Dec 11, 2018
Did you know December is National Write a Business Plan Month? Often overlooked in business planning are important topics such as securing assets, employee and customer safety and theft. So, in addition to typical business plan advice, we’re going the extra mile. If you don’t yet have a business plan or you have one that needs revising, now is the time to work on it!
But, first, why have a business plan?
- Acts as your roadmap while starting and running your business
- Helps to structure, run and grow your business
- Identify key elements
- Entice funders and investors
- Bring in new business partners
What types of business plans are there and what do they entail? The two most common types of business plans, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), are lean startup and traditional.
- Lean startup business plan | Key points only, high-level overview so you can get started ASAP. This is commonly a one-pager including some or all of the following sections:
- Key partnerships, activities and resources
- Your value proposition
- Customer experience, communication channels and segments (target markets)
- Costs and revenue streams
- Traditional business plan | A very detailed, comprehensive analysis of your business, often the type requested by investors. This document is typically several pages long and may include a combination of the following sections:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis (often a SWOT - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
- Organization, structure and management (legalities, org charts, etc.)
- Service vs. products - what are you selling, what is the benefit, are copyrights, patents or R&D necessary?
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Funding (including whether you’re asking for debt or equity funding)
- Financial strategy and projects - supplement any funding requests with this data.
- Protection - how will you protect your assets and, inadvertently, funder investments? Consider employing all applicable facets of business security, including a wifi-capable security system, fire alarms, security guards, investigative services and pre-employment screening.
- Appendix for supporting documents such as credit history, reference letters and licenses or permits.