Starting a business plan can be daunting, and what is it that you need?

Bear in mind the purpose of a business proposal is to convince, to persuade the reader (who are most probably your lenders) why they should part with their cash to help you. Readability is a necessity here; confounding others by means of arcane words and obfuscation is unlikely to help. Therefore, it would not be extremely difficult to write one, after all, the main purpose is to communicate your whole business model to someone else.

Writing a business plan means gathering of different components that makes up your business and arranging it in a easy to follow structure.

Here are the different components that commonly makes up a business proposal:

•             Business Executive Summary

What is your business about? It is simply a summary of the whole business proposal, and allows the reader to get a feel of the whole thing without plodding through the whole plan. Location of business, number of employees, and a mission statement belong here as well.

•             Business Description

Why your business? What is it that your business can do while your competitors cannot do? Or cannot do well enough as you can? What competitive edge do you have over your competitors?

What differentiates your company from the rest? Maybe one of your personnel have an extraordinary management skills? Or you have come up with a drastically improved distribution plan that would cut down cost significantly? Can you secure exclusive discounts from suppliers?

•             Competitive Market Analysis

Is there a demand for your goods or service? The best idea is bound to fail without a demand for it. A demand shows that people are willingly to pay for whatever goods or service your business provides.  If there is a demand, and you are able to fulfill them, you would be guaranteed revenue, at least.

From your research, what conclusion can you draw about those demands? Summarise them here while leaving your research in the appendix.

Further questions like, are those needs (or demands) met satisfactory? Or could your business exploit these unmet needs and your business provides value to your customer by fulfilling those needs? Who are your target audience?

•             Service and Products

What are you selling? What value can you provide to your prospective customers? Is your target audience after something which not many / none of your competitors have yet offer? Can you identify that?

Perhaps you are able to offer convince to your customers, a mid-life executive who has no time to go around doing his own shopping for groceries. And you happen to be able to do that for him.

•             Organization and Management

Who are in the team? And what are they responsible? In your team, (assuming more than 1 person) each individuals are assigned certain aspect of the business to overlook, who is in charge of what, and what is he/she expected to do.

In addition to that, what are their backgrounds and how can their own background contribute to the company? Supposedly you are proposing to run a bakery. Having an architect may not seem beneficial in any obvious way, but one possiblity is that he could use his skills and transfer it to shaping those beautiful cakes with his skills.

•             Financial Components

What are you going to do with the amount loaned? How would you put it to the greatest use? Lenders are generally more interested in this aspect; you must be able to convince them you can pay them back punctually. A basic in accounting will help significantly when you set out to write this part.

Remember what we have mentioned earlier. The sole purpose of a business plan is to make it simple. If graphs and picture bring across your point much more effectively, do not hesitate to put them in.

There are plenty of free online template to writing business proposal online, if you were to

And a business plan need not follow the exact outline above. It just needs to make sense. So long as you have arrange the differing components of your proposal in a logical manner that is easy to follow, it is acceptable.