How to Write Your Business Plan - Part 3 of 3
After working your way through the guidelines in How to Write Your Business Plan – Part 1 of 3 and How to Write Your Business Plan – Part 2 of 3, you should have a draft of the first sections of your written business plan. This post will help you finish your draft.
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Marketing and salesThis section of your plan will define your pricing plan and how you will present your product to potential customers.
- Is your product less expensive, or is it a luxury brand?
- What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
- How will you set yourself apart from your competitors?
Your pricing needs to be in line with customer expectations. If your price is too high, you won’t gain customers. If it’s too low, people may not believe that your product is high quality. Research your competitors to see their prices and to decide what price is appropriate.
Social Media. You’ll want to include various types of advertising in this section of your plan. Don’t forget to include Facebook and other social media platforms as part of your marketing plan. Check out How to Make a Business Page on Facebook – Part 1 for instructions about setting up a Facebook Business Fan Page.
Milestones and MonitoringUp to this point, your plan is written content that has hopefully helped you define how you will proceed. But now, it’s time to add a checklist of:
- Goals or milestones that you’d like to reach
- The dates you plan to reach them
- The person responsible for each (if there are other people involved)
ExpansionYou may want to include a section here to predict whether or not you will add team members and when you expect that might be possible. Describe the skills new team members should have.
Keep in mind that not all team members will work in management level. It can be tempting to offer management roles as a way to lure good employees, but that’s not practical.
Financial PredictionsDon’t be intimidated by having to make some financial predictions. Just make a simple plan with monthly projections for the first 12 months. This is a way for you to determine whether you’re looking at your business logically.
Make sure to include the cost of your product and office expenses so that your financial projections are realistic.
To Sum UpYour business plan will not be a static document. At this point, you have almost finished your draft. Go back over the draft to polish it up a bit and take out extraneous text. Remember, for this document to be easy to work with, it needs to be short and to the point.
And unless you’re going to present it to investors, you don’t need to worry about how well written it is. As your business develops, you’ll revise it according to new information and new goals to keep it current.
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