If you have ever sought business finance from a financial institution, then you know that writing a business plan is a prerequisite to receiving any funding. To be considered for financing, most banks and other financial institutions demand a comprehensive and detailed business plan from which a thorough understanding of your existing or proposed business, your own goals and objectives and your financing requirements can be obtained.
When writing a business plan, focus should be concentrated in some key areas, namely;
- The business
- The entrepreneurs
- The market
- The financial management and planning
- The risks and rewards.
This is a general guide to writing a business plan but always bear in mind that every business is unique and each plan needs to be tailored accordingly.
All the same, no business plan would be considered complete without the following:
- A title page
- An executive summary
- Overview of the business
- The market
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Financial statements and projections
- Legal and regulatory environment
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and threats assessment (SWOT analysis)
- Supporting documentation
The infographic below summarizes the process of writing a business plan.
Source: Washington State University