Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan

If you have a business great idea that you are passionate about and want to be your own boss, you should take the leap and pursue it. No "what ifs" no "I can't", just take the step and do it.

"When it comes to your business, you can't achieve no success without some type of plan."

This however, doesn't mean you should immediately quit your day job though. It means you should start by spending some time documenting your idea in detail by creating a draft business plan before you quit your job (steady consistent source of income), and before you commit to investing any of your hard earned money or spending any of your precious time executing your new business idea.

Doing this exercise will help you begin your research, determine what it will take to set up and give you a rough idea of what it will cost. 

Creating a business plan will also help you document your ideas to share with your mentors or inner circle group of like minded people to give you feedback. After which you can decide if you think it's still worth pursuing or not.

If you are in the process of starting a business or have already started a business and do not have a business plan, drop everything and create one now! When it comes to your business, you can't achieve success without some type of plan.

The best part of it all? It costs you nothing but a few hours of your time to get started. Below are some topics that you should include and some questions to get you thinking as you create your business plan.

Key things you need to include in your business plan and questions to ask yourself in each area

Executive summary

  • What is your business intent, what is your business about?
  • What gap does it bridge?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • Why is your business needed? 

Your target audience & avatar

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where are they located? What is their age and income?
  • What will make them interested in your business?
  • Why should they buy from you?
  • Who is your ideal client (avatar)? What do you know about them? How will you attract them?

Products and services

  • What exactly are you selling?
  • What products and services are you offering?
  • Are your products and services inline with the problem you created your business to solve?
  • How will you price your product/service?
  • Where do you plan to offer them for sale?

Operations & business model

  • How do you intend to run your business?
  • How do you intend to structure your business - Sole proprietorship? Partnership? LLC? Corporation? 
  • Who do you need on your team? 
  • What account types do you need?

Competition

  • Where is your competition located?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is their current selling point?
  • How can you differentiate yourself from them
  • How can you make your offering better than theirs?

Start up Costs and financing

  • What are your initial costs? i.e. Business registration fees, branding costs, website development costs, product research, product investment etc
  • What are your operating costs?
  • What is your source of funding? Do you need investors?
  • Are you prepared to spend the time and money required to get your business off it's feet?
  • How soon do you intend to turn a profit?
  • Have you calculated your break even?

Marketing and advertising plan:

  • How do you intend plan to market your product? 
  • What avenues will you pursue?
  • What outcomes are you hoping to gain from your marketing efforts?

Other elements to consider

  • Do you need to get any training or certifications in order to run your business?
  • Where do you see your business in 12 months, 3 years? 5 years?

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Keep in mind, your initial business plan will be fluid and will possibly change - a lot. As you put your ideas on paper, you may start to realize other factors, and better determine what you want and don't want in your business or come up with completely new ideas!

Taking this first step and drafting your initial plan will give you some great insights and get you on the path to small business ownership. You have nothing to loose.  Having a solid business plan is essential to the success of your business - Failing to plan is like planning to fail so it's important that you tart your plan today.

Bola Onada Sokunbi


Bola Onada Sokunbi

Bola is a Certified Financial Educator, money coach, finance writer, business strategist, social media influencer and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves and to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.