How to Write a Business Plan for an Online Startup?

August 29, 2020

A business plan is a roadmap with detailed information on short-term and long-term startup goals. The plan is clearly written, sharing the view of the present nature of the startup, goals to be achieved, current market status, financial, and marketing goals. 

The plan is the pitch you make about your startup. It has to impress the investors about the solution you are bringing into the product or service. 

In this article, we are covering the knacks to write a good business plan and a standard structure to be followed by the startup. 

Let’s begin. 

5 Tips to write an out-of-box business plan for Startup

  • Give real facts
  • Avoid strong adjectives
  • Use a business plan template that is creative and visually presentable
  • Visually represent your data
  • Be clear and conscious

Let me explain this five tips in detail. 

  • Give real facts 

When you are talking about facts, you have to research and verify it is true and accurate. Giving incorrect information can mislead investors to take wrong decisions. 

  • Avoid strong adjectives

Avoid strong use of the adjectives like ‘the best’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘amazing’, ‘fabulous’, ‘modern’, ‘attractive’, and ‘useful’.

If you are trying to represent your business as being different from other startups, you need to support the fact with strong evidence. As investors and banks look for the facts and figures than the blank statements when they hold the decision to invest in your business. Try to give strong evidence pointing how unique your online startup is.  

  • Use a business plan template that is creative and visually presentable

Pick a template that is aesthetically good and simple, enhancing the readability of the document. If you google about the business plan templates, you can find a good number of options to choose from. 

Customize the template to your style and make sure it covers the crucial information that the business plan is intended to provide. 

  • Visually represent your data 

When you talk about sales figures, marketing, or financial plans, it would be easy to understand the action plan if it is visually represented with a chart or graph. 

A pie chart or graph creates a difference in the presentation and makes it easy to understand. 

  • Be clear and conscious 

Write your business plan explaining all the facts, business goals, and aims in a clear and concise manner. When you explain the roadmap of the startup in a succinct manner, it would be much easier to impress the investors with an understanding of the vision of your online startup and your future business plans. 

The Structure of a Business Plan

The structure of the business plan is crafted depending upon the investors, bank people, or partners it’s being pitched. 

The common structure most startups follow are the: 

  • Executive Summary
  • Mission Statement
  • Business Description
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Management Summary
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Financial Plan

Let me explain each section in detail. 

Executive Summary

The executive summary consists of a brief description of the startup objective and its future mission. It includes the problem the business solves, the target audience, and the financial plans. 

Usually, people will only read further if the summary has impressed them. The summary attracts readers to read further pages on the document. 

For a startup, the business plan is to approach an investor, venture capitalist, or the banks to fund their startup. To convince the investors, write a clear action plan with the correct evaluation of your business. 

Mission Statement

A simple mission statement describes the future mission, the reason behind why the business started, and the goals it sets to achieve.  

Your mission statement should be clear and easy to visualize for the investors. So prefer avoiding writing a vague concept and full of jargon.  

Business Description

This section gives information on whether the business is a sole proprietorship or corporation. It also includes details of the industry the startup operates, the present state of the industry, and the future possibilities.

Competitor Analysis 

When you are creating your business plan, you need to research your present competitors and analyze their strength, profit, and their future business growth rate. 

From the gathered information, deduce rational points on where your startup can stand an edge compared to other competitors.

Market Analysis

Give detailed data about the target audience and their interest, the value you get out of them, the demographics, and the way to segment the customers based on their preferences of service. Other than this, outline the problems they face with the current market and unexpressed customers’ wishes. 

Explain the analysis you made on the current market with core rational points and statistics. You can visually present the data with charts and graphs giving you a better understanding of the current market. 

Management summary 

This section includes information about the top management people who are responsible for leading the startup. Add the information of the founders, VP, Team Lead, and employees. 

This section mostly addresses how the startup team is structured. 

Marketing plan

This section covers the marketing plans for achieving future goals and milestones. The plan entails the strategic steps to get more customers on-board. 

Along with that, the plan should mention the success rate of the digital marketing goals and the predicted output of each outreach and marketing campaign. 

Operational plan

The operation plan means the business plans you take to run your organization in peace. It includes details of your business location, cost of new equipment to run your startup, required software, training cost, or inventory depending upon your business model. 

Take a realistic approach to plan the operation cost of your startup. And mention all the requirements in the plan. 

Financial Plan

This section in the startup business plan covers the total revenue and expenses a startup goes through in accordance with your business goals. It describes the cash flow projection to investors, the ratio of profit-sharing, and tax returns.

Wrapping up 

A business plan is the presentation of your business idea. It has to be impressive and luring to know more about the business. 

After writing your first draft, it is wise to ask an outside opinion on your draft to find any grammatical mistakes, check facts, analyze the tone of the writing, know how persuasive the writing is, and how easily understandable. 

Get feedback and keep on iterating the editing process until it is ready to be presented to investors. Some startups have more than one business plan document depending upon the audience. 

I hope this blog gave a simple view of writing a business plan.

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