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Writing Your Business Plan- The First Step

Whether you’re running a single-person business or a global corporation, a business plan is essential. It’s basically a blueprint for your business and provides direction, helps you stay focused, and assists in creating strategies to achieve your goals. To help you get started, here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to write a business plan that works for your business.

While writing a business plan might seem like a big job, it really doesn’t have to be. Contrary to what many people think, a well-written business plan doesn’t have to be long and arduous. In fact, you should try and keep it short and to the point.

Your business plan will help you understand your:

Target market.

Strengths and weaknesses.

Strategies to secure external funding.

Direction and structure.

Your plan will constantly be changing and evolving, so try and not sweat the small stuff when you initially start creating it.

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Don’t worry if your plan is ugly at first — the important thing is to start. It’s as simple as following these five steps:

Do your groundwork.

Introduce your business.

Understand your market.

Make a list of milestones.

Present a financial forecast.

Ready to learn how to make a business plan? Let’s look at each of the five steps one by one.

Step 1: Do your groundwork

Before you even start writing your business plan, it’s important to do your research and gather together all the necessary information you’ll need. This will make the whole process a lot more painless. It will also give you a clear idea on how to structure your plan.

Put aside some time to research everything about your business, product, competition and market.

To get the ball rolling, ask yourself these questions:

Who are you writing it for?

Decide if your business plan will be an internal document or if others such as loan officers or potential investors will receive it.

What kind of information will be effective?

There’s no one-size-fits-all equation, although it’s a good idea to combine clear, concise writing with visual elements like product sketches and financial projections.

What goals do you want to achieve?

By determining your goals