A startup business plan is a written document (generally 20 – 40 pages) that describes the step by step plan of how you will run your business. Writing a business plan is generally recommended when starting a new business or deciding to take your existing business to the next level.
Why should I write one?
The purpose of this document is to get out all your business ideas and future objectives for your startup. If you have this blueprint before you start your business, it will aid greatly in convincing banks, investors, & customers to support your business. This document should contain the financial forecasts of your business + any benchmarks/milestones that you plan to achieve in the future.
The essential elements for writing a startup business plan are:
- Executive summary - Give the overall description of your business project.
- Business description – Give a short description of the industry + explain the new products or services that your business is bringing to the table.
- Marketing strategies – How you’ll market. Make sure to include a total market analysis (including TAM, or Total Addressable Market, estimations).
- Competitive analysis – Various analyses such as strengths & weaknesses of your competitors, and how you can overcome them.
- Management plan – How operations will be managed.
- Financial analysis - This part generally comes towards the end of your startup business plan. Describe how you plan to use your funds + how you plan to raise more funds in the future. Detail your revenue streams + future potential revenue streams.
Templates & Software
It’s recommended to use a template when writing your business plan, since it will give you a better idea of what you should include. There are many online templates available in Microsoft Word. These may help you finish your business plan in a very short amount of time.
The other options of course is to take the essential elements I mentioned above, and write your own business plan from scratch. Regardless of the path you take, there will be pros & cons for each.
Advantages to using a business plan template:
- You will have a overall idea of how to write a start up business plan, including all the necessary sections.
- You will save alot of time.
- Some of the more important elements of your business may or may not be included in the general template.
There also may be some software programs that can help you in writing a startup business plan. You can take guidance from those programs, but do not totally depend on them. As mentioned before, every business is different, and what may work for one company, may not work for another.
Writing a startup business plan isn’t the easiest task, but if you pool all your resources together (such as templates & apps) it will help you complete the task quickly & efficiently. Remember, a perfect business plan plays a key role in the success of a business.