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    A guide to writing a kick-ass business plan

    By Ranaq Sen|25th Sep 2017
    A business plan maps out how your business will operate and how this will help you reach your business goals.
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    By putting your plan in writing, you’ll get a better sense of your business, know the steps to be taken to succeed, and inspire confidence in current and potential stakeholders.

    We will go over the steps you need to take and considerations during each of these steps. Treat this as a handy guide, if you will, when you sit down to pen that B-Plan. If you thinking of starting a business, or already started one and still have not drafted your Business Plan; do it Now!


    Step 1: High Level Overview

    Business Name

    What Products or Services you wish to sell

    Who is your Target Audience

    What are your success goals

    What is your Industry

    How does your Product or Service work

    What are the different roles in your company and what would be achieved by these roles

    Step 2: Industry and Competitor Analysis

    Detailed Analysis of your Industry with facts & figures

    Is the indutry growing or shrinking

    Why do you think there is an opportunity in this industry

    Trends in the industry

    List down all your competitors

    Who are the major players

    What is their market share

    What market share are you looking for

    What are the barriers to entry for this industry

    Step 3: Target Audience Analysis

    Decribe your target audience in detail

    List your audience’s Demographic & Psychographic (values, attitude, personality, opinions, hobbies etc) info

    What is the volume of this Target market

    Why is this TG ripe for potential sale

    How are you meeting your Audience’s needs

    What is your differentiating factor

    What problems are you solving for them that your competitor isn’t

    What techniques are you going to use for this (innovation, thinking, quality, data etc..)

    Step 4: Legal

    Define the ownership of the business

    What is the legal structure of the company

    Compliances adhered to

    Step 5: Product or Service Definition

    Define in detail your product or service

    What are the key highlights about your product or service you want people to understand

    What stage is this in

    What are the differentiating factors vis-a-vis your competitors

    Does it use any special technology

    Is there any design elements worth mentioning

    Note the R&D done on this

    Are there any patents

    Step 6: Marketing Starategy

    Describe your Brand’s Identity

    How will this identity will help in reaching your target audience

    What will be the voice and tone of your marketing efforts

    What colors, imagery and visuals will be used

    How will your introduce your product or service to your audience

    What channels wil be used (social media, search, display ads etc)

    What is your strategy for each of these channels

    Step 7: Sales Strategy

    How will sales be approached

    What modes — partnerships, distributors, online or offline staore, salespeople etc

    What are the sales steps already taken, if any

    What is the progress already made and how to proceed from here

    How will sales strategy work in tandem with marketing startegy

    Step 8: Money

    State what funding you need now, how long will that last & what is needed in the future

    Where will the funding be used; give detailed breakup under each head

    Prepare an actual cash flow till date and projected cash flow

    Prepare monthly and yearly projected P&L statements

    List out what key miletones must be hit to be financially stable and when

    Identify what activities might lead to a loss and what steps are to be taken to break even

    There you go guys! I have personally learned these guidelines from the best and also used these for preparing B-Plans for my startups. Remember, you are making the B-Plan for yourself and not just for an investor. It is essential for You, the founder to have answers to pretty much everything about your business in your head!

    Now, go forth and Get Working!

    PS- I send out ocassional mails to my network sharing valuable content I come across and some which I pen down. The theme is centered around Marketing, Design Thinking & Startups. Would love to have you on board too: Sign-Up Here

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