Startups and growing businesses usually look for a business plan template to guide them make plans. This is important, especially, when seeking financial assistance from a financial institution or venture capitalist.
In Nigeria, there are lots of micros, small and medium businesses. The majority of these businesses started as a result of trial and error. Thus, they don’t have a plan.
As a business coach, over 90% of businesses I visited do not have a formal business plan. Those that have did not start with a plan, but along the line developed one for expansion.
As a result, the business plan template is extremely useful to micro and small businesses. It provides a guide for them to create a plan that reflects their business idea.
I have worked with many clients that want us to create a business plan for them. But I usually advise them to be part of the plan. Being part of a plan will reflect your idea and passion for the business, and make your plan come alive.
A business plan should not be voluminous. It should be a simple document that typifies your idea and how to accomplish them. Therefore, a document of 10 – 25 pages can do, depending on your type of business.
This document presents a business plan template that can assist you to create a plan for your business.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a written document that presents your business idea and how to accomplish them. It is a document that presents a problem and the viability of its solution(s).
You can also define a business plan as a:
It is therefore a helpful document that guides your financing, operations, marketing, and administration of business resources. The general aim here is to make a profit.
Your idea becomes a business when the anticipated solution(s) will yield profit to cover the invested capital.
There are different sections of a business plan, with the most important being the executive summary.
Parts of a business plan
A business plan can be structured in different ways by different experts and institutions.
Some institutions seeking to fund businesses may adopt a structure that must be followed by applicants. No matter the structure, some common features of a business plan include:
- The title
- Executive summary
- Business description: Here, describe your business, the problem, and the solution it is bringing. Discuss the business objectives, mission, vision, and values.
- Products and services: Discuss your value proposition. Your value proposition is your idea, your reason for going into the business in the first place.
- What are your product(s) and service(s) offerings that will yield revenue to the business? Are they marketable and sustainable? What is their nature?
- Discuss in a detail the features of the products/services and why people should buy from you.
- Sales and marketing plan: This part of the plan focuses attention on the target market, market segments, and competition.
- How many segments of the market are you targeting? What is your target region? How many potential customers are you targeting?
- You will need to describe the segments of the market and your target customers. You will also discuss their distinguishing features.
- Because product pricing determines sales, you will discuss your pricing system and markup.
- To excel, you will not neglect your competitors. This is the time to perform a competitive analysis. Look at each of your competitors and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Where do you have a competitive advantage over them?
- Finally, your sales plan will look at how you intend to promote and market your products.
- Operational plan: Operations will provide insight into the business activities.
- Are their key partners? How will you source your raw materials? Does the business have more than one branch? If it does, how do you operate from other branches? How do you intend to meet the requirements of the regulatory bodies?
- You will need to describe the key activities of your business in this section. These key activities relate to everything that has to do with the sourcing and production of your products.
- Government regulation can affect production. How to meet up with regulations such as SON and NAFDAC compliance is important.
- Management and organization structure: This part of the plan constitutes the human capital of the business. You will have to describe in detail your qualifications and skills that will help you drive the business.
- You will also list key positions and the qualifications of those that will fill them.
- Also, you will need to discuss the organizational structure: sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability.
- The structure of the organization will help you determine the flow of control and delegation of authority.
- At this point, you may create an organizational chart to depict the communication flow.
- Financial plan: The financial plan will highlight key capital requirements and sources of capital. You will also discuss, especially, in a table, how this fund will be used.
- You will then be required to make key financial projections. This is the area you will project your cash flow statement, profit and loss, and balance sheet.
- Also, specify the key financial assumptions. For example, if you are anticipating a 5% change in prices in the next 12 months, make them known.
- Appendix (optional): This part is optional; however, you might use it to attach relevant documents. If you provided brief information in the main document, you can attach the detail here.
Using the above approach, you can create a business plan for your business. However, you will toll another approach in our business plan template.
Our business plan template represents the modern way of writing a business plan that sells.
The executive summary
A business plan is supposed to be a guide that will help you achieve your business objective(s). But we usually create a plan to attract funding.
Thus, the executive summary is a page that explicitly describes your business idea and its viability. A glaring pitch that persuades the reader or investor to be part of the business venture or idea.
It is the page that is mostly read by investors. Therefore, it should contain information that will convince them to invest in your business idea.
As the name implies, it summarizes the entire business or idea succinctly by including the following:
- the problem the business is trying to address and the anticipated solution
- the capital requirement and possible sources of fund. This is important when you are seeking funds from a financial institution or venture capitalist.
- the target market or market segment and the competitive advantage over existing businesses
- the expected financial returns in the first year and near future.
- the business status and available human resources, and their capacity to sustain the acclaimed financial returns. You can indicate the business potential, progress made and targets to be met in the near future.
Why is a business plan important?
A business plan is important in so many ways.
- It can help you to strategically position your business to reach targeted goals and objectives
- Through a business plan, you can create a timeline for achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- By creating an efficient plan, you can be able to obtain fund from investors
- A business plan can assist you to discover your business weakness and position your business for the competition.
- Through competitive analysis which is part of a plan, you will discover your business competitive advantage and opportunities
- A plan will help you to determine your potential customers and where your business is heading
- A good financial plan will help you determine the viability of your idea. You can tell if your idea is worth investing your time or not.
What is Business Plan Template?
A business plan template is a blueprint that guides startups and small businesses to develop a business plan.
Some people who wish to go into business do not know how to go about getting a plan. Some will go as far as paying money for a written business plan which does not reflect their idea.
A business plan template is a business plan sample that contains all the components of a business plan. The contents of a business plan template describe what should appear in each section.
Hence, those creating a business plan will simply change the texts on the template to describe their business.
This business plan template is designed in a simple and concise way to assist you create a viable business plan.
This business plan template
This business plan template is in 2 formats:
Download the business plan template format that you will prefer to use in developing your business plan.
Business plan Examples and Business plan samples
The following business plan examples and business plan samples can guide you in developing your plan.
The business plan format used in the business plan template represents a modern way to present your plan.
Follow the business plan format and use the business plan samples provided in the table below. You can contact us if you need help.
|Business plan sample for Fish Farming Business|
|Business plan example for Cassava Processing Business|
|Business plan sample for Pig Farming Business|
|Business plan example for pig production and processing|
What do you think about the above business plan template? Did you find it useful? If it helped you share it with your friends.