Briefly explain why your business is a good idea. In one paragraph, introduce the business idea, its market, and the plan for the future.
Include a description of why this business is unique from others that already exist. Include any newsworthy information. How does this service or product differ from those offered by your competitors? What makes it better? Why will customers want to buy it?
What do you expect to happen in the future? Is your business going to grow? What are your long-term goals for the company? What does the business look like in 10 years?
Include a description of your company's mission statement. A good mission statement describes not only what the business is, but also what it stands for. For example, a company that provides high-quality organic dog food might have a mission statement that says something like: "We will provide healthy organic dog food that our customers can feel good about feeding to their pets." Include any ethical concerns that you have about the business. For example, if you're concerned about environmental issues, include them here.
You may also want to include information about how the business will be financed. For example, if you plan to use savings or loans to start up your business, say so. If you need investors, tell them what benefits they'll get for putting up money. (You'll find information on sources of funding in chapter 9.)
A: New! the swot analysis part of the business plan
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It's a common tool for evaluating businesses.
Make a list of each of these four elements for your business idea. Strengths should be positive things about your business—things that you do well and that will give you an advantage over other companies. Weaknesses are things about your business that need improvement. Opportunities are factors outside your control that will help your business grow or succeed. Threats are problems or obstacles to your success. They may be internal (problems within the company) or external (problems with clients or competitors).
Look at your lists and see which ones are most important to your company's success.
B: New! The marketing plan part of the business plan
Analyze each segment of your target market individually. Use the same approach as for chapter 3 . Compare the segments with each other. Consider which segment will give you the greatest growth potential. Then make a detailed marketing plan for each segment.
Here are some questions you might want to answer in your marketing plan:
Which segment is most likely to buy your products or services? Why?
What can you do to reach this segment? Use both traditional and nontraditional methods of reaching customers. Be sure to consider costs as well as effectiveness. Will traditional methods cost more but be more effective? Or will nontraditional methods cost less but take more time?
How much will it cost to reach this segment? Write down all of your expenses, then estimate how much you predict each one will cost per month or year. Add up all your expenses to see how much it will cost to reach this segment. Make sure you have enough left over to cover operating expenses . If not, try to find ways to cut costs , or look for new sources of funding . You'll learn more about funding in chapter 9 .
Do you have enough money to reach this segment? If not, you'll have to decide whether it's worth spending money on this group now, knowing that later you may have to cut back on this group's advertising if more pressing expenses come up. If you decide not to spend money on this group now, look at some other groups and decide which is the next best option for you.
How can you increase sales in this segment? Your goal here is to find out how many people in this segment would be likely to buy from you, and why some people choose not to buy from you instead of from a competitor. You also want to determine what additional features or services you can offer that will make customers choose you over a competitor .
What prices can you charge for your products or services? Include all possible costs when determining pricing . Remember, pricing is tied closely not only to costs , but also to market research and competition .
What do customers value most when choosing a product or service? Focus on providing this benefit above all others . If there is no clear customer value, consider what would make a difference in a customer's choice between two similar products or services . Ask yourself: What would interest my target audience most? What would help my target audience solve their biggest problem? What would help my target audience achieve their goal ? What would help my target audience increase their profits ? To learn more about addressing customer needs in the marketing process , see chapter 8 .
C: New! A SWOT analysis part of the marketing plan
Determine which areas of your business need improvement and remove any weaknesses from the marketing plan . Weaknesses include anything that holds back your ability to sell products or services effectively . Take steps to fix these problems so they won't interfere with sales in the future . This part is particularly important in a startup company because weaknesses may prevent it from starting at all !
Reiterate why this business idea is a good one . Explain why people will want to buy from you instead of from a competitor . Explain why customers should buy from you rather than elsewhere . Reiterate why it's worth investing in this firm now rather than later . Outline how you'll keep working toward success after the business has started .