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A simple guide to writing a business plan
Stanbic IBTC team
Not applicable

A good business plan defines what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it. It should contain your analysis of the operating environment, marketing & sales plans, resource plan, risk management plan and financial projections (usually balance sheet, income statement and cash flow forecasts).

If you intend to access finance or credit for suppliers, you will need a good business plan.

Here are key questions to consider when writing a business plan:
• What service/product does your business provide and what need does it fill?
• Who are the potential customers for what you offer and why should they choose you?
• How will you reach these potential customers?
• Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?
• Who are your competitors?
• What is your picture of success?

A business plan does not have to be long or take months to write in order to be useful tool for business owners. To write a good business plan, it has to include three main parts which are:

• The business concept, where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success.

• The marketplace section, in which you describe and analyze potential customers: who and where they are, what makes them buy and so on.

• The financial section contains your income and cash flow statements, balance sheet and other financial ratios, such as break-even analysis.

You should also forecast business upgrades. Be sure to estimate the costs of any improvements you want to make to the business. These could include equipment purchases and facilities expansion or renovation.

Once you are done, you will have to review and finalize the financial plan. Look at the month-by-month projected results. Once you are able to do all these in a structured manner, it will become your guide to doing business.

At Stanbic IBTC Bank, we are willing to support businesses that show the right discipline needed to succeed. You can visit our nearest branch and discuss your business plan with the business banker at the branch.

For more information please tweet at us @StanbicIBTC or send us a message on Facebook -