you can regularly see them is crucial. If your goal includes team members, put it somewhere everyone can see it ...