It does not make earning a Master’s of Business Administration to start a business, but knowing the critical first steps to take, such as writing a business plan, is crucial when taking on the overwhelming endeavor. Corey Shader, an experienced self-made entrepreneur and founder of several businesses, is well recognized for his proactive involvement with startup companies. In this article, Corey shares a step-by-step guide on how to write a successful business plan.
Step 1: Identify the Reader
Who is going to be reviewing your business plan? Business plans are often made to convince investors, partners, or talented employees about the viability of a business model. That’s why it is absolutely essential to identify the target audience that will be reading your business plan. This will help you hone the details of the plan, such as language and style of writing.
Step 2: Executive Summary
The first part of your business plan should have an executive summary or a quick outline stating the company’s mission, vision, purpose, and goals. You are essentially writing about what your business is and why it will be successful. It is a good idea to include your business name, address, products or services provided, key employees, and the business’ background.
Step 3: Describe the Business
Go into great detail about your business during this section. Explain how your business will bring value to the market and consumers, who your target market is, and what problems your business’ services or products solve for customers.
Step 4: Examination on Market and Competition
Research is needed to fulfill this step. Knowing your market and competition will make your organization shine during this section of your business plan as you highlight what opportunities in the market you will take advantage of when starting your company.
Step 5: Business Structure
Explaining how your business is organized and structured helps your reader understand what daily operations will look like once up and running. In this portion, you should discuss the legal structure of the organization, too.
Step 6: Breakdown Product or Service
What will your company offer? How does it benefit the consumer? What makes your product or service stand out from the competition? Write in-depth on what product or service your business will provide, and be sure to include product or service development, price, value, and promotion plans.
Step 7: Funding Needs
If an investor is reading your business plan, be sure and include a funding request that states what kind of finances you will need to get your company up and running. Explain what you will use the funds for and clearly state the projected ROI.
Step 8: Financial Projections
With or without a funding request, you will need to incorporate financial projections. A financial analysis should create an image clearly showing your business’ past performance and future growth.
Step 8: Appendix
An appendix is an excellent place to put in any information that did not seem to fit in any of the sections previously listed. An appendix can include charts, licenses, patents, and so forth.
About Corey Shader
Corey Shader is a self-made entrepreneur, consultant, investor, real estate developer, and founder of several companies, notably Insurance Pipeline. Operating primarily out of Ft. Lauderdale, Corey’s endeavors span across the nation, consulting for start-ups, and sitting on the board of digital media and senior healthcare agencies. As a consultant, Corey helps young businesses develop sales funnels and maximize profitability. Shader takes pride in challenging others to push themselves to be their very best — he believes in constant self-improvement, inspiring others through sharing his own life experiences.