Some business owners needing a loan from the bank may think that it’s as easy as asking for one. However, it is actually more involved than that. Any borrower considering offering a loan to a small business owner will ask for a business plan. Unfortunately, this is where the process ends for many business owners, as they may not have a business plan, or even understand how to go about writing one in such a way as to be approved for a loan.
But the good news is that this does not have to be the case; when you have the required information and assemble it in a logical way, you can create a business plan quickly and easily. What follows are the items that every business plan being used to secure a loan should include.
Your business plan should include a detailed description of your business. Your description should take up a single page and begin with how your business came to be, and then detail any changes, expansions or similar events that may have taken place since its inception. A brief section detailing your thoughts on where you want your business to go from its present point should also be included.
A list of specific goals that you have for your business is another important section to include in your business plan. In addition to listing your goals, be sure to include a time period for reaching each. Only goals that can are measurable as well as specific should be included here. For example, you may state that you will sell 5 copies of your software per day in order to reach your goal of generating £5000 per month, and you will do so within a 4-month period.
Anyone responsible for managing your business, including you, is what to talk about in this section. Be sure to include a professional bio for every manager, as well as describe what role they play in your business. You can also mention how each manager has positively impacted the starting or growth of your company.
What You’re Selling
This portion of your business plan should detail what you are selling. Each service or product you offer should be listed here, along with a detailed description of each.
How You Plan to Market your Business
Your intended marketing strategy for placing your products and services in front of your target audience should be detailed in this section. Among the things you might list here could be banner advertising on targeted websites, advertisements in newspapers or how you plan to advertise your blog. This section can contain as many marketing strategies as you wish.
No business plan is complete without financial projections. Honest and conservative projections and expenses for the next three to five years should be listed.
The Executive Summary
The executive summary remains one of the most integral parts of any business plan, and usually appears at its beginning. However, you may wish to wait until the rest of your business plan is complete to compose it, as this is when you will have the most complete picture of your business, and thus the most information to include in this section. Your executive summary should contain a description of the goal you have for your business, as well as the strategies you plan to use in order to reach those goals. This will be the section that causes the loan officer to want to read further, and so it must be as compelling as possible.
The Cover Page
The cover page will come after the executive summary, and should include your business name, phone number, email address, website and physical address.
When meeting with the loan officer, communicate the strongest features of your business plan. Truly believing in your business plan and demonstrating that belief will give you a better chance of securing your loan.