How do you communicate a business plan? First, what is a business plan? It is a document that outlines the steps for completing a future project, a restructuring of a company, a personal project, or any future change within an organization. It will show the strategy involved in, e.g., developing the outcome of a new idea or a new venture for a company or an individual. Some business plans take a short time to execute and some take a few years, depending on the proposal and design.
Depending on the situation, some or most plans have to be approved. To get it approved, we have to ensure that it is written well. Being able to make others understand the Business Plan is crucial. The Technical Writer has to be able to communicate and translate details from the, e.g., the current business background for business processes to a new and improved business model.
Why we need a Business Plan
- For Communication – It will help by communicating the direction taken to complete a proposal.
- For Organization – It will help by maintaining organization and by staying on schedule, especially through various business ups and downs. It will also help to keep track of events, trends, clients, investors, etc. – anything that will potentially alter the business goals of the plan.
- For Justification – It will help by justifying the value of the plan, by defining its goal, scope, and planned resources.
- For Proof – It will help by providing proof of the usefulness of the plan and the consequences if the plan is not approved
How to structure a Business Plan
- Organize it. Because the Business Plan is like a blueprint, and clearly defines the purpose and its strategy, it can almost be structured similarly to a Requirements Document (which provides the desired prerequisites of a project; stating its goals, resources, funding, and technology). The difference though, is that the Business Plan will include more detail on how it intends to build and complete the project. It will show how the end result will be accomplished and benefit the intended audience. It details and orchestrates the steps for ensuring how a project will be completed.
- Describe why the Business Plan was developed and what it will accomplish.
- Show proof that research was done and apply comparison purposes and show its positive results.
- Include facts and details so that, e.g., the plan defines a solution to a problem.
How do you begin to create your Business Plan?
- Collaborate with others. Meet with your stakeholders to gather useful background and include the material within the plan.
- Perform your interviewing and research. Investigate and interview all leads to create a structure that is understood and acceptable by the organization. In other words, the plan should fit into the company vision.
- Validate the plans business scope so that critical stages can be listed and prioritized. Note: Status reports can be checked (when necessary) for items, such as, whether or not there have been or will be issues during critical stages to affect the project.
- Plan to break up the document into categories such as Introduction, Summary, Business description (Operations), Strategy and Risks, Recommendations, Research, Marketing plan, Problems and Resolution, Resources, Finance (Support), Costs, Benefits, and Time.
Part 2 will describe how to design a Business Plan. If you have other suggestions of what a Business Plan is or should contain, please leave a comment. Thank you