Do you have a great business idea? Do you want to take your current business to the next level? But do you need outside financing for that? Then it is necessary to write a strategic business plan, that can help you to attract investors to convince them your business is worth investing in.
A business plan depends very much on the product or service and the line of business, so there is not really a standard business plan, but a strategic business plan should cover at least the following elements:
For whom are you writing the strategic business plan and what is the goal of the plan? In the introduction you describe the target audience of the business plan and what the objectives of the plan are.
Describe your business in this part. Include information like the size of your company, owners, founders, and number of employees, location, investors, products or services, potential of the market, growth projection and financial details.
In the mission statement you describe the reason of existence of your company and what you hope to achieve in the future.
A vision statement challenges a business and should guide that organization into the future and it needs to be consistent with the objectives and mission of the company. A good vision statement should also be easy to understand and remember.
Analysis of the market
You should describe in this part of the business plan what your target audience is, who your competitors are and what part of the market you think to conquer. You also put in this part your SWOT-analysis, describing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your organization. Keep in mind that strengths and weaknesses are internal to your business, while opportunities and threats are external and also apply to other organizations active in that market.
Explain who and where your (potential) customers are and what behavior they are showing.
Line of business
Describe the growth, trends and developments and other relevant information of the business your organization is active in.
Sales and Marketing
This part of your strategic business plan should include pricing, competitive pricing, your marketing plan, communication plan, channels of distribution, sales- and marketing-budgets.
Information on funding should answer questions like: what are your requirements? What are the funding terms? What is the expected Return on Investment? Don't put your dream in this section, but be realistic. Investors want to see a realistic financial picture with realistic financial projections. Don't be overly aggressive with your plan.
Your financial projections for the next 3 to 5 years need to include balance sheets, profit- and loss-information, operational costs and cash flow information, which includes the cash going out and coming in and when that occurs. Convince your (potential) investors in this part of the strategic business plan that your organization will be profitable.
In the appendix you put all the information and materials that support your business plan. Market researches, reports, website information, promotion material, in-depth analysis, tables and related information should be put in the appendix.