TOP 5 ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PLAN
Planning for growth is essential. Planning is important for every business whether it be an ecommerce development or other business industry.
The business growth however, depends on certain factors including an effective business plan and also website optimization which can be done by seeking services of an expert SEO agency. Writing a business plan, however, makes you focus on the essential elements of your business.
The essential elements of a business plan include:
- Executive summary: According to David Mercer, “An executive summary is the ‘elevator pitch’ of your business plan”. You have to grab investors’ attention by hooking them with a great pitch. The executive summary is about problems you are going to solve and how you are the perfect person to solve the job now. The executive summary tells the reader what you want. Include details such as the names of your business founders and their roles, when the business was started and where your business is situated.
- Description of your executive team: According to Hussein Rahnama, “The entrepreneur should clearly demonstrate what they are bringing to this venture – the idea, the technical ability or the passion”. Investors want to know how you will utilize your personal strength. If your leadership team has a good track record of building businesses, then you should talk about it and highlight it. According to Richard Foster, “Investors bet on jockeys, not on horses, and knowing about who will execute an idea is key to an investor making an investment decision”. Having a wrong team will lead to failure.
- Description of your product or services: According to Elena Filimonova, “When developing a business plan, it’s crucial to clearly explain the need your product or service is trying to address”. Your business plan should highlight the uniqueness of your product or service. Outline key features and differentiation that make your product or service stand out. This includes information about your business and the factors that will make it a success. Emphasize the benefits of your products or services.
- Market and competitive analysis: According to Victor Clarke, “Every business plan should have a section that defines the target sales market – who you are selling to.” Market and competitive analysis involves research. Look at who your competitors are targeting and look at your customer base. Brock Murray said “For a business plan to be effective and attractive to investors and partners, you must be able to provide tangible data and information that supports the notion that your demographic is strong and growing, and that market trends support the continued need for your service or product offering.” With market analysis you can define your target audience. If you don’t know about Sales leads then you probably should, you can find out more here https://www.salesforce.com/products/guide/lead-gen/qualifying-leads/. A sales lead is very important to a business as it shows how the customer has found you. To Bryan Roberson, “Every business has competition so it’s a good idea to research companies in your industry who are fighting for the same customers. You should include specific details about their strength and weaknesses. This forces you to become very familiar with your market. It also encourages you to think of ways to differentiate your business from the competition.” A market analysis helps in establishing strategies for marketing, distribution and pricing. There are many things that can affect who buys your products, and how well your product sells. If, for example, you’re selling a product on Amazon and you have negative feedback, you’re less likely to sell it. This is why businesses learn how to remove feedback on Amazon.
- Financials: Have realistic financial forecasts. According to Bruce Stetar, “Make sure that the plan goes into exacting detail about how much startup capital will be needed, where it will come from and how it will be paid back.” Investors want to see return and they want to know when to expect it. If you do not adequately plan then your business will fail. To Erica Swallow “Whether you’re hoping to receive funding to build a brick –and –mortar shop or a technology venture, you must have your numbers straight.”
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. According to Deborah Sweeney, “It is critical to have a plan for how you are going to spend your marketing budget.” Assess the return on investment of different marketing options. Your business plan should be easy to follow. According to Erica Swallow, “There’s nothing more daunting than to receive an all-text business plan, 30 pages in length.” Make your business plan engaging by including photos, headshots, financial graphs, bullet points, colourful heading and so on. Visuals are powerful and should not be underestimated. Get feedback from experts and your peers. To Sam Lundin “Having someone review your business plan before you present it to investors is crucial.”
Guides to create a search engine optimization (SEO) plan for your business include:
- Keywords: Make use of optimal keywords for your websites and create unique keywords. Business with strong keywords rank higher than their competitors.
- Title tag and description tag: Use a title tag and description tag communicates the content of your website. Most online experiences start with search engines.
- Content: Regularly update your content, keep your content fresh and do not duplicate your content. Content is an important factor used to rank websites.
- URL structure: Create shortened and optimal URL. It is important to match the URL to your title page. Brands with shortened URLs have higher click volumes.
- Anchor text: This informs users and Google interface about content. It should be short but descriptive.
- Navigation: Make your site easy to navigate. Focus on simplicity and ease of use.
- Use images: Support your content with images. Images increase search engine rankings.