Table of contents:

How to write a business plan that will help you achieve success
How to write a business plan that will help you achieve success

With this document, it will be easier for you to organize effective work and attract investors.

How to write a business plan that will help you achieve success
How to write a business plan that will help you achieve success

What is a business plan and why should you write one

A business plan is a document that spells out everything related to your product. This is a forecast of its development, and sources of investment, and market analysis, and a to-do list, and long-term goals - in short, all the little things and nuances that will make a business successful (or, conversely, will help you realize failure at the start).

First of all, the entrepreneur himself needs it in order to calculate everything and not forget anything. There is no need to flatter yourself here: even if you have a brilliant business plan, something is very likely to go wrong. But, if you do not have this document, everything will not go as you intended, absolutely for sure.

A business plan is also useful if you want to raise funds from investors or receive a grant from the government. A detailed plan will let you know if your product stands a chance and is worth supporting financially.

How to write a business plan

The most stringent requirements for a business plan are not even made by investors, but by university professors who ask students to work through such documents. Therefore, as an example, we will further use the coursework of a student of the Russian-British Institute of Management on the topic “Business plan for opening a coffee shop in Chelyabinsk”. You can immediately open the document from the link and turn to page 30 or view the examples later. Illustrations will be provided for each section (but abridged and edited).

Please note that the text is given as an example. In drawing up a business plan, you will have to do much more work and write a more detailed document. Because you are risking real money, not a grade.

This is what should be in your business plan.

1. Summary

This is a short but succinct description of the project, which contains the most important information about it. Imagine that you are an outsider, such as an investor. Different business plans come to your table every day, and you do not have time to re-read them in their entirety. You only look through the summary. What would you like to know about the project? For example:

  • Business goal and strategy for its implementation.
  • Sales markets and sales forecasts.
  • Competitive advantages.
  • Forecast of financial results.
  • Possible risks and ways to compensate them.
  • The amount of required investments.
  • Suitable government programs.
  • Availability of permits.

The resume comes first in the business plan, but it is worth writing it after you have finished compiling all the other sections and see the whole picture.

View resume example →

2. Description of the product or project

You need to analyze and describe your business in detail. To do this, answer the following questions:

  • What will you do?
  • What's your goal?
  • Do you need business partners and employees?
  • Do you need a dedicated room or will you work online?
  • What do you need to run a business?

View an example of a project description →

3. Description of the sales market and your competitive advantages

Entering any market without analyzing your competitors is a big foolishness. They definitely exist, they are already working, they have an established reputation. Therefore, it is important to understand who your rivals are, what are their strengths and weaknesses. What can they offer the client that you don't? Where do you win?

Consider what is the essential difference between you and your competitors. Maybe your products are of much better quality. You specialize in something exceptional and rare or more experienced. Determine how you can get around the rest.

View an example of a market description →

4. Audience analysis and marketing

To attract the right customers, you need to be aware of their interests and needs. Think about who your potential buyers will be. What gender and age is the product designed for? What form of product or service is preferable for them? Here the pricing policy will become apparent. For example, if you want to open a catering point at a university, a pie shop will be more logical than an elite restaurant.

Collect in-depth information about your niche. Find out if the services and products you intend to offer are popular. Try to determine in advance if your business has a development perspective (audience analysis will also help with this). For example, you decide to open a pizzeria, but you see that delivery may also be in demand, so you leave this option for the future.

View an example of audience analysis →

5. Production plan

This is exactly what your company will do.

  • Description of the production process. For example, the technology of sewing boots, if you make them.
  • Description of raw materials and their suppliers (what you need and where you will get it from).
  • The cost of a product or service.
  • Associated costs, such as energy costs.

View a sample production plan →

6. Organizational plan

This section indicates the form of business registration, initiators, their shares in management, personnel and their motivation (especially material, information on salaries is also indicated in this paragraph).

View an example of an organizational plan →

7. Financial plan

This is the section for the sake of which the preparation of the entire business plan is often undertaken. All information about finance is presented here. You need to describe all expenses - one-time, regular, periodic - and take into account production, marketing, organizational plans. Don't forget to include taxes. Here you predict the flow of money from various sources of funding, including income.

This should be a long-term plan - at least for a year, and preferably for 3-5 years. So you will see how much money you really need when you break even, what are the financial risks. In addition, you can analyze financial performance in the bud to make adjustments.

View an example of a financial plan →

How to restructure a business plan: expert advice

The structure of the business plan is not rigid and you can move the blocks as you see fit. You know better what information you have on hand and how it works within your project. If you want ready-made solutions, the founder of the online platform for the development of cognitive skills "Wikium" and the co-founder of the food delivery service FoodFamily Sergey Belan offers the following business plan structure:

  1. General description of the project.
  2. The history of the development of the project and its key growth points.
  3. Description of the team that makes the product.
  4. The problems the product solves and how it does it.
  5. Product development forecast.
  6. Information about competitors.
  7. Market capacities with which you plan to work.
  8. Current indicators and forecast for the year.
  9. Plans for the development of the project.
  10. Investor benefit. How much money will he get with the dividend model. Who will be able to sell their stake at a venture capital, when and for how much.

You have all the data in the previous version of the business plan, you just have to repack it.