What does a business plan include?
Now that we have talked about why we need a business plan. Let us discuss its components. Think of it as a checklist with ten primary categories combined to produce a single complicated document:
Now that we have talked about why we need a business plan. Let us discuss its components. Think of it as a checklist. It has ten primary categories combined to produce a single document:
It begins with an encompassing overview, like a thesis. A synopsis of the company’s operations. Then it adds details to it, such as the table of contents.
Remember Benny and his business partner Neha? They named their company Zeyka. They made the decision to work in the architecture and interior design industries. They realised they were going to market artwork for business and hospitality projects. Neha said that they wanted to establish long-term relationships with their clientele. How? By offering design consultation on their brand profile and marketing objectives. The success of their venture will be determined by two factors– One is based on the amount of money earned directly from selling artwork and billing hours for design consulting; and, two, because of the popularity they achieve for their clientele.
The Founding Team
This is about outlining the whole workforce structure from top to bottom. It is critical to understand the workflow at various phases of development. It also includes a precise definition of modes of operation. One must have a thorough awareness of the location of the office space, the geography of the market, the specifics of the industrial space, and the nature of the product or service.
It is also critical to include information on the core team members' profiles. This way the market and clients can analyse the values, abilities, and expertise of persons involved in the company's management and/or creation of its products and services. The bio's of the founding team members should include information about their previous experiences, how their discoveries influence their day-to-day operations at the company.
This category contains competitors' information who operate in the same market and offer similar products or services to clients with similar demographics.
In this section, we list the domain's hurdles, regulatory frameworks, employment possibilities, talent availability, and its cost.
This should be as detailed as possible. It is not blue-chip companies in commercial or hospitality sectors that interest Zeyka. They found that mid-sized businesses are more open to purchasing artwork and consulting from start-ups. As a result, Benny and Neha's study provided them with a target audience.
Marketing and Sales Strategy
This is the value proposition derived from Stage 5. It is further detailed by writing down the strategy. One of the key takeaways from a business plan should be an understanding of the company's marketing and sales strategy. It must feature a pitch to enhance market sales of its product or service.
Organisational and Operation Structure
It can be departmental, but it must involve all firm stakeholders of all ranks. The more detailed your corporate plan, the better and clearer your workflow will be. The aim is to identify each phase of the work process from top to bottom, as well as provide accountability for each step in the supply chain.
Legal Overview and Assessment
These are the ownership, underlying partnerships, assets, liabilities, and commitments of your company. Please seek the advice of a good company advocate before developing this part. It should also disclose all its proprietary assets, trademarks, licences, and patents.
The goal of a business plan is to detail the landscape surrounding the product or service and its features. It should include crucial information that the company wants people to know about. The sector in which it operates, its current scale of operation, future prospects, and the current product/service it sells. The company should also aim to explain the ways in which it is innovating and distinguishing itself from the competition.
Also, the company should list or refer to its market, their on-site or online research, and any surveys they have undertaken to support/confirm the need for their product or service. When a corporation demonstrates research, the customer builds trust. It shows the company's ambition to succeed.
A business plan should reflect the brand values and identity of the organization. Why? Because it will be displayed to the customers to entice them and assist them in connecting with the company/product/service. It will cover everything from graphic components such as the logo, fonts, colors, and aesthetic style, copywriting elements such as tone and message delivery style, to resonate with potential customers.
Benny had an overview of the marketing script used to promote and highlight their goods and services to the rest of the world. It specified the channels of print, internet, or social media marketing, as well as an in-depth study on each platform of distribution. Their business plan covered everything, from persuading clients to closing a sale, as well as each channel of sale, transaction, and supply. They detailed everything, whether it was online, physical, third-party, or in person. This helped them to increase transparency among all stakeholders and increased efficiency. As a result, the company's growth surged.
A business strategy must explicitly state the conditions of the sales agreement. It should describe all supply chain mechanisms, from channels to funding to returns to logistics. Sales predictions should be based on market and consumer research. Forecasts based on quarterly and yearly targets must show growth.
It is necessary to define the relationship between marketing and sales. The transition from lead to conversion should be planned to avoid overlap or conflict between departments; otherwise it could jeopardise work roles or harm each department's identity or autonomy.
Financial Projects and Funding
This is a critical stage. At the end of the day, a firm requires funds to function. A business plan must include the total amount needed to get the company off to a good start. It should specify how much funding the company requires from investors and how much you would offer, the many stages of investment, utilisation of the money, expected outcomes, and time needed before the business seeks more funding. A critical component of this stage is the quantity of entry that a new business partner must submit when entering at any level of the business.
Accounting and Balance Sheet
It covers the medium of exchange for products and services across activities. Also, the costs of operations and assets involved, and the revenues and cash inflows. Research and development, hiring, growth prospects, and finance projects must be mentioned for each of these.
To keep a realistic check on your company's actual profit and loss, financial plans must be broken down into quarterly and yearly targets. Then, combine your balance sheets, revenue statements, and capital expenditure projections. Produce monthly and quarterly statements to compare to your estimates to assess how much you are off track.
Describe milestones based on marketing, sales, and financial targets to define the state of the firm, as well as its growth and stability. It is critical to remember that all this information should be presented in a visually appealing and understandable manner for simple comprehension and retention. The key is to visualise data using charts, graphs, and graphics.
We will return to discuss client centricity and producing high-quality products/services.
About the Writer
Anchal Srivastava is an architect, urban planner, writer, researcher and scholar. She is a certified GIS specialist from IIRS, ISRO, Dehradun. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU), Uttar Pradesh. She has experience working at the Town and Country Planning Organisation Delhi, Jabalpur Smart City Limited, Suresh Goel & Associates (SGA), APS Green Architects & Associates, and as the head architect at SSAP and Shantiniketan Buildtech Pvt. Ltd.
About the Editor
Nidhi Joshi is a writer, architect and artist. She experiments with art, calligraphy and all things Interior Design. She is a graduate of the Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Architecture, Mumbai. She has experience interning at PG Patki Architects.
About the Illustrator
Priya Bansal is an architect and a generalist, currently based out of Delhi NCR. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. She has experience working with Studio Juggernaut.