A business plan is a very important document that you will show to investors. It will show them that you have done your homework, you know your market, and you have realistic, attainable expectations. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for traditional investors, or if you’re using equity crowdfunding to raise capital. It’s is still absolutely vital that you have a business plan.
Your plan should include all the relevant information and be clearly laid out. Investors, of any kind, tend to dislike a disorganised, badly drawn up plan. Your plan is one of the things that will encourage people to invest in you, so make sure that you take the time to so it properly. There are a number of things you need to include.
The executive summary will immediately follow the title page. It’s usually between one and four pages in length, and it summarises the rest of the plan. It should be able to stand on its own as an entirely separate document. You should make sure that the executive summary includes exactly what it is you’re looking for, and what you want. This is really important information, so it does need to be included in this section.
The business description should begin with a short description of the industry as a whole. You should include the present condition of the industry as well as any future predictions. You should also include information on the markets within the industry, and include any new offerings from competitors, or other developments, and how these would affect your business.
You also need to give an overview of your individual business. You’ll need to include the type of business, its location, its history, the legal formation, and the means of business. If you are planning an online only store, then you’ll need to state that. If you plan to combine online and in-store purchases, then your business description should state this.
You should have carried out market analysis, and this is where you’ll submit it. You should include an overview of the market as a whole, demonstrating where you’ll be filling a gap in the market. You can include any data, charts of graphs, if you have them. You should become familiar with your target market, and be able to define it. This can be considered especially important when you’re looking for investors through equity crowdfunding, as your target market could become potential investors. Identifying this market will allow you to put forward the best strategy for turning potential consumers into stakeholders.
This section will outline your main competitors and what their strengths and weaknesses are. You should also outline what strategies you plan to put in place to ensure that you have a competitive edge over others in your marketplace.
Design And Development Plan
In the design and development plan, you need to give your potential investors a description of the product or service, and chart how you plan to develop it. This could include production, marketing, and the development of your company. You should also include some budget of how much this plan will take in terms of finance.
Operations And Management
You should have already outlined your business earlier in the business plan, but you can go into more detail in this section. It will describe how you intend the business to operate on a continuing basis. You should highlight the logistics, such as the management team, their tasks, and the capital and expense required.
The financial data is always included at the end of the business plan, but it’s still massively important. This makes it vital that you have accurate figures. You should include your costs for expansion, and your balance sheets. You can include figures on the amount of finance needed to maintain and grow your business over the next year, two years, three years or five years. You’ll include how you plan to use any funds received from the investment. You should also include your ongoing business expenses.
You also need to include your projected income for the next year, two years, three years, or five years. It’s really important that you do your research and make sure your projections are realistic, and attainable. Your potential investors are more willing to invest if they see that your business is a valid and growing concern. If your projections are over-inflated then it can be off-putting.