Visuals You may use visuals in your business plan to underline important points. You can go on to talk about their role in your nonprofit, too. In fact, your company may not be even profitable for the first couple of years. What elements of a business plan have you started drafting for your startup company? If you have an expansion strategy in mind, this would also be outlined in your financial projections. But turning an idea into a viable business is a different ballgame.
Your company description can also incorporate your mission statement. At a minimum, it should be revised every two years. I strongly agree with you that, having a business plan can help you come up with ideas, plan your course of action and tweak your marketing strategies accordingly before you even start working on your business, app or product. Your differentiation strategy could involve your price and quality. Here, brevity is a virtue. Your competitors will depend on your target market.
Marketing Strategy This section is where you detail how you plan to raise awareness for your cause. Even before your company officially launches, you can start building your website and social media profiles. Here you will go into further detail about what positions you need to fill and how you plan to go about doing that. Not only will they make it easier for others to skim over your plan and many people will do that before deciding to read it in-depth but it helps break up the monotony of plain text. These projections should cover the first three to five years of your startup.
While I understand you may need to give up some equity in your startup to get off the ground, I recommend keeping the power in your hands. Talk about the data you collected from. This summary will determine if someone, be it an investor or potential staff member, will continue reading. If the information you would put here is repeated in any other section, leave this section out. Remember, you may need to use this to raise capital. Appendix — Supporting Documents This is the place to put any miscellaneous supporting documents like financial statements, endorsements or agreements.
Then, if you have space, you can discuss any gaps you may have and your plans to fill them. Management Team Summary This is where you introduce the key players in your organization. You, me or anyone could get an idea of launching an iPhone but only Apple succeeded because it turn their idea of building an incredible smartphone into execution. Financial charts and visual projections are always appreciated. They may be as short as seven pages long, one for each of these essential sections, or up to 30 pages long as your organization grows and becomes more complicated. Check each page and make sure every line supports whatever section you happen to be explaining.
It can also show real examples of how funding challenges were met or goals were exceeded. Here you must summarize, on one page, every critical aspect of your nonprofit. Changes should reflect staffing updates, new accomplishments, revised policies or goals, and updates financial data, etc. Include the reasons for going into business. Another example of a goal could be launching an ecommerce store in addition to your brick-and-mortar locations.
If you can do that, your nonprofit has a much better chance of growing from a handful of supporters to a thriving community. It should also be written cleanly and professionally. The Appendix always goes last. Now you can add any of the additional sections below. Excellent article on writing a business plan to make it a success, Neil.
Hi Neil, Ideas are worth nothing unless you execute and turn them into action. It should frequently be referenced during key decision-making times to stay on track and to make sure your not for profit organization always adheres to its stated vision. When in doubt, estimate higher. If your plan has these seven sections and all the details mentioned here, you should be well on your way to meeting your nonprofit goals. The type of company you have and how you will operate should be obvious to anyone who reads it. This section is a prime space for charts, graphs, and other visual material.