Writing your business plan

A business plan is a valuable tool for any business owner, whether a start-up company, in business for years or being expanded.

Your business plan is similar to a sales document. He must convince the reader that your business has the potential to succeed. Your enthusiasm, your dedication and confidence must be obvious to the reader. Avoid highly technical terms and diagrams that might confuse.You must write your plan for a reader who does not know very well the type of business you run.

business plan

Business plans are the most effective living documents that evolve as the business grows and changes. Your plan should reflect the current state of your business, the environment in which it is located as well as your current and future objectives.

If you run a business, a business plan can help you:
• transform your ideas and capital in profitable business;
• obtain financing from lenders and investors;
• identify your strengths, weaknesses, business opportunities and threats that await you.
If you run an existing business, a business plan can help you:
• communicate your vision to your employees and third parties;
• develop accurate financial forecasts;
• compare the expected performance with actual performance.
If your business is expanding, a business plan can help you:
• obtain funding to expand;
• a strategy to manage growth;
• take advantage of business opportunities and mitigate risks.
If you leave your company, a business plan can help you:
• develop a plan for the transfer of ownership, the sale of the company or closing;
• establish a timetable for the transition;
• know the requirements of financial and regulatory.

What elements do we find in a business plan?

Although business plans vary in length and scope, all successful business plans have common elements. The plan must take into account the specifics of your business and its environment. Here are some sections that you can include in your business plan:

1. Summary
2. Business Strategy
3. Marketing Strategy
4. Operational Plan
5. Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
6. Human Resources Plan
7. Social responsibility strategy
8. E-business strategy
9. Financial forecasts and other information
10. Additional Resources

The summary outlines the key elements of your business plan and is often considered the most important section. The abstract is usually the first section read as a potential investor or lender may be the only section to be read, if this summary is not properly prepared. This important summary should:

• present the highlights of each of the other sections to explain the essence of your business;
• be sufficiently attractive to entice the reader to continue reading your business plan;
• be brief and concise – not to exceed two pages.

You describe the concept of your business, its competitive advantages, its legal structure (eg., Sole proprietorship, corporation), the market and your own experience. Even if the summary is the first section of the plan, you should write it last.