To start or run a business, it is very important to have a business plan. It’s not mandatory to write a detailed business plan. Writing a simple business plan might be enough in most cases. The type of business plan you need to draft depends upon your business size and your objectives. If you are just starting up a small business with a few team members and if you are not planning to raise money from external sources, you need not write a lengthy business plan and waste time in it. In such cases, a single page business plan would work just fine. However, if you are already in a business that is making profits and you are willing to expand the business and raise funding, you will need to write a detailed business plan to approach financial institutions or investors
The main objective of a business plan is to set a business goal and work according to the strategies described in the plan to achieve it. It is also required to raise funding and attract qualified and renowned people in the industry to be a part of the organisation.
Writing a simple business plan that is effective enough is the best approach for any startup organisation. Gone are those days, when most entrepreneurs used to write lengthy business plans even before they started their business. In practical terms, just writing a business plan is not enough because a plan holds theoretical assumptions. When the business owner starts taking actions according to the business plan, then the business actually starts to progress. Moreover, certain assumptions in the plan might go wrong when you start and even when you are running the business. Therefore a business plan might need revisions from time to time. So its better to start with a simple business plan that highlights the key points and sets a short term and a long term goal that is practical enough for your business to achieve.
A simple business plan includes almost all the key points of a detailed business plan and varies only in the context of descriptive explanation. Following are the essential points a simple business plan should include:
- Company Description : Try to include all the essential information about your company inside this heading like the name, location, vision, start date, mission statement etc.
- Market Research Summary : This is the point I consider to be the most important of all. Do a proper market analysis and include information such as the size of the market you are willing to target, any competitors that exist, your target customers, their buying habits, market trends and the economic conditions that exist in that market.
- Product / Service Offering : Include a list of all the products or services that you are offering or willing to offer. Mention the manufacturing, product sourcing and service delivery process.
- Sales and Marketing process : This step should essentially include the process that you are going to adopt to connect with your customers and make them buy your product. It should include the marketing strategies and sales models to be used by the business to get new customers and retain the existing ones.
- Organisation and Management : This is where you need to present a brief organisational overview such as the structure of the organisation, the company incorporation details, business ownership information and the key members involved in your business with their qualification and achievement details.
- Financial Projections: When it comes to list your business financial projections, try to set both short term and long term projections that are practically achievable. Do not over assume. It should essentially include the revenue and expense forecasts.
The above points should be enough to write a simple business plan. However if you looking for more detailed information on writing a business plan you can check out the following resources: