How to Write a Business Plan for a Startup – Ultimate Guide. See the process involve in writing a business plan for your startup company.
Writing a business plan for a startup shouldn’t be complicated. In this eHow step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to quickly and easily write a business plan for your startup that will get the results you want. The good news here is that you don’t have to have a business or accounting degree to put together a great business plan. This ultimate guide will show you how to get your plan done step-by-step without any complexity or frustration.
In this article ‘How to Write a Business Plan for a Startup’ we will be providing answers to the following question been asked by startup business owners;
- How do you write a business plan for a startup?
- What is the format of a business plan?
- What are the 10 steps to writing a business plan?
- What are the 4 parts of a business plan?
- What are the 3 main purposes of a business plan?
- What are a business plan and example?
- Is writing a business plan hard?
What is a Business Plan?
Before we detail how to write a business plan for a startup, we should figure out what a business plan is all about. Then, we can cover the basics of how to write a business plan.
A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business. It covers the following information: what you are going to sell, the nature of your business, your vision on how to sell the product, and how much funding you seeking among other details.
Written business plans for a startup are often required to obtain a bank loan, grant or other kinds of financing.
Before you begin to implement your company’s business plan for a startup, it’s necessary to brainstorm to make sure your team is prepared to answer some questions:
- Why are we starting?
- What makes our company different?
- What solution are we providing?
- Who are we?
- Who are your customers?
- Target business?
- What needs to happen to break even?
- How can we make a profit?
How to Write a Business Plan for a Startup – Ultimate Guide
Now that we now have an insight into what a business plan is all about. Let us now examine the ultimate guide to writing a good business plan for your startup. When you write your business plan, stick to the most important part of your business.
Normal business plans use some combination of these nine sections.
Step 1: Create your Executive Summary.
The executive summary of your business plan tells more about your company. In the executive summary tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful in the best and short detailed way possible. It is advisable to include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location.
In fact, it’s very common for investors to ask for only the executive summary when they are evaluating your business.
Step 2: Add your Company Description.
The second step you’ll want to take when writing a business plan for your startup is to add your company overview. In as much as this is similar to step 1, the company overview is a top-level look into the structure of your business and what you do.
When writing your company overview follows this process:
- What does your business do: State your company overview with a few sentences describing what your business does. See this part as your elevator pitch in writing.
- The marketplace of your business: The next thing is to explain the nature of your industry and the marketplace that you’re business services. Where do you fit in? What is the need that your business is specifically serving, and how do you meet that need? Be advised to keep your explanation of your marketplace offering should be brief and concise.
- The legal structure of your business: Once you’ve given your elevator pitch and explained your value proposition, you’ll want to describe the legal structure of your business. Are you an S-Corp or C-Corp, or LLC? Be sure to explain what kind of business entity your company is and provide an overview of your own structure as well.
Step 3: Perform your Market Analysis.
Your next step is to perform an in-depth analysis of your industry, market, and competitors. To carry this step out you’ll need a good understanding of your industry outlook and target market. Competitive research will show you what other businesses are doing and what their strengths are. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better?
The whole purpose of the market analysis is to allow investors to come away feeling confident that you, the business owner, have a solid understanding of the dynamics of your industry, market, and competitors.
To have a better understanding, your market analysis should include the following sections:
- Industry description
- Target market overview
- Target market characteristics
- Target market size and growth
- Your market share potential
- Market pricing
- Competitor research
Step 4: Define your Business’s Organization and Management.
This step explains who does, what in your business, what everyone’s background is, and what their past experiences bring to the team. Here tell your reader how your company will be structured and who will run it.
Explain the legal structure of your business. State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you’re a sole proprietor or LLC.
Here’s what you need to break down:
- Organizational structure: Before you start into the details of each stakeholder, explain where they fit into the whole picture of the company.
- Ownership structure: You may mention this before in your company overview, but in this section, you should go into a little more depth on how your company is legally structured. Explain who owns what, and how much they own.
- Background of owners and board of directors: The Next is to explain the background of your team, managers, partners, and board of directors. These backgrounds of owners will prove to potential investors that you’ve surrounded yourself with individuals who can and will make your business a success.
- Hiring need: List out any key hires you’ll need to make in order to achieve your goals.
It’s advisable to use an organizational chart to lay out who’s in charge of what in your company. Show how each person’s unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture.
Tips: Consider including resumes and CVs of key members of your team.
Step 5: Describe your Products and Services.
Now that you have defined your business’s organization and management, it’s now time to dive into the product or service your business provides. With this step, your goal is to lay out your plans for positioning your product.
Explain how it benefits your customers and what the product lifecycle looks like. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings.
When writing a business plan for your startup, you can start off this part by describing your service or product and who it’s intended for.
To break this down further, here’s exactly what this section should contain:
- A description of your product or service: This is all about framing the problem as well as the solution your business is offering. Include the details of your product here, and highlight what makes your product or service stand out.
- Current status of products: Here you explain where your offering currently stands. Is it just in the idea stage or do you have a final product ready to go to market?
- Product development research: If your product is still in the ideation or creation phase, describe how you’ll bring it to a finalized product.
- Intellectual property: This mostly applies to technology or scientific companies, but if you have intellectual property that is proprietary to your business and crucial for your success, you should explain that in your product development section.
- Sourcing and fulfilment: Do you rely on other vendors to provide your product or service? If so, be sure to make that clear when you’re writing a business plan.
Step 6: Explain your marketing and sales plan.
Next, you’ve given all the crucial details of your core product offering, the next step in learning how to write a business plan is explaining how you’ll sell and market your product or service to your consumers.
Let’s start with the marketing side. How will you create customers and get them interested in your business?
- Positioning: This is the first part of your marketing plan. It covers how you’re positioning your business and products. The way you position your brand determines how customers find and interact with you. State weather Are you a free service? Or the service that can guarantee the quality? This is what makes you stand out against your competitors in a branding sense. This is the bedrock of every business plan and is bold enough to be dynamic.
- Promotion: Now that you’ve explained how you’ll uniquely position yourself, now explain where you’ll get the word out and how you’ll reach your customers. This stage involves any plans you have for packaging your product, advertising the product (online or in traditional media sources), or engaging in content marketing practices.
If you have a marketing framework explained, now dive into your sales plan:
- Salesforce: Describe who will be selling your product. officer.
- Selling strategy: Give an overview of how you will sell your product or service.
There’s no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique needs.
Step 7: Funding Request
If your business plan is for your startup and you are asking for funding, this section is where you’ll outline your funding requirements. Your goal here is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and what you’ll use it for.
Give a detailed description of how you’ll use your funds. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Always include a description of your future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business.
This section is very important and it is advisable to put more effort into this section.
Detail your financial plan and projections.
Although this section comes at the end of your business plan, it can be the most important part of the entire document.
Your goal is to convince the investor that your business is stable and will be a financial success.
If your business is already established,
- Income statements
- Cash flow statements
- Balance sheets
- Accounts receivable statements (if applicable)
- Accounts payable statements (if applicable)
- Documentation of debt obligations (if applicable)
Although, a thorough business plan has financial projections for the first 12 months of business, but also takes a longer outlook and illustrates a plan for the next three to five years.
Step 8: Add an appendix.
This is the last part of your business plan. In this section use your appendix to provide supporting documents or other materials that were specially requested. Common items to include are;
- Credit histories
- Product pictures
- Letters of reference
- Licenses, permits
- Legal documents
- And other contracts.
You can download a free business plan template and follow along, using these instructions on our website as a guide.
And, you can download this guide as a free ebook to reference while you write your business plan. Click the image or the download button to download the file.
- Fully Funded Google PhD Fellowship Program 2022 – 2023
- Temple University Acceptance Rate for International Students – 60% in 2023
- Knight Hennessy Scholarship 2022-2023 | Fully Funded
- Saint Martin’s University International Student Merit Scholarship – USA 2023
- HOPE Scholarship
In the end
There you have it— we at InsideSchool have broken down How to Write a Business Plan for a Startup, step-by-step, you now have the tools you need to create a comprehensive business plan for your startup.
Creating a business plan helps you and your team organize your business better, with one eye on its present state and the other on building a future together.
If you have any questions about this, kindly use the comment section below.