A business plan is more than a document. It`s a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. It`s also a management tool that allows you to analyze results, make strategic decisions, and showcase how your business will operate, and grow. In short, if you`re thinking of starting a business or plan to pitch your business to investors, writing a business plan can improve your chances of success.
The pitch is a summary of the plan, organized according to highlights for investors, ideally a way to present your business in a structured way. The business plan is the bones of the pitch, like the screenplay, setting strategy, tactics, milestones, market, and essential numbers.
Are you still unsure whether a business plan is worth the time and investment? Can`t you just jump right into starting and running your business? You could, but you`ll be missing out on some key benefits that a business plan provides.
You can skip the executive summary (or greatly reduce it in scope) if you are writing an internal business plan that`s purely a strategic guide for your company. In that case, you can dispense with details about the management team, funding requirements, and traction, and instead treat the executive summary as an overview of the strategic direction of the company, to ensure that all team members are on the same page.
There are four main chapters in a business plan—opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. The opportunity chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives—it includes information about the problem that you`re solving, your solution, who you plan to sell to, and how your product or service fits into the existing competitive landscape.
You should know what you want to get out of your business upfront. Are you wanting to turn a side hustle into a full-time business? Trying to expand your team or launch an additional location? Knowing what you`re trying to accomplish, and having questions like these in mind, can help you develop your business plan specifically to reach these goals.