Simple Business Plan – You Only Need One Page To Set Your Business On The Path To Success

A simple business plan is all you need to keep your company moving along the success track.

Ask many entrepreneurs if they have a strategic/business plan/blueprint and they will nearly always say yes, but ask to see it and you’ll discover that it is often just a mental vision they have in their heads.

Writing a strategic blueprint is one of the single most important things that any company owner can do and yet, many small business owners never get around to doing it! Yes, they may have a dream for what they hope to achieve with their company but unless it is written down with goals, strategies and a plan of action, it’s really just a pipedream.

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How to Draw Up a Business Plan – Using Graphics to Tell the Story

A business plan does not have to be a monotonous, text-only document. In fact, your plan may be more successful if it is not. After reading many plans of this type, investors and lenders are always ready to see a plan which uses images, charts, and graphs to better tell its story, as long as these graphics fulfill their purpose. The following are a few suggestions of where images or graphic layouts can be used to good effect in a business plan, although they are by no means the only options.

Customers and Competitors

Since your customer groups and top competitors must be listed in the plan, why not use a chart to summarize this information? This can be a good method of showing the differences and similarities between customer target markets and competitors. To better illustrate how competitors will compare to your intended business, include your business as a row on such a chart as well. Furthermore, images or logos that better inform a reader about customers or competitors can be of use here and help to break up the monotony of research.

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Ten Important Things to Think About When Writing a Business Plan

1. Whether you are raising money, borrowing it, or financing a new business yourself, you should force yourself to put into writing a detailed business plan for what you have in mind. Without one, you most likely will be unsuccessful at obtaining money. With one you can guide yourself and your management team through the entire start-up process in an organized and successful manner. That being said, having a written business plan is a must.

2. If you are raising money for your business, you should first carefully think about who potentially will be providing the funds to start the business. For example, if you are hoping to borrow from a bank, your plan should clearly address the risks involved in the business with emphasis on the new business’s ability to pay back any loans obtained. If you are soliciting funds from investors or venture capitalists, your plan should emphasize the business’s growth potential and it’s subsequent return on invested capital. At every step of the way, you should be conscious of writing FOR and TO the targeted reader of your business plan.

3. Making a detailed outline of what you have in mind is probably the most important thing you can do before you actually start writing your plan. Take your time and give your outline a lot of thought. Organize your thoughts in simple phrases or sentences and number and letter each phrase or sentence. Break down big topics into smaller, detailed lists of specific things that must be researched or said. Composing a detailed outline can be tedious, but don’t slack off on this crucial part of the process. Writing from a carefully written outline will give your business plan a definite beginning, middle, and end.

» Read more: Ten Important Things to Think About When Writing a Business Plan