8.2.4 How to prepare a Business Plan?

The content of a business plan will vary depending on its purpose - different sections may be stressed or omitted. Nevertheless there are certain guidelines with regard to the structure of a well-developed Business Plan.

A typical Business Plan will contain the following headings

  1. Overview and Executive Summary
  2. Promoter or Company background
  3. The Product/Service
  4. The Market and Marketing Strategy
  5. Manufacturing and Operations
  6. Finance

    Appendix

Let's look at what each of these sections should contain in more details. The following Mind Maps examines the information which should be included in each of the sections. The attached template will provide you with the outline you will need to develop your own business plan.
Please have a look at the following figure and click for more information.

 

Tips for a Good Business Plan

  • It should look professional.
  • It should have clearly marked sections - make it easy for the reader
  • Control its distribution
  • Obtain objective assessment before distribution
  • Plan ahead - raising finance takes a long time
  • Send the plan in advance to Bank's etc
  • Build a positive presentation
  • Know your business plan and how the financial information has been calculated
  • Be prepared for questions.

If your products / service have a unique or creative aspect then it is essential to establish proper protection of the idea. How well the concept is protected which have a direct impact on how it can be commercially exploited. There are a number of property protections such as copyright, trademarks or design rights.

Mind Maps are very powerful tools to use for business planning. They will help you to conceptualise your idea and to present it visually on one page. Do you have a new business or project in mind? Why not sketch it out as a mind map on a piece of paper, and keep it near you at all times, any ideas or thoughts that come to mind can be added immediately. This will help you when it comes to the time when you sit down to write your own business plan.

Example of how a mind map can be used to plan a new venture1


1 Source of Mind Map: Tony Buzan: How to Mind Map 2002: Template 6 "Starting a New Venture Mind Map"