As a small business owner, your focus must always be towards growth, and you can only grow as a business by having a clear plan with a specific set of objectives that you hope to achieve in the coming years. You should not neglect the importance of a business plan and how you can best present it to clients and potential investors.
With our small business template, you will have the tool that you need in order to present your ideas to the world. This way, you will be able to execute your plan towards success in your entrepreneurial path.
Benefits of a Business Plan for Small Businesses
Before diving into the components of our small business plan template, let's first discuss the benefits of having a solid strategy for your small business. These are the four benefits of having a business plan:
1- Market Understanding
Part of preparing a business plan is market analysis. You need to observe and analyze the market, including your competitors and target customers. What influences demand? What are the current trends that drive the market? While performing market analysis, you will also be able to learn from others' mistakes. You may encounter a business (or a few) that hasn't been as successful as the rest, and you will see the reasons why this business ultimately failed. Therefore, you can avoid the same pitfalls to ensure your success better.
2- Strategy Formulation
After analyzing the market and understanding trends, customers, competitors, and pitfalls, you will be able to formulate a strategy that best fits your business. With this strategy, you are able to focus your efforts on your goals, prioritize tasks, pinpoint the best options, and work out the details. You will have a broader view of how to navigate the challenges of being a small business owner so you can be prepared no matter what comes your way.
3- Financial Planning
Aside from market analysis and strategy formulation, you will also need to plan your finances. How are you going to spend your money? How much will you spend on product development? On marketing? On distribution? On rent? On labor? By creating a solid business plan, you will have a clear idea of where each cent is going so that investors will also see where their money is being spent. Forecasting expenses, profits, and return on investment is part of financial planning.
4- Outside Funding
Investors only put their money in places where they are sure to expect returns. They want to be certain that your business will be profitable. Therefore, you need to present to them a business plan that will show them just how you're going to achieve growth. You should be able to present your ideas in an organized manner so that they can understand your strategy as a small business owner.
Components of our Small Business Plan Template
Now that you know the importance of creating and presenting your small business plan, here is a comprehensive overview of the components that should be in a small business plan:
- Title Page
Of course, you need to start your presentation with the title page. On this slide, place the name of your business as the title. You can also include a subtitle, which can be as simple as "2018 Startup Business Plan" or as descriptive as a short tagline that you think best represents your business.
- Mission Statement
A mission statement is a summary of your goals and values as a business and organization. Think of it as your identity. It should be clear to clients and investors the kind of business that you're trying to build and that they're associating themselves with.
In this slide, you can show clients and investors how your business is different from other similar business in the market. What sets you apart? How are you changing the market?
- Market Summary
Market summary dives deeper into your identity as a business. In this portion of your presentation, you will introduce your team, the market you're trying to serve, the problems that currently exist, and how you're going to create opportunities given these problems.
As a small business, you're probably working with a small team of people who are equally driven to provide customers with the best products and services. Who are these people? What are your roles in the business? Remember to highlight any achievements and past experiences that will further cement the trust between you, your clients and your investors.
- Market Description
What kind of market are you trying to serve? What are the current trends that drive demand? Are there forecasts regarding changes in the current state of the market? How soon will these changes take effect Your market description should be clear and concise. In a short paragraph, describe where your target market looks like.
- Problems and Opportunities
When talking about problems and opportunities, make sure that each problem leads to an opportunity. For example, if you are a clothing brand and you noticed that the market currently does not provide enough options for plus-size men and women, the opportunity that stems from this problem will be to tap into this portion of the market and to give these customers the products that they need.
- Business Concept
Finally, we get to the business concept. Here, you'll present your ideas in greater detail. You start with your goals and objectives, then give a clear but concise business description.
- Goals and Objectives
Some people think that goals and objectives are the same. So let's discuss how they are different from each other. Goals are broad primary outcomes that you hope to achieve. For example, a goal might be to open five branches in the first five years of your business. Meanwhile, an objective is an actionable step that you take you to achieve a goal. For instance, an objective might be to find other areas where opening a branch is profitable.
- Business Description
For your business description, you want to describe the kind of business you're building. What products and services are you offering to the market? What kind of marketing are you planning to employ? Who are your target customers?
- Financial Plan
We're almost done with your business plan presentation. In this portion, you will present your financial plan by first giving a summary of your budget, then by discussing your expected sales and profits, then by showcasing your financial highlights, and lastly by detailing your financial needs.
- Expected Sales and Profits
Showing your clients and investors your expected sales and profits will give them a clearer idea of what they will get from associating with your business. Remember that numbers matter in business, but you should never overestimate expected sales and profits. Always be transparent to your investors because you need to build trust between you and them.
- Financial Highlights
Your financial highlights will show where your business is most profitable. If you have branches in different cities or states, your clients and investors will be able to see where you need to change your strategies. You can also show in here where you're spending the most money in. Is it in production? Rent? Marketing? A pie chart will help visualize your current spending.
- Financing Needs
Lastly, you can discuss your financing needs. In what areas do you need help? How are you planning to spend your investors' money? How much are you still trying to raise? Again, be transparent to your investors because they are also stakeholders in your business.
- Resource Requirements
In the last part of your business plan presentation, you will present resource requirements. What type of personnel are you looking to hire? What kind of technology do you need? How are you planning to distribute your products? Etcetera... These resource requirements will map out clearly the different aspects of your business and the remaining details that you need to work out.
Customize your Business Plan
Every business is different. Therefore, don't be afraid to customize your business plan presentation according to your needs. Even though our small business plan template aims to help you create the best presentation for your clients and investors, it is ultimately up to you to decide how you're going to showcase your ideas in the best light.