Tips for Writing a Solid Business Plan

October 8, 2020

You can see a vision of the business you want to build, but what does the map look like to get you there? A strong business plan is the foundation of any new venture, but it can also help a currently running company organize its path forward. Think of it as a way to structure your business’s key elements and guide your team on how to run and grow your big ideas.

Business plans are critical when you look for funding, or decide to bring on new business partners, to make everyone feel confident they will see a return on their investment. This is your best tool to convince people that working with your company is a wise choice.

Who Needs a Business Plan?
Anyone involved in a venture that consumes a significant amount of time, money, and resources needs a business plan. Unfortunately, many people think of business plans only when starting a new business or applying for business loans. However, even long-established companies can benefit from a brush-up on strategic planning. Existing business owners should update their business plan as market conditions change or new opportunities arise.

Every business should develop long and short-term goals, sales targets, and expense budgets, making a business plan just as useful to a startup as to a 10-year-old company looking to expand.

Which Business Plan Format Works for You?
The most important decision to make about your business plan’s structure is what style seems right for the way your team operates. Most business plans fall into one of two categories: traditional or lean startup.

  • The Traditional Business Plan
    Traditional business plans are the most common, use a standard structure you may have seen before, and encourage you to go into detail in every section. This type of plan is quite comprehensive, takes more time to write, and can be dozens of pages long. Lenders and investors commonly request this plan style to provide as much information as possible to assist in making a decision.
  • The Lean Startup Plan
    Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. It summarizes only the most essential points of your project and can take as little as an hour to write because it is typically only one page. This type of business plan focuses on the high-level thoughts behind your ideas and contains vital elements only. The benefit is that this can get your ideas written out to start while you solidify your long-term plans. Just know that some lenders and investors may ask for more details when presented with this style of strategy.

Find more information on business plans and sample plan formats through the Small Business Administration website HERE.

Tips to Meet SBA Loan Qualifications
Texas Gulf Bank has helped many small businesses successfully secure SBA loans. It is best to collect all the documents and information required to apply before visiting with the lender. View the SBA’s loan application checklist HERE.

 

To learn more about SBA loans, or to speak with a lender, call us at 1-800-467-7216,
email sbaloans@texasgulfbank.com, or visit one of our many local banking centers.

 

*All loans subject to credit approval