An effective coach will tell you that they have a different plan for each game they coach. They must design a customized game plan tailored to each of their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses in order to stand a chance against any of their opponents. The same action is required when composing your compelling business plan.
The majority of business plans are written for a specific purpose, with raising capital being the most prevalent. A well-thought-out and well-written business plan is, however, required for all businesses, not simply those looking for funding. Writing something down is, in fact, the first step toward making it a reality. A business will underperform and risk failure if it does not have one.
Regardless of whether you’re developing your business plan to map your company’s strategy for growth, or looking to capture the attention of new investors, here are top areas to take into consideration:
Business Plan Composition
- Some businesses choose to use a template to save time when writing your business plan. A business plan template is intended to aid in the visual communication of complicated ideas. The length and detail of your business plan, your brand and style, and the various aspects you wish to cover will all influence the business plan template you use.
- A table of contents is useful for readers in navigating your work and efficiently locating key areas of interest. Page numbers, main section headings, and subheadings should all be included here for reference purposes. When the design of your business plan is clean and professional it won’t detract from the content. You want your content to stand out, not your formatting!
- A professional business plan typically has the following sections:
- Cover page
- Table of Contents
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management
- Service or product line
- Marketing and sales
- Funding request
- Financial projections
- An appendix
Business Plan Format
- Business plans ought to be understandable at a glance. Bulleted lists, bold text, and a clear type hierarchy for ‘skimmability’ will draw attention to crucial points.
- If your business plan is primarily text, use a single-column layout to emphasize the document’s linear flow. Use a two-column layout to counterpoint text with its corresponding data in the form of charts and tables.
- The ease with which we read long amounts of text is determined by how the text flows on the page. Consider using page margins to keep text at an acceptable line length to improve readability.
Executive Summary Design
- Your business plan’s executive summary is a snapshot. It should be precise and enticing to pique the reader’s interest. It should persuade stakeholders that their investment in your business plan will be beneficial. Use bold headings, include visuals, and break up the layout of your text to make vital information stand out.
- With business plans, color should be utilized sparingly. Consider color selection as another tool for highlighting material you want your reader to focus on and tying the work together, rather than just adding color for aesthetic reasons.
Present Data with Charts and Graphs
- Repeating critical points in the chart title, annotations, and captions may help readers comprehend and remember them.
- Pie and donut charts are the most understood approach for illustrating part-to-whole relationships, thus the industry standard for presenting market share and market composition.
- Use pie charts, donut charts, or bubble charts to help the reader grasp proportions and part-to-whole relationships when providing a market analysis.
- In market segmentation summaries, use histograms and bar charts to depict demographic distributions.
- Use a Gantt chart to visualize your business strategy’s significant milestones and stages.
Develop and Communicate Growth Strategies
- A persona guide must be thorough and reveal a deep understanding of your target audience. The more data you can provide, the more confident you are in your research and overall business plan.
- Use a SWOT analysis/competitor chart of the advantages and disadvantages of rival businesses to set yourself apart.
- You’ll need visualizations like roadmaps to convey any long-term marketing or sales strategy.
Present Financial Details
- Budget breakdowns and financial summaries can be shown using organizational flow charts and summary tables.
- To depict financial trends and projections, use line or bar graphs.
It can be thrilling to break new ground with a game-changing product or service. Use your business plan to inspire and motivate others. However, make it simple to understand by keeping it visual and comparing it to other business models. Demonstrate how the new product will meet the needs of a target market. This will alleviate investor frustration and provide convincing reasons for them to invest in your business idea. Our team at UnniCo would be thrilled to coach and work alongside you. With a customized business plan or funding opportunities we can get your business sprinting toward your next win!