Develop an effective business requires thorough preparations prior starting your professional expertise. Apart from being an engaging professional you need to define your goals and develop a strategy that will help you to attain those goals. A good business plan is essentially a field guide for business success.
If you have a serious approach towards your work, getting organized is the primary step and outline all the necessary details so that you avoid incidental obstacles and unwanted expenditures on the way of acquiring clients and getting business benefits. Although there are different types of business plans, the rules for designing a good business plan are unified.
Doing a small work project does not necessarily warrant the efforts of outlining your details and goals. A short-term itself-employed job to earn some extra money is not worth this serious task. Though, if you are a thoughtful freelancer or have an expanding framework of activities and you strive towards making a living you should give a deeper thought to this endeavor. The money you are thinking of to invest, the time you dedicate and all the resources you have to access demand sketching your business into meaningful chapters.
Components of a business plan
1. Executive summary
This section is no more than two pages usually and should be a synopsis of everything included in your plan.
This is the place where you put the key elements highlighting your vision. The first thing potential readers see, is the summary, therefore you need to make sure it leaves a strong impression at first sight.
If you write a standard business plan, at the beginning of the first paragraph of the summary you should put your business name, location and your product or service with an emphasis on the purpose of your plan. To be clear the purpose of your plan should show a need that people is demanding to the market and how you business will satisfy it. Conclude with a statement that expresses clearly the purpose of your plan clearly.
2. Company overview and operations.
This part talks about how you are going to sell your services or goods and operate the business on a day-to day basis. In other words it tells what your business is about and develops the idea you expressend in the previous step when you said how your business was going to satisfy the market need.
Give a short overview of your experience, like what you have done in the past, what you are currently doing and where you are heading to in future. Possible paragraphs in this section will be, the history of your work, the purpose of the business with a short description, the legal outline such as partnership, freelance and so on. Mention your present status and what is your industry like-growing or stable, for example. Additionally, say what your highest achievements are and how you are better than your competitors (that is why you have written before about your experience and expertise). Do not omit to mention your future goals.
3. Human sources
It covers the people that you are going to manage, who they are, what their job descriptions are, and how much you are going to pay them. Start with a clear sentence since people reading your business plan will be most interested in this part. For example, will you be operating with contract agencies or freelancers? Outline your requirements regarding human resources-what skills you are exactly looking for in your employees? Staff recruitment and possible training should also be explained. Last but not least for this section, it is beneficial to point out what areas in your business need enhancement and taking priority steps.
Talks about what goods and services you are providing and how you are going to promote them to the general public. Who your target market is, what venue you are going to take the message at. Be specific when defining your target customer and do not blend groups at different age scale. Generations do not possess similar taste so be cautious about it. For instance, if your target group are elder generations, social networking will not be the happiest choice but rather a venue frequently visited by this age group. However this will change soon when in the next generations, so I would never recommend omit social networks.
Besides, you will need to define how your products will end in your customer hands. Will you have a shop? A delivery service? This may be a very importatn part of the business plan depending on your business characteristics.
Lastly, in this section you will need to take a look to your competitors and see how the market is developing. Once you get it, it is time to think how you will be different from them. Build a brand and an Unique Selling Preposition.
This is a section that explains how you are going to be profitable. It consists of three financial statements, the income statement, the cash flow and the balance sheet. You should carefully examine your expenses to be able to put together the financial data. Generally, expenses may be initial and operational expenditures. Initial expenses relate to the amount of money you need for registering and licensing or renting, equipment and various utilities you may need for running the business. Operational expenses involve salaries, promotions, telecommunications and everything you spend over a certain amount of time.
6. SWOT analysis
This is summarizes all the information present before and makes it easy to analyze. Read this post about how to do a SWOT analysis to have more information.
Other sources you may find helpful.
- Sep-by-step business plan guide.