Here are some worksheets from Write Your Business Plan that will help determine your unique selling proposition and analyze your industry.
Market strategies: Here is where you define your target market and how you plan to reach them. Market analysis requires research and familiarity with the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be positioned i.
This section also talks about distribution plans and promotion strategy and tactics that will allow you to fulfill your plans.
Here is a worksheet from Write Your Business Plan that will guide you toward identifying your target market. Competitive analysis: The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.
Show why your business will be a success over others. Design and development plan: You will only need this section if you have a product in development, such as an app. The purpose of this section is to provide investors with a description of the product's design, chart its development within the context of production and marketing and show a development budget that will enable the company to reach its goals. Operations and management plan: This section describes how the business functions on a daily basis, its location, equipment, people, processes and surrounding environment.
If you have a product that needs to be manufactured, explain the how and where; also, describe your work facility, the personnel, the legal environment such as licensing, permits, special regulations, etc. This section will also highlight the logistics of the organization such as the various responsibilities of the management team and the tasks assigned to each division within the company. Price too low and people may undervalue your offering. You can establish your pricing based on several factors.
You can look at your costs and then mark up your offering from there. Market-based pricing. Another method is to look at the current landscape of competitors and then price based on what the market is expecting. You could price at the high-end or low-end of the market to establish your positioning. Value pricing. A promotion plan details how you plan on communicating with your prospects and customers.
Here are a few areas that you might consider as part of your promotional plan: Packaging If you are selling a product, the packaging of that product is critical.
If you have images of your packaging, including those in your business plan is always a good idea. Be sure the packaging section of your plan answers the following questions: Does your packaging match your positioning strategy? How does your packaging communicate your key value proposition? How does your packaging compare to your competition?
Advertising Your business plan should include an overview of the kinds of advertising you plan to spend money on. Will you be advertising online? A key component to your advertising plan is your plan for measuring the success of your advertising. Public relations Getting the media to cover you—PR —can be a great way to reach your customers.
Getting a prominent review of your product or service can give you the exposure you need to grow your business. If public relations if part of your promotional strategy, detail your plans here. Content marketing A popular strategy for promotion is engaging in what is called content marketing.
Content marketing is what Bplans is all about. Content marketing is about teaching and educating your prospects on topics that they are interested in, not just on the features and benefits that you offer.
Social media These days, having a social media presence is essentially a requirement for the vast majority of businesses. More and more, prospects are using social media to learn about companies and to find out how responsive they are. Strategic alliances As part of your marketing plan, you may rely on working closely with another company in a form of partnership.
This partnership may help provide access to a target market segment for your company while allowing your partner to offer a new product or service to their customers. Operations The operations section is how your business works. Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may or may not need the following sections. Only include what you need and remove everything else. If you are sourcing products from manufacturers overseas, investors are going to want to know about your progress working with these suppliers.
If your business is going to be delivering products to your customers, you should describe your plans for shipping your products. At a high level, you will want to describe how your technology works.
Remember, your goal is to keep your business plan as short as possible, so too much detail here could easily make your plan much too long.
Distribution For product companies, a distribution plan is an important part of the complete business plan. For the most part, service companies can skip this piece and move on. Distribution is how you will get your product into the hands of your customers. Every industry has different distribution channels and the best way to create your distribution plan is to interview others in your industry to figure out what their distribution model is.
Here are a few common distribution models that you may consider for your business: Direct distribution Selling directly to consumers is by far the most simple and most profitable option. You could consider passing the savings of selling directly on to your customers or you could simply increase your profit margins. You will still need to cover the logistics of how you will get your products to your customers from your warehouse, but a direct distribution model is usually fairly simple.
Instead, they prefer to buy through large distribution companies that aggregate products from lots of suppliers and then make that inventory available to retailers to purchase. Of course, these distributors take a percentage of the sales that pass through their warehouses. What methods will be used for payment? Advertising and Promotion List the different media you will use to get your message to customers e. Section 5: Ownership and Management Plan This section describes the legal structure, ownership, and if applicable the management, and staffing requirements of your business.
List ownership percentages if applicable. If the business is a sole proprietorship this is the only section required. Management Team Describe managers and their roles, key employee positions, and how each will be compensated. Section 6: Operating Plan The operating plan outlines the physical requirements of your business, such as office, warehouse, retail space, equipment, inventory and supplies, labor, etc.
For a one-person, home-based consulting business the operating plan will be short and simple, but for a business such as a restaurant or a manufacturer that requires custom facilities, supply chains, specialized equipment, and multiple employees , the operating plan needs to be very detailed.
Describe your production workflow. Here's how to get the most out of a sample plan: Choose a sample plan from a similar type of company You don't need to find a sample business plan that's an exact fit for your business. Your business location, target market, and even your particular product or service may not match exactly to the plans in our gallery.
But, you don't need an exact match for it to be helpful. Instead, look for a plan that's related to the type of business you're starting. For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse can be a great match. While the specifics of your actual startup will differ, the elements you'd want to include in your restaurant's business plan are likely to be very similar.
Use a sample as a guide Every startup and small business is unique, so you'll want to avoid copying a sample plan word for word. It just won't be as helpful, since each business is unique.How are they solving their problems today? Look at their market share, strengths and weaknesses, any barriers they present, partnerships, and so on. And each type of reader does have certain typical interests.
Remember, your goal is to keep your business plan as short as possible, so too much detail here could easily make your plan much too long. Value pricing.
Market Pricing: By conducting this market research, you can give the best estimate of where you should be pricing your products , how you should distribute your product, and how you can get ahead with promotional strategies.
Instead, Ford was competing against other modes of transportation—horses, bikes, trains, and walking. In other words, why should a customer choose you instead of someone else? Are they still relevant? However, there are often many obstacles and bumps along the road to the success. Use the search bar below to get started and find the right match for your business idea.
Describe your production workflow.
Business description : This section typically begins with a brief description of your industry and its outlook. If you're looking for more resources to help you get started, this guide on how to write a business plan is a good place to start. You can get away with a sales forecast, spending budget, and cash flow plan. Document all aspects of your business. This section will cover your marketing and sales plan, operations, and your milestones and metrics for success.
If you find that you're not meeting goals, you might need to adjust your budgets or your sales forecast.
Most business plans include these seven sections: 1. Current status of products: Explain where your offering currently stands. Unlike [key competition], it [most important distinguishing feature].
Equipment Include a list of any specialized equipment needed. Now that you know how to use a sample business plan to help you write a plan for your business, it's time to find the right one. How are your competitors positioning themselves? Every business will have key metrics that it watches to monitor growth and spot trouble early, and your business plan should detail the key metrics that you will be tracking in your business. The other is more organizational an internal in nature.