Writing a business plan can be daunting. But you can make the task easier by doing some research beforehand and laying the groundwork for sitting down to write it. Here are some things to think about before putting pen to paper.
1. Ask yourself why you are writing a business plan. Is it to raise capital or as a guide for running the business?
2. List your goals for starting the business and where you see the business in three to five years.
3. Clearly define your target audience.
4. Make a list of the data you will need to research. For example, you will need statistics on your demographic audience, your competition, the market, and so on.
5. Identify the experience and strengths of your management team. Gather biographical data on each person.
6. Start compiling all of your key financial documents. You can determine later which ones you will use in the business plan.
7. Read sample business plans. Since countless business plans have preceded yours, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Look for business plans for businesses most similar to yours as a prototype to guide you.