How to draw up a business plan: a sample and rules for drawing up with calculations
A clean slate: how to write a business plan
Many entrepreneurs admit that this particular paper, which at first glance seems to be a pure formality, can later play a good service. It turns out that writing a business plan is not so difficult if you understand its structure and objectives.
What is a business plan for
When starting any business, we usually have a general idea of its result. But reality is always different and often - quite strongly - from our ideas about it. “When you start doing business, it turns out that, in addition to your main activity, you have to solve a huge number of other, less important issues,” admits Anvar Tuikin, CEO of Headmade. “And having a business plan always reminds you of the main indicators that you must achieve, and does not let you blur.”
In general, this document aims to address four main objectives:
- set general goals (mandatory - with specific, measurable indicators)
- capture the main thoughts on paper to be able to reflect on the feasibility of the project
- attract investors: having a complete business plan, you can make a brief summary at the right time for a presentation to investors
- evaluate the team's performance: after the deadlines indicated in the business plan have passed, you will be able to assess how much percentage you have completed plan, draw conclusions and, on their basis, correct the strategy
It is useful to capture hypotheses about your business in order to test and revise them as soon as possible, ”says Vasily Petrechenko, Deputy Director General of the Science Park of Moscow State University. The sooner you get a pilot product or service to market, the sooner you will understand if there is a demand for it. Remember, starting any business is the theory that the product will sell. And the sooner you understand this, the better.
Business plan structure
Experts recommend drafting a document that includes the following sections:
- Cover Page
- Table of Contents
- Project Summary
- Project, Product or Service Description
- Marketing Analysis
- Financial Indicators and Forecasts
- Project Risk Analysis
At the same time, the volume of a business plan should not exceed 30-40 pages together with all the necessary attachments.
It is recommended that you write the project summary last. Once you have worked through all the components of a business plan in detail, you will have a deeper understanding of the most important and attractive aspects of the business.
The main goal of business planning is the desire to predict the most likely outcome of an undertaking. To achieve a positive result, it is necessary to competently organize the chosen business. A business plan is a document that must record all the steps to achieve it. It is needed not only by an entrepreneur, but also by investors. The latter, thanks to concrete calculations, can see a realistic perspective and invest their money in a potentially successful venture. Also, the document can act as a travel map for hired employees.
Business plan characteristics
That the document is considered a full-fledged guide to action, all information about the future project should be systematized in it. All aspects of commercial activity are sounded, and at the same time all possible problems are taken into account. To prevent the latter from getting in the way of the goal, it is necessary to foresee the ways of their solution in advance. After working out all the nuances, the business plan should answer the main question of capitalism: is it worth the candle, will the undertaking bring profit to the owner?
Planning is often done by the leaders of the enterprise, who are responsible for the subsequent result. It is on them that the implementation of the compiled business plan depends. However, many resort to the services of independent economists who are relevant to the chosen field of activity. Their expert opinion is highly valued and consultations are paid. In economically developed countries, entire consulting companies are being created that specialize in such matters. And they demand a lot of money for their services. Sometimes the bill for a serious business plan can be tens of thousands of dollars! It's scary to think how much you can save if you carefully calculate everything yourself. In addition, personal work has an excellent property to give determination, self-confidence.
For a more complete understanding of the essence of the document, we list the tasks that it should solve:
- Analyze the current state of a particular market, as well as the prospects for its development;
- Estimate the costs of producing a useful product;
- Identify key indicators reflecting the effectiveness of activities.
According to these indicators, business processes will be regulated in the future. Usually a business plan is drawn up for several years in advance, with the possibility of adjusting it. The first year is prudently calculated by months in order to be able to quickly assess the situation. Some even point out that the volatility of the market and the general state of the economy simply makes it impossible to plan for anything longer. Nevertheless, a couple of years should be included in the calculations in order to simply contemplate the prospect.
The complexity of drawing up a business plan lies in its structure. The fact is that it should be extremely simple and concise, and the information should be understandable to everyone without exception. For this, a business language is used, which is subservient to the entrepreneur himself, as well as to other interested parties - investors, partners, bankers.
The brevity of the presentation largely depends on the content. However, there is a certain volume limit that should not be exceeded. As a rule, these are several tens of pages, where all the information is dosed. The general structure of the document consists of the following sections:
- Annotation (1 page) - is an appeal to the higher management;
- Annotation (up to 3 pages) - the most concise information about the project;
- Business plan (40-60 pages) - detailed information for verification by the aforementioned experts.
This structure is universal, but the content can vary greatly depending on the type of business. There is no standard. In addition, the entrepreneur's business, for which he himself wrote the plan, can be classified by a confidentiality memorandum. In this case, a ban on the use of all or a specific part of the materials is assumed. The author has all rights to the project, about which interested parties are warned.
Author: Editor-in-Chief · 03.2.019
I tried to draw up a business plan on my own to start my own business. Was it difficult, what mistakes I made - I will tell you about all this, and I will also give practical advice on how to draw up a business plan. And at the end you will find a bonus in the form of ready-made examples.
How to write a business plan: detailed instructions on how to write yourself
I have always dreamed of starting my own business. But do you know what I did to make my dream come true? Niggling. I just didn't know what to grab onto. If you have the same problem, then I have great news. Today we will analyze the first step for starting a business - drawing up a business plan!
Business plan - what is it
First, let's figure out what it is. The business plan is our strategy. This is our map from where we are now. Until the time when your own store, pharmacy, bar opens (underline the necessary).
A business plan is like a brainstorming session. First, we think, analyze, and count. And it's all on paper. We record in detail how we will achieve the goal. And when our business plan is ready, the matter is small - all that remains is to translate it into reality, following each written paragraph.
Sounds simple, but for this to be true, you need to decide in advance on the goal. You can't write a business plan for a small business. You need to imagine what kind of business it will be. For example, a children's clothing store for middle-income customers. Just setting up a goal is half the battle ..
Why write a business plan and what is it for?
I will single out 2 reasons why make a business plan:
- to attract investors;
- in order to figure out what to do next.
Tips from Matthew Manos, Curator of the Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurs course
On June 21, the Vector online school course "Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurs" is released. One of the curators of the course was Matthew Manos, a professor at General Assembly and the University of California, founder of the verynice design agency.
Manos has developed his own approach to drawing up a business plan: he proposes to create it using a table of six blocks, spending no more than two hours on it. Edition vc. u describes the approach.
Before you start implementing your idea, you need an action plan. Yes, business plans are scary: they have a lot of columns and numbers. Most small businesses don't have a business plan at all, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.
A well-designed business plan is not something a budding entrepreneur should strive for. When the idea begins to be implemented, it turns out that something went wrong, and you will begin to adjust the initial data to fit the circumstances. Therefore, at the stage when you are just thinking about your business, it is worth making a basic business plan. This is a sketch that can be tested, and having received the first information, refine and refine.
Not everything you write in a business plan will work, but the very process of writing it will make your future more tangible.
When writing a business plan, it is very important to define your goals. What do you want to achieve by starting your own business?
Answers may vary, you may have multiple goals. Perhaps you are striving for financial independence, you want to travel a lot and at the same time talk about how tourism negatively affects the environment, and look for ways to solve this problem.
You should not only list all your goals, but also define how you are going to measure their achievement. If you strive for financial well-being, write down how much you need to earn for this in a year. If your goal is to create jobs for the residents of a small town, write down how many people will work for you. The goals should be as specific as possible so that they can be based on when drawing up a financial model.
A value proposition is what sets you apart from the competition. To determine it, you need to answer two questions:
How to write a business plan yourself? What does that require? Here is a practical guide that will answer all the questions related to writing a business plan.
Your business plan should only answer the three most important questions:
“What do I want?”, “How to do it?”, “What do I need for this?”.
But not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance. It seems that the questions are not complicated, but there are many nuances that we will analyze in this article. Be optimistic about your project, but do not overdo it, because the business is tied to real life, which often presents us with many surprises that do not always have a positive effect. Be realistic about everything, soberly assessing your resources, knowledge and capabilities.
The implementation of a business idea primarily depends on the correct writing of the business plan. For the correct creation of a business plan, special rules must be followed, and it must follow the generally accepted structure. The seriousness of the approach, the study of all points and sections, as well as the level of interest - are the guarantors of the quality of the new project. The generally accepted structure of a business plan consists of several sections, I will give it below.
Do not rush to write a business plan, it can take a lot of time, but a thorough study of all points and nuances will allow you to create a high-quality document at the output that allows you to attract potential investors, if necessary. The effort spent on writing a quality business plan will lead you to success.
A beginner entrepreneur must first understand the need to create a business plan. Understanding what he wants to achieve and by what methods his goals will be achieved is half the success of your venture. Often times, unforeseen difficulties in the project implementation process can undermine the entrepreneur's desire to act and move forward. It is the step-by-step action plan prescribed in the business plan that will help get rid of the problems, since their appearance was theoretically predicted and the ways to solve the problems have already been spelled out.
Let's start by looking at all the sections of the business plan structure and talk about them briefly. back to contents ↑
CV Cover Page
It's good if you already have the start-up capital to organize your business. And if you do not have one, and you are going to take out a loan for a small business, or ask for a loan? That's when you need a well-written business plan. Without it, no one will provide financial support to your project.
Money always means being serious, so be so kind as to play by the rules of serious business - your business plan must be flawlessly designed to impress the lender. Yes, even if you are drawing up a business plan for yourself, everything should be neatly “laid out on the shelves” - after all, a clear and consistent statement of all points will help you not “go astray” during the implementation of your business idea.