What is a business plan?
A business plan is a formal written document of your business’ future, indicating your business goals and how these goals can be attained. It provides direction for the company and is vital for the success of your organisation.
Why is a business plan is important?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Writing a business plan might seem tedious at first, but it is absolutely essential in entrepreneurship. Inspired by the Business.gov.au website, here are 3 reasons to have a business plan:
1. It helps you get $$
Source: The Best Singapore
A thorough and well-researched business plan:
- shows that you’re serious about your business
- helps others understand your business idea
- shows your predicted profits and income streams.
With that business plan in your hands, you can get potential investors as you pitch it to them! $_$
2. It helps you prioritise
A business plan will help work out the goals you want to achieve, and strategies to achieve them. This means you can focus on resources and activities that actually matter, work efficiently, and make the best decisions to reach your fullest potential
3. It helps you get your business on track
Take a step back and look at what’s working in your business and what you can improve on. You can even involve your employees in the planning process, seek their feedback and new ideas.
This written plan will gain you better control of the future of your business and help identify weaknesses.
What are some guidelines for writing a business plan?
This is a simple sample business plan template to assist you in putting together your business ideas for your proposed co-operative. It is a generic template for all types of businesses. You should modify it according to their particular circumstances.
Section 1: Overview of Proposed Co-operative
1.1 Introduction (Give a brief description of the proposed Co-operative. What is its nature of business? etc)
1.2 Social Mission (Describe your social mission & objective; who you want to help, why you want to help and what you intend to do?)
1.3 Committee of Management (What is their Background & Profile?)
1.4 Organisation Chart (Include your Organisation Chart here and include the name of key personnel)
1.5 Members (Who are your targeted members? E.g. age, common bond)
1.6 Business Model (Elaborate in detail the structure of your business)
1.7 Products & Services (Elaborate in detail the type of products & services that you are providing)
1.8 Target market & Coverage
Demographic (E.g. Age range, Occupation, Income level, corporate profile if B2B business, etc)
Territorial Coverage (Where do you intend to sell your products & services?)
Section 2: Sales & Marketing
2.1 Current Market Situation (E.g. describe how big is the market? What is the market size & its potential? Who are the main players? Is there any unserved market? etc)
2.2 Competition (Who are your main Competitors? What are their strengths & weaknesses? What pricing strategies are they adopting? What are their distribution channels? What is the barrier of entry? etc)
2.3 Target Customers (Who are your customers?)
2.4 Products & Services (What are your products & services? What are their unique selling points?)
2.5 Pricing strategy / Positioning
Pricing Strategy (How would you price your products & Services? What would you do to make your products & services more competitive?)
Positioning (How would you position your product? e.g. complete with complimentary delivery, discounts, etc)
2.6 Advertising & Promotion (Indicate how you would promote and sell your products & services e.g. Advertisements, magazines, flyers, mail drops etc)
2.7 Distribution (Indicate your distribution strategy and your intended working partners)
Section 3: Operations
3.1 Premises (Where is the proposed office or shop located? What is the size?)
3.2 Equipment & Key Assets (E.g. Laptops & PCs, Cash registers, Server, Ovens etc)
3.3 Staffing (What are the number of staff and key personnel you require to run the co-op business effectively? What are their functions? Are they part-timer/freelancer/outsourced?)
Section 4: Forecasting
4.1 Finance projection (Summary of financial projection)
Section 5: Appendices
Appendix 1: CV of founding members, including individual NRIC/Passport No.
Appendix 2: Profit & Loss, Cash Flow, Balance Sheet
Appendix 3: Any other supporting documents
Once you’ve got a business plan set, it’s a good idea to regularly ask yourself:
- Does your business align with your goals and priorities?
- Are the strategies in place working well?
- How can I adapt to any new changes in my environment?
- How can I make the most of new opportunities that come my way?
Wishing you all the best in writing your business plan!
This Business Plan template is a generic template for all types of businesses. Users should modify it according to their particular circumstances.
The Template does not constitute legal or commercial advice and is not intended to be used for legal purposes.
The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the SNCF, its directors, employees, or other representatives against any damages, including but not limited to direct, indirect or consequential damages, loss of income or profit, and claims of third parties; arising out of or in connection with the use of this Template.
All information, data, opinions, findings, conclusions, or proposals provided in accordance with this Template are those of the author or applicant only and do not reflect the views of the SNCF.
SNCF makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to this Template.
This article was written by Ee Kaye Lin Tanya, a first-year Business student from the National University of Singapore. Tanya is currently a Campus & Youth intern at SNCF, passionate about creating new ideas and innovation. She enjoys adventures and spending time with her dogs.