Writing a business plan is critical, if you want you company to succeed over the long-term. The process of writing your plan forces you to think about every component of your business. However, finding the time to write your business plan can be difficult. Use these tips to speed up the process of writing a house cleaning business plan.
Business plan software
Perform a Google search for business plan software. You’ll find dozens of products that help you write a business plan quickly. Here are several reasons why software can speed up the process:
· Outline: The structure of your software gives you an outline for creating your plan. Business plan software lays out all the components you need to include in your plan. They eliminate any guesswork.
· Explanations: A good software program will also tell you how to write each section. For example, your Executive Summary is a 1-2 page broad overview of your plan. The Summary briefly makes the case for starting your business. It doesn’t require a large amount of detail. Your software program should give you these types of writing tips.
Linked financial statements: The most important time saver is the ability to create linked financial statements. Say, for example, that your income statement (profit and loss) projects a $10,000 profit in year one. Profit is posted to the retained earnings section in the balance sheet. The business plan software will connect the data from these two financial statements. Your ending balances for year one will roll into the beginning balances for year two- automatically.
Business plan software can help you write your plan quickly.
Getting your experience on paper
Before you start writing your formal business plan, perform a “mental download” of what you’ve learned about the business. The idea here is to get as much of your experience down on paper- before you start to formalize it in a business plan.
One area of your plan, for example, will be market research. How long does it take to clean a 3,000 square foot home? What price does an upper middle-income family expect to pay? Based on your experience, you may have answers to some of these questions.
If you write down your thoughts first, you can use that information in each section of the business plan. You’ll probably write the plan faster.
Analyze your competition
Take a look at successful competitors. You can glean a lot of good information from several sources:
· Website: Take a look at their website design. How do they build traffic to their site? Do they post articles and other content? Can people opt-in to receive more content? How does the company present their contact information on the site?
· Pricing: It’s possible that the competitor may provide some pricing information on their website or in advertising. That can help you determine prices for your services. Does the competitor offer any discounts or special pricing?
Messaging: What message is your competitor trying to communicate? Successful companies explain how they add value- what type of message is your competitor promoting? Their approach may give you some ideas about your own value proposition.
Incorporate a competitor’s ideas into your own business plan.
Perform a Google search
It sounds simple, but you can find a great deal of helpful information by simply Googling “business plan templates”. Here’s one good example. Take a look at some of the links you find before you write your plan. These ideas can help you hit the ground running.
Critical components to every business plan
Every business plan needs to have these key components:
· Ideal customer: You need to clearly state the characteristics that make up your ideal customer. What is the age, gender, income level and occupation of those people who do the most business with you? Your marketing should be geared toward your ideal customer.
· Value proposition: How are you different? What value do you add that makes your company more attractive than your competitors? This value proposition needs to be communicated on your website and in all of your advertising. You may be willing to clean on very short notice, for example. That willingness to be responsive should be promoted.
Financials: Most business plans have at least three years of financial projections. These projections include income statement, balance sheet and cash flows that are linked together. Financials statements reveal how you will reach profitability, and how you’ll generate enough cash to operate your business.
Creating a business plan can be frustrating. Use these tips to write your plan faster. The sooner you start writing, the better prepared you’ll be to face the unexpected. Use your business plan to build a successful company.