How to Create the Perfect Business Plan for your SMB
March 16, 2018
Writing a business plan is crucial for any small business. Even if your company “only” sells handmade jewellery from your garage, a sound business plan helps you figure out where you are at the moment, what your goals are for the future, and how to achieve them.
Read on and find out how to create the perfect business plan, and how Veem can help you.
If administration is not your favorite past-times, don’t worry. Your business plan can be as short or as detailed as you like.
Think of your business plan as a map that gives you guidance on how to manage and grow your business.
There are two main types of business plans: the traditional and the lean startup.
The Traditional Business Plan
Choose this type if you prefer all your info in one place, or if you’re looking for financing.
The traditional business plan is the most commonly used type. It’s very detailed and structured. Choose this type if you prefer all your info in one place, or if you’re looking for financing. Investors or partners usually request a very detailed business plan to help them make up their minds.
There are nine main sections in a traditional business plan. However, bear in mind that since all businesses are different, no two plans can look the same, either.
Feel free to leave out a section, add one, or even mold sections together if that makes sense for you.
Provide a brief overview of your business. Describe your goals, your products or services, your team, and your mission statement. If you’re looking for investors, make sure to feature financial information here, along with your business’ projected growth.
Introduce your business. Describe why you started it, who your target audience is, and what problems it will solve. Include details about your location, your team, and all the competitive advantages you have.
Research the market that surrounds your business. Who are your competitors? What are the major trends? What are your prospective customers looking for and how can you meet their needs?
Who’s who in your team? What is the chain of command? Describe your company’s organigram (or even better, include it), and the whole management process. Don’t forget to mention the legal form your business will take, e.g. sole proprietorship, LLC, C or S corporation, etc.
If you’re looking for funding, you may even include the CVs of your key team members and explain how their experience will help your business grow.
Products or Services
Define your products and/or services, including their lifecycle. Why would customers want them? What makes them unique?
Sales and Marketing
Including a comprehensive marketing plan may be too much, especially since marketing plans tend to constantly change and evolve. But, your business plan needs a description of how you plan to attract and retain clients.
Define your marketing and sales strategies in basic terms. This also serves as a reference point you can always come back to.
If you’re looking for investors, outline your funding request in this section. Explain how much funding your business needs and for what period of time, and how you’ll spend it.
Describe how and when you’ll be able to repay your debts.
Prove to your investors that your business will be a financial success. Provide charts of projected profits, capital expenditure, cash flow, etc, for the next five years. You may even draw up projected quarterly or monthly reports for your first year of operation.
This section is useful for planning, even if you don’t want to look for investors at this point.
Include any supporting material that will make your case stronger. This is the place for pictures of your product, any important legal documents, your team’s CVs, or anything that will create the image of a solid, stable business.
Lean Startup Format
This format is best for you if you want to regularly update your business plan, or if you need a quick tool to help you make your case about your business to an audience.
The lean startup format is usually not much longer than a page. It includes key information about your business, and is often displayed in the form of charts.
List your suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, or any strategic business partners you have.
What is your business’ competitive advantage? What kind of cutting-edge technologies are you using? List everything to make your case stronger.
List all your assets, including capital, intellectual property, know-how, etc.
Describe the value your business provides to its prospective customers.
Who are your prospective customers? What do you do to reach them?
How are you going to manage customer relations? Describe the customer experience in detail, and include the channels you’ll use to communicate with them.
What are the most important costs your business will deal with? Do you want to go for reducing costs or maximizing value? It’s okay to say both, just be clear where the focus lies.
Stream of Revenue
Describe how your business will earn its revenue.
Create your Business Plan
The US Small Business Administration offers a great tool to help you draw up your business plan.
Whichever option you go for, use your business plan to show how cutting-edge and competitive your small business is.
Whichever option you go for, use your business plan to show how cutting-edge and competitive your small business is. For example, showcase your innovative payment solutions. Like Veem.
Veem is the next generation B2B payment platform, allowing you to send and receive international payments securely, quickly, and easily.
Veem creates a direct connection between you and your business partners, ensuring that funds travel between you fast and secure. Since Veem eliminates the middlemen, there are no unexpected delays or hidden costs in the process.
In addition, Veem offers competitive foreign exchange rates and charges no wire fees.
Sign up for a free Veem account and enjoy payments of the future.