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  • Writer's pictureMary Beth Henderson

The Business Plan: What It Is, Why You Need One, Where To Start


The Business Plan: What It Is, Why You Need One, Where To Start

Ah, the business plan. Whether you’re seeking investors, looking for funding, or simply trying to get a clear picture of your new venture, a business plan is, hands down, the place to start.


When to Use a Business Plan


Startup Phase: Potential investors or lenders often require a business plan to understand and assess the viability of your idea. Even if you’re not looking for financing, creating a business plan can be incredibly valuable for new business owners. It’s a critical first step that we always recommend to our clients.


Fundraising: Whether at the beginning or later stages of your business, a business plan is essential when seeking external funds. It’s a key part of the pitch process and due diligence for potential investors.


Expansion: Revisiting your original plan before a growth season is an excellent opportunity to reset and reposition your business strategy.


Internal Governance: A solid business plan serves as a guiding document, providing clarity on decisions and ensuring alignment with your values, mission, and vision.


Partnerships: When considering partnerships or joint ventures, a business plan can help get everyone on the same page quickly and facilitate negotiations.


Exit Strategy: If you plan to sell your business, a thorough business plan can significantly enhance the sales process and ensure a smooth transition to new ownership.


The Value of a Business Plan


Beyond the practical uses, the process of drafting a business plan frankly helps new entrepreneurs calm down and focus on what they're trying to accomplish along with what success looks like.


Our go-to starting point at Front & Center, it's an invaluable exercise that brings sense and order to that grand vision swirling about in your big, beautiful brain.


What a Business Plan Should Include


This is your journey. With that said, a comprehensive business plan typically covers the following sections:


  • Summary: A crisp, concise introduction to the who, what, and why of your business.

  • Description: Context covering your origin story, structure, core offerings, and what makes your business special.

  • Market Analysis: Identification of your client base and proof that a potential market exists.

  • The A-Team: Showcase your leadership and support team; for solopreneurs, this highlights your “village.”

  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: How you intend to reach and attract your ideal clients.

  • Delivery: How you will deliver your products and services to standard and scale.

  • Finances: Projections on revenue and expenses, along with specific funding asks.


 

Start Here, Start Today


Ready to put pen to paper on your master plan? Grab your copy of Love It When A Plan Comes Together online today - this digital guide tackles each section along with giving you some questions we ask our clients during the discovery process to help get the juices flowing.



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