How To Prepare a Business Plan
Imagine this scenario: you are traveling to a new place you’re unfamiliar with. What do you do to make your trip easier? Simple, you make use of a map. A map helps you navigate the area and lets you reach your destination with ease. Of course, you can travel without a map, but it will only increase your odds of getting lost on the way and not reaching your destination on time, if not at all. So why make things hard for yourself?
This analogy can be applied to businesses but in this case, the traveler is the entrepreneur, the destination is the success of their business, and the map is their business plan. A lot of people in Nigeria run their businesses without having a business plan. And yes, this does not necessarily mean the business will fail but having a well-detailed and strategic business plan improves your chances of success.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a sole document, about 15–20 pages, that provides all the information needed about a business. It is a document that outlines the objectives of a business and the specific steps that need to be taken for the goals to be achieved. A business plan includes information such as the mission and vision of a business, product/services provided, market and competition analysis of the business, financial plan, marketing plan, and operation plan.
Importance of a business plan
Serves as an action plan:
A business plan provides all the necessary information needed to achieve the goals of the business. It explicitly describes all of the objectives of the business and provided step-by-step instructions on how to execute them. It also helps you analyze any possible problems or challenges that can be encountered and how to solve them
Creating an effective marketing strategy for your target customer:
A well-structured business plan includes an in-depth analysis of your target customer. What do they like? How to catch their attention? What incentivizes them to buy? Understanding the customer will help in providing the best product and services for the customers, and how to reach and connect with them.
Before pumping their money into a business, investors need to know the business is worth it. A business plan can be the sole document that you submit to investors that answers any question they might have. Questions such as, ‘What problem are you solving?’ ‘What are your objectives and goals?’ ‘How do you plan on meeting the said goals and objectives?’ ‘What is your financial projection?’.
Understand the market:
A business plan helps understand the present situation of the market. It also helps in analyzing the competition; What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are the business’ competitive advantages? And how can you be better than the competition?
Discover new opportunities:
In the process of creating a plan for your business idea, you start to see it from a different and broader perspective. It is possible to stumble on new ideas and opportunities that will be beneficial to the growth of your business.
Creating a business plan
Not every entrepreneur has the skills needed to write a good business plan. Most times, the service of a professional is needed.
Paperclip is a company that provides such services. We work with entrepreneurs to breathe life into their business ideas. We have experts and professionals on board who can help you create a business plan or edit your already-made business plan to improve its readability.