How to write a business plan (part 2)
Getting started with your business plan
Start your business plan away from your computer!
Most business owners (myself included) have a tendancy to sit down at the computer and start to write a document from the beginning, so, starting with the executive summary and work through to the end. Once the plan is finished you are so sick of it receives the swiftest of re-reads to check grammar but no full edit and revise process.
The result is often a disjointed and somewhat mediocre business plan.
Follow our simple process to write your own killer business plan.
1 – Brainstorm
Grab a large piece of paper and a packet of post-it notes
Start jotting ideas down to cover as many of the following as you can;
- What will we sell?
- Who will we sell to?
- Why will they buy from us?
- How will they buy from us?
With these key themes start to “work outwards” from each section header – this will help you to develop your ideas.
- Describe the products, pricing, supply chain and selling prices.
- Will there be a wide range of products or a limited and specialist offering?
- What is your geographical catchment?
- What is your ideal customer, are there many of them are there in your catchment area?
- Is there more than one sub-category here?
- Why will our customers come to us rather than the competition
- Who is the competition?
- What are our unique selling points?
- A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis of the competition might help here.
- How will the sale be transacted?
- Online or bricks and mortar?
- Advice or “allowing the customer to chose”?
- Will your business be easy to find?
- What will the customer experience be like?
There are many more points here but this will get the plan started and some ideas on paper.