How to Write a Business Plan
The basics you need to think about before you launch the next big thing
Have the next great idea on the market? Before you hit launch, you need to brainstorm with your partners (or maybe friends and family if you’re doing this solo) and make a business plan. Why? Luigi Limlingan, Head of Sales at Regina Capital Development Corporation, explains, “[it’s] like a map you need to get to a destination. A business plan guides you in starting your journey from being a new business to one that delivers sales goals.” It’s something you can present to possible investors or funding agencies to help make that great idea a reality.
Though there is no fixed format for a business plan, here are a few things you might want to include:
1. Mission and vision—Mention your purpose for being and your goal here, too
2. Description of your company and product/service—Talk about the need that your product/service fills or what innovation you are introducing
3. Unique selling proposition (USP)—Answer the question: why does the market need your product or service, and what makes it unique from competition?
4. Description of the organization and management—To lend credence to your endeavor, give a background of the people behind the business, including the organizational chart
5. Market strategies—conduct a market analysis to get to know the industry in-depth.
6. Financial plan and projections—This is your forecast on capital expenses, budget, cash flow statements and the life for the entire business cycle
7. SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis—After filling out this grid, you’ll be able to define all the steps in your business cycle more clearly
8. Summary/conclusion—Bring it all together to drive the point as to why it’s just plain brilliant to embark on this endeavor. This serves as a synopsis of your entire business plan
Meanwhile, Kathrina Erro, proprietor of Katre Chic Leather Goods, started her business plan tentatively, diving head-on into designing, and selling clothes through bazaars and online in 2009. “I didn't believe in business plans because I was just doing everything for the love of fashion. But I made one a year after starting Katre because I wanted to have a physical shop. My husband (a CPA) also advised to do so. But that shop didn't happen because the business plan allowed me to see that my resources were still short and therefore, I was not yet ready for such an investment.” She then shifted her attention from RTW to locally made and designed leather handbags in 2011. “The mission, vision and goals were pretty much the same but with bigger targets.”
"You need direction if you want to fuel your passion for a long time"
"It made me realize that it is something serious and can't just be a hobby or something that you love to do,” says Erro. “Sure, that's how a business should start but you need direction if you want to fuel your passion for a long time. The business plan helps you with that—from ideal employees to partnerships (do I need one?) to yearly sales target. It also helps you monitor your goals. A business is not a business if you don't have goals.”
According to Erro, “There is a strong need now to bring the point of purchase closer to customers and there are many options that technology presents in order to do this. I have a very active website that showcases my collection as well as lifestyle features.” Katre is also very active on social media, like Instagram and Facebook. “That’s where we show people the different kinds of products as well as where we repost customers' own photos of their bags that they use.” To maximize the use of multiple channels, Katre has also made purchases easier: “We are now also able to accept worldwide orders (we ship via DHL) and payments (via Pay Pal).”
Don’t get scared by the task of making a business plan. It’ll help you focus and refine your concept and anticipate needs for your business to grow. And in this increasingly online world, it also helps to crowdfund, if necessary.
Learn more about starting a business. Visit mybusinesscommunity.globe.com.ph.