How to write a great business plan: Infographic

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When you start a new business, sooner or later you’re going to need funding, whether it be from a loan or an investor, and to gain access to any sort of funding you’re going to need a business plan. Our guide to writing a great business plan will show you where to start, what you should include and how to make sure your business plan will open the door to success.
Executive summary
Your summary should tell the reader what you want. This is your elevator pitch to a very busy potential lender who needs to understand why your business deserves investment in a couple of paragraphs. So keep it brief and focus on your strengths.
Business concept
Describe your business and the industry you’re in, discussing the present outlook as well as any future opportunities. Detail the specific markets you’re targeting within the industry and how any new developments could benefit or adversely affect your business.
Market strategy
Your market strategy describes your way in to the market. It must show the results of a meticulous market analysis, proving that you fully understand your target market and that your business is positioned to take full advantage.
Competitive analysis
Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and any strategies you can use to give you an advantage. Think about barriers you can develop to fend off new rivals appearing in your market and any weaknesses you can exploit in your current competition.
Design & development plan
This section is to give potential investors an idea of how you’ve developed your product or service to date and how you plan to develop your business to meet your goals, including a development budget that charts the key milestones on your road to success.
Operations & management plan
This is about how your business functions day to day. Get down to logistics including the business structure, responsibilities of the management team and how much money the business needs to function. Work out how to trim ongoing costs. Opting for the fixed, predictable monthly cost of VoIP communications, for example, will make your job easier.
Financial data
Financial data is at the back of your business plan, but it’s no less important than up-front material such as your business concept. The numbers are crucial to any investor or lender. Check and double check, but make sure you believe the figures you’re presenting.
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