National Write a Business Plan Month: Useful tips for your business plan to succeed
14 Dec 2022
In Ottumwa, entrepreneurs and business owners are crucial to our thriving community and economy. Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress is here to support new and existing businesses in the community.
Do you own a business? Are you just beginning the process of starting your own business? In either case, you can provide a sense of direction to your enterprise’s daily operations with a business plan. A well-written business plan can help you measure and guide your company goals. December is “National Write Your Business Plan” month, and there is no better time than now to explore how to create that key pillar of business success.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a short ( often 3 to 5-pages, sometimes 10-25 pages) document that outlines a company’s goals and strategies for achieving those goals. It also outlines the internal and external processes a business needs to meet its financial projections and customer expectations.
Why is it important to create a business plan?
Having a business plan in place is important for many reasons:
- Helps you monitor your finances
- Provides the opportunity for unique partnerships and investments
- Makes you appealing to top-tier talent within your industry
- Gives you a foundation from which you can refer to make further business decisions
- Helps foster business growth within and beyond your industry.
Tips for creating a business plan
Here are some tips for creating a well-written business plan:
- Determine your reasoning for creating a business plan before you start writing
- Establish a time frame for completing the goals you outlined in your plan
- Make sure you have reasonable goals.
Business plans help you run your business
There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs.
Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup.
Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. They tend to require more work upfront and can be dozens of pages long.
Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan.
Traditional business plan format
You might prefer a traditional business plan format if you’re very detail-oriented, want a comprehensive plan, or plan to request financing from traditional sources.
When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan outline. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Traditional business plans use some combination of these nine sections:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management
- Service or product line
- Marketing and sales
- Funding request
- Financial projections
Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress is dedicated to helping the communities of Ottumwa and all local businesses and industries succeed. We make it easier to do business in the South-east region of Iowa, and, by providing hands-on information, support, and site selection assistance GOPIP helps firms to open their first location or expand their current one, without the red tape.
Please contact Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress for further assistance with your business needs. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!
(Source: indeed.com and sba.gov)