5 Tips For Writing Your Business Plan

5 Tips For Writing Your Business Plan

Your business plan is a document that serves as a roadmap for business development and growth. It includes details about your business objectives and operational structure. It discusses financial projections, funding needs, marketing strategies, and more!

Investors use your business plan to determine if they want to take a risk on you and your new company. And financial lenders examine the plan when deciding whether to give you a loan.

Furthermore, the goals and logistics defined in the document provide crucial internal guidance. Your team can look back to your plan for direction as you establish and expand your business.

In this blog, we identify 5 key steps you can take to create a solid small business plan.


Tip #1: Clearly define your business.

To have the greatest impact, your business plan must plainly state your purpose and objectives. That means…

  • Including your company values and mission and vision statements. 

  • Describing in detail the services and products you will sell. 

  • Defining your distinct target market (i.e. who you will be selling to).

  • Discussing the general scalability of your business.

  • And more!

Spend some time considering your unique selling proposition (USP). Small businesses thrive when they have a clear, distinct selling point. If you start with a narrow business scope, you will be more likely to stand out to a particular target market. 

Be creative. Refer back to your customer and competitor research to determine what sets your business apart. Try to focus your USP on a specific need experienced by your target customers.


Tip #2: Do thorough market research.

Investors want to see that you have strong knowledge of your industry. And that is just one of the many reasons you’ll want to conduct good market research. Your market research will also help you…

  • Identify a strong unique selling proposition.

  • Gauge industry trends and opportunities.

  • Learn from competitors’ successes and failures. 

  • Determine potential threats or obstacles. 

  • Gain valuable demographic information about your target audience.

  • And develop more effective targeted marketing strategies. 

With a strong grasp of your competition and potential customers, your business will be more likely to gain early traction.


Tip #3: Be realistic with finances & other resources.

It’s tempting to be overly optimistic with your finances, time, and capabilities when writing your business plan. You don’t want to give investors or lenders a reason not to buy into your vision, after all!

Yet, being realistic – even conservative – with your resources and financial estimates and projections will build your credibility. 

For example, if you think you might capture 40% to 50% of your market within a couple years, project a lower market share (say 10% to 15%). A higher share is a great goal, but it may not be reasonable to expect or promise.

This transparent approach shouldn’t be a problem. If you have a solid business idea, it should stand on its own. You won’t need to stretch the truth to get the necessary funding.


Tip #3: Provide plenty of proof.

If you cannot back up a claim with compelling proof, it is not worth including in your business plan. If you expect to triple your profits within a year, you’d better have statistics and facts in your back pocket to support that claim. Empty claims will only increase investors’ skepticism.

Use real-life examples to explain why your idea will work. Have others done something similar and succeeded? What first-hand experience do you have that proves the value of your products or services? 

If possible, include visuals (ex. graphs, charts, and images) to help readers grasp your business concept. Visuals not only help make your case, but they are more engaging and break up long sections of text.


Tip #5: Pay attention to the details.

Your business plan needs to be clear and concise (i.e. no fluff). But you still need to provide enough valuable information. A detailed business plan shows investors and lenders that you've put plenty of thought into your plan – making your business a trustworthy investment.

Include an explicit outline of your organizational structure. 

  • How many employees will you need? 

  • What will be their roles and responsibilities? 

  • What will be the chain of command?

  • How will you manage daily operations?

  • What will be the ownership structure?

Don’t breeze through your market analysis and marketing strategy sections. Clearly define your marketing goals and budget. Then describe (in detail) how you plan to execute your advertising and marketing plan.

Plus, you will want to give special attention to spelling, grammar, and clarity. There is nothing more unprofessional than a glaring error in a business plan.


Fayetteville-Cumberland Entrepreneur & Business HUB – Small Business Resources

At Fayetteville-Cumberland Regional Entrepreneur & Business HUB, we provide critical resources and programs to help small businesses in a 10-county radius succeed in a highly  competitive consumer market. We serve Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland Counties.

Need help kick-starting your small business? We offer a variety of valuable services, including…
  • Specialized Certifications

  • Financial Assistance

  • Bonding Assistance

  • Capital Access Support

  • Business Development

  • Contracting & Procurement Support

  • Technology Access

  • Marketing Support

  • Maker Space

Learn more about our programs and services.


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