SMALL BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE
A business outline is the guide line of any business be it small scale business or large scale business. It is the action plan of your business! To arouse the attention of potential inventors, you need a good business outline. In writing a business outline there are key points or words you must pay attention to! Small businesses are easy to implement this days, due to the fact of low capital start-up.
What then is a business outline? It is the plan of your business goals, how they are attainable and strategies of how to achieve it. A small business outline is a general description of a small business, giving the main points but not the details. A business outline must have the correct business format. Having the right format and with the right words makes your business outline attractive to investors. A small business outline need not to be necessarily voluminous or filled with ambiguous words.
Having a good small business outline drafted in the right business format is a good way to commence the small business. A business outline is a decision-making tool. The content of your business outline and the format are determined by the business objectives and the target audience you are aiming at. Therefore, the objective of this article is to enable you understand the meaning of a business outline most especially small business plan and also to teach you how to write a good business outline. So, enjoy as I will outline the easy steps to having a good business outline;
Title page and table of content. Your title page should indicate the business name (business registered name) while the content page should enable anyone who grab hold of your business outline to quickly find relevant parts of the document. It should contain the business name and the beginning page number of each section of the business outline.
Mission statement: this should address the noticed problem your business has solution to. The reason why you are considering such business! How will your business provide solution to your targeted audience, make life easier and more comfortable? All these should be answered in your mission statement. Hence, you should explain what the core problem is and why your business is important at such time and space and the indisputable benefits your business has to offer to the targeted geopolitical society.
Business description: at this point you should provide a good level of review of your business. You should describe what type of business entity you want. Describe how you plan of running the business to achieve your set goals. A concrete case to illustrate this would be that, you want to set up a computer cyber cafe and your aim is to be the most patronized by the internet users. How would you achieved this? Having a strong internet connection, a constant power supply and so on.
The purpose of your description should be to give your readers or potential investors the overview of your business. This begins with what you want to offer, how you plan to start, how you plan to manage and other information you feel they should know.
Feasibility study: the environmental analysis of your preferred location is an essential element to the success of the business. Can your type of business survive the environment? Even though you are providing their solution. Do their culture, social-political and religion believe permit your targeted audience in that location to patronize your business? What is your business strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threat from the environment or competitors that might be thrown at you?
Competitors Analysis: who are your competitors and how will your business survive with the competition? How do you plan to manage the constant threat from your competitors? Study your competitors to know their weaknesses as well. You capitalize on this and avoid having the same weaknesses as you competitors. This you can leverage on to increase the number of patronage. You should know that your competitors could be direct competitor, that is, produces the same products or services to fill the consumers’ wants as yours or indirect competitors, they produce different products or services from yours but still satisfies the same consumers you are targeting.
Market analysis: In this section you give the detailed description of you products or services that your business will offer, your price. What is the size of the market you are targeting? Is your market going to be close to your location or you will have to drive with your products or services some miles to meet with your targeted audience? That is, you talk about your distribution plan. Will the market meet up with the proposed cash flow?
Marketing plan: this will contain your business model. How do you intend getting your product or services to your targeted audience, what marketing plan are you putting in place and also will there be any back up plan as regards the marketing plan?
Operational plan: operational activities are the daily functions your business must engage in. the main task that is to be achieved and the time frame within it is to be achieved. Prepare a sound operational plan that will be used when the business starts functioning. Make sure your employees or yourself abide by the set operational plan. This must be linked with a go
od managerial plan too.
Financial plan: financial plan deals with the financial aspect of the
business. This relates to how you will generate revenue, projected net income for over a stipulated peri
od of time, external fund to be raised and most importantly you plans toward the funds.
Having known all of these, it will help you to organise your thought as regards writing s business plan especially for a small type of business as this article is about. This will serve as a guide line for you as you commence your business and during the functioning process as well. Action plan and budgeting shouldn’t be left out when planning a small business. The progress of business depends on the execution of the planed plans. The action plan helps you to go about actualizing this, and budgeting ensures that you are not using all your resources on a single plan. Business plan, action plan and budgeting complement one another as they are for the success of business. Utilizing these tools will be of great benefit!
Serial Entrepreneur - International Business Planning Consultant - Speaker - Trainer - Author - Blogger - Network Marketing professional
- Fellow, Inspire Africa Train-the-Trainer sponsored by US Consulate Lagos
- Fellow, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
- Top 50 Innovative Entrepreneurs, BET5 by Diamond Bank
He is an alumnus of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Through his training, mentoring, speaking and coaching programmes, he has empowered many young people over the years to start and grow their own business, build wealth, create multiple streams of income and achieve financial independence.