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On creating a Business Plan

30th September 2020

So a few years ago as a relationship manager in a local bank, many a time I would ask our clients seeking financing for a Business Plan that is a written down document, showing a road map for their business. Apart from help in seeking financing having a Business Plan offers several benefits to an aspiring entrepreneur, one who has just began a business or one who wants to check whether they are still on track.

A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business — usually a startup — defines its objectives and how it is to go about achieving its goals. A business plan lays out a written roadmap for the firm from a marketing, financial, and operational standpoint.

With a Business Plan an entrepreneur is clearly able to connect all aspects of their business from Financing, to Sales and Marketing, to Human Resources, to Operations and so forth.

Business Plans are critical for proving the viability of a business. By looking at all the critical resources required to set up a business and projected output, one can be able to argue out the profitability of the business.
Business Plans also help an entrepreneur articulate clearly the goals and objectives of the business and communicate the same to stakeholders.

Do you want to understand the operating environment of your business?
Have a Business Plan that appreciates the political, economic, social, technological and legal environment that your business is operating in.
Other benefits of having a Business Plan for ones entrepreneurship initiatives include

  • Setting the priorities right for ones business.
  • Putting contingency measures in place in case of disruptions.
  • Managing cash flows.
  • Planning for optimal use of resources.

A Business Plan also helps an entrepreneur track milestones of ones business.

Components of a Business Plan

Executive Summary
This covers in a nutshell what the Business Plan has. It should be catchy and compelling to any stakeholder of the business that wants to read the rest of the Business Plan

Company Description
This gives in depth information on the goods and services that the company offers and what gives the company a cutting edge over its competitors.

An analysis of the Market it operates in
This gives the wider and broader picture of the market and the industry sector that the company is operating in, its opportunities and how the company plans to tap into those opportunities.

An analysis of its competitors
These are both direct and indirect competitors of your company.

Description of Management and how it is organized
This is a brief on the key management of the company and their different roles. It also shows clearly how the different departments of the company are intertwined towards meeting company objectives.

Products and Services a company offers
How the products and services are going to be marketed
A summary of the prices, product descriptions, marketing and distributional channels of the product that are going to be used.

This is a highlight of anticipated sales of the goods and services provided by the organization. It also highlights the sales strategy that is going to be adapted by the company e.g.salespeople.

Financial Projections
This shows anticipated revenue for the company over a future period for planning purposes. It is normally made for the next five year period.
Any funding that is needed. Give specifics on how much funding is required and how it will be used. Fortunately you do not have to do Business Planning alone. There are several institutions the world over that offer coaching and mentorship services to fledgling entrepreneurs.

This brings an end to September 2020, our annual focus on entrepreneurship month.

‘Wacha niKwambie’
“Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.”– Terri Guillemets.
September 2020 – Turning your passion into a business
Focus on Entrepreneurship Month
© Elizabeth “Kwambie” Kwamboka Nyambane,
September 2020.

Elizabeth is a Sales Force Effectiveness Manager in a leading, Tier 1 bank in Kenya, Africa. She has a deep interest for the SME sector and is a mentor in the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in Business. She has an MBA from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.