Step-by-Step Guide to a Winning Business Plan

Starting a business without a plan is like trying to solve a puzzle with your eyes closed. It’s confusing, frustrating and you’re likely to give up. You don’t want to waste your time with business plans that doesn’t work – that’s why you need to learn how to write a business plan that wins the funding you need.

You might have heard this before: “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. But here’s another take:

If you want your venture to not just survive but thrive, knowing how to write a business plan that wins is non-negotiable. 

This isn’t about write down some ideas on paper. We’re talking about creating an insightful guide that helps you map out to the right path from startup up phase to growth stage while getting potential investors along the way.

So keep reading because by the end of this, you’ll have a solid understanding on how to create engaging executive summaries, craft detailed company descriptions, in-depth market analysis, and effective marketing strategies. 

So prepare your pen and ballpen and after this you will learn how to write a business plan that wins!

Table Of Contents:

What Are The Parts of a Business Plan?

A business plan is an essential tool for real estate investors (or potential business owners) looking for financing. It not only guides your investment strategy but also communicates the viability of your project to potential funders like eFunder. Here are the important parts of a comprehensive business plan:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary provides an overview of your entire business plan, summarizing the main points in brief compelling language, providing a clear understanding of your real estate venture’s essence and objectives.

2. Company Description

This section include what your company does, how it operates, and who are the key players. This can include information about any successful past projects or unique capabilities that set you apart from other real estate investors.

3. Market Analysis

In this section, you’ll need to demonstrate the real estate market in which you will be investing. This includes data on property values, rental rates, demographic trends and competitor analysis.

4. Organization & Management Structure

In this section, you will showcase how your team is organized – who’s responsible for what? What experience do they bring? If you’re operating solo, detail out consultants or services (like legal or accounting) that support your operations.

5. Services Or Product Line

Briefly describe each property’s features and benefits after renovation; think location advantages or design uniqueness – anything that will attract buyers once flipped.

6. Funding Request & Financial Projections

State clearly how much funding you require from lenders like eFunder to successfully complete renovations and sell properties at profit! Also provide financial projections demonstrating potential return on investment.

7. Marketing & Sales Strategy

This is where you will explain how you plan to attract and retain buyers for your flipped properties, including any advertising or promotional strategies you intend to use.

Remember, a well-crafted business plan can be the key to unlock financing opportunities for your fix and flip projects. So take time to research each section  and present it in a clear, compelling manner.

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Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Business Plan that wins

1. Write an Executive Summary

The executive summary is the appetizer for your business plan feast. It’s not just about summarizing important information of your company, it is one of the most important section of a business plan. This section must ensure must ensure grab readers’ attention, so they still remain engaged and continue reading.

A winning business plan is one that resonates with the market, potential investors, and you as the creator. You don’t need a fancy business plan format. Just keep it simple: clear writing helps people understand, and a simple business plan can be more powerful than fancy one.

Moreover, your executive summary should be concise, clear and grabs readers attention – it needs to encapsulate key elements without drowning in the details. Think of it as an elevator pitch meets an X post; a clear message within limited words. To give you an overview here are the things you need to include in your executive summary: 

  • What does your business do?
  • What does your business aim to achieve? 
  • What do you sell, and what makes it unique? 
  • Who is your target market? 
  • How do you plan to reach your customers? 
  • How much revenue does your business currently generate? 
  • How much revenue do you expect to earn in the future? 
  • How much funding are you seeking? 
  • Who is involved in running your business? 

This may seem like a lot, but addressing these key elements on your executive summary can provide a clear roadmap for success. Moving forward, here are the tips to make your executive summary stand out. 

Tips To Make The Executive Summary Stand Out

  1. An active tone works wonders: Instead of saying “Our solution assists users”, say “Our solution empowers users”.
  2. Facts over fluff: Potential investors have seen too many big promises with no solid backing data, so make sure every claim has a fact-check tick against it.
  3. Paint a picture of the future: A business plan is about looking forward, so don’t shy away from talking about your growth plans.
creating a executive summary

2. Draft a Company Description

Your company description is more than just an overview of what your business does. It’s a unique chance to illustrate the nature of the business and present your mission statement in an appealing way. This section can act as a foundation for potential investors to understand why they should invest.

A strong company description should outline both how you operate and why you will succeed, making it clear that this isn’t some fictional business but one with real promise and growth plans. Think about it: would you rather back someone who simply has good ideas or someone who has clearly defined goals, actionable strategies, and demonstrable success?

When writing your company description, make sure to include this following:

  • Leadership Team Credentials
  • Target Audience Details (who they are)
  • Market Potential Analysis (how big the opportunity is)
  • Service Offerings (what solutions do you provide) 

Your company description should cover all the important aspects of your business plan in a concise manner. Try to include a detailed information about what makes your product or service special and how it fits into the larger market. Remember, a compelling story about these points builds trust with potential customers and helps businesses see where to invest their money wisely.

Research suggests, investors calculate a company’s value based on results expected five years after investing—they’re looking for at least 35-40% return from mature companies.

how to write a business plan that wins

source: MaRS Startup Toolkit

3. Create Mission and Vision Statement

The heart of any comprehensive company description lies within its mission statement—shows how company works together to achieve the same goals and objectives.

The vision statement is like a roadmap for making important decisions and helps employees find purpose in their work, which is really important in today’s workforce. So don’t you ever skip this part!

Ultimately, your company description should tell a story—one that makes potential investors see the same bright future for your business that you do. Remember to focus on practicality and no fluff writing because people are looking for solid reasons why they should invest their hard-earned money into your venture.

4. Conduct a Market Analysis

A solid market analysis can help you make smart decisions about your business. It involves understanding your industry, identifying the characteristics of your target market, and assessing the competition.

The importance of a market analysis in a business plan cannot be underestimate. Because this section should include key data that shows potential growth rates for sales and profits by specifying the number of potential customers. Let’s break it down into digestible chunks:

  1.  Identify your target audience: Determine whether your customers will primarily be businesses or consumers, and assess their interests, preferences, and demographic factors such as age to tailor your offerings effectively. 
  2. Gather Comprehensive Information: Conduct thorough research using surveys, focus groups, and market analysis tools to gather relevant data and analyze consumer behavior patterns.
  3. Enhance Customer Understanding: Use the collected data to create detailed customer profiles. Keep updating your understanding of your customers, and use it to make your products or services better suited to their needs and preferences.

Understanding your target audience is fundamental for the success of your business plan. By defining who your customers are, gathering comprehensive information about them, and continuously enhancing your understanding, you can tailor your products or services to better meet their needs and preferences, and increasing your chances of success in the market.

5. Analyze Your Competition and Evaluate your Market Potential

To understand your market better, analyze your competition or analyze your competitor. Find out how they’re doing well—and if there might be gaps that need to be filled. This means studying their strategies, strengths, and weaknesses through techniques like SWOT analysis. 

source: semrush.com

Look at their performance, market share, customer base, and branding. Find out what they excel at, like great products or customer service, and where they fall short. These gaps can be opportunities for your business. Dive into their marketing, pricing, distribution, and customer engagement to refine your own strategies.

Don’t stop at just analyzing your competitors. Look at the bigger picture of market potential. Look for the trends within both local and global markets—how much have these grown over recent years?

Market research firms suggest looking not just at historical growth but also forward projections based on population changes, shifts in consumer behavior, technological advancements, among other factors. By combining this information, you can make smart decisions about your business strategy and stay ahead of the competition.

mastering market analysis

6. Implement Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy is the roadmap to your business success. It’s not just about generating revenue, but rather recognizing the requirements of your target audience and fulfilling those through your offerings.

Identifying your target customers and understanding their preferences, buying habits, and needs is the initial step to create an effective marketing strategy. You need to know their likes, dislikes, buying behavior and most importantly – their needs. This process of defining and knowing your target market gives you valuable insights into how best to serve them.

7. Create Sales Plan and Pricing Strategy

Moreover, pricing strategy is also a crucial part of this plan involves, it’s important to note that designing a pricing strategy that aligns with both – the value proposition of what you’re offering and also what resonates best with your potential customers. When you done it right, this can significantly boost sales by ensuring prices are competitive yet profitable for you as a small business owner.

Besides pricing, another key element is creating an effective sales plan. This will outline where and how you’ll sell your products or services. Will they be sold online? In-store? Through partners? Consider where potential buyers like to shop, as selling through channels they prefer greatly boosts the chances of making a sale.

To summarize all these efforts in one cohesive direction; always remember – Your aim should be solving problems for consumers rather than merely pushing product onto them. With such consumer-centric approach driving every action within marketing; whether it’s price-setting or deciding on distribution channels; success isn’t far off.

8. Create Financial Projections

Formulating a productive financial plan isn’t just about computing dollars and cents. It’s about presenting a clear vision of your business’s financial future that can inspire confidence in potential investors.

Your financial projections should cover key aspects like projected revenues, expenses, cash flow statements, budget analysis, and the potential return on investment. Each element helps paint a comprehensive picture of your company’s profitability potential.

Reference installations, for instance, are valuable tools to estimate revenue streams based on past projects or industry standards. By illustrating how similar ventures have succeeded financially, you demonstrate an understanding of what it takes to turn profit in your field.

financial projections

Moreover here are the following you need to insert for your financial projections:

Make Realistic Forecasts

A compelling part of any business plan is the ability to show when and how investors can liquidate their holdings. In this regard, transparency plays an essential role – don’t be afraid to lay out even those numbers which might seem less attractive initially but indicate steady growth later on.

This shows integrity while giving investors insights into long-term gains they could expect by supporting your venture now.

Budget Analysis

A detailed breakdown of where funds will be allocated offers insight into spending priorities and management strategies. A thorough budget analysis reveals careful planning behind every decision – from day-to-day operations costs down to investments planned towards product development or market expansion plans.

If possible, include benchmarks comparing expenditure categories against successful businesses within the same sector (without revealing sensitive info). This kind of detail will reassure investors you’re making sound decisions with their money.

Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement is a dynamic part of your financial plan. It gives an overview of the cash inflow and outflow over a period, indicating how much capital the business needs to cover all expenses while still remaining profitable.

It’s not merely about the figures on paper; it’s a narrative of development, with various components intertwined. It’s a story of growth, intertwining different elements like.

Formatting and Presenting the Business Plan

Your business plan’s presentation is as crucial as its content. It needs to be clean, well-structured, with clear sections and headings, written professionally. The right business plan template can serve as a roadmap for this process.

Incorporating Visual Aids for Enhanced Understanding

A good practice is to use visual aids like graphs or bullet points in your plan. They enhance understanding by presenting complex data in an easy-to-digest format.

This not only makes your business plan more engaging but also helps potential investors quickly grasp key elements of your proposal. Plus, it’s easier on the eyes than long blocks of text.

The structure of your business plan should be straightforward too – just like following a recipe step-by-step when cooking up something delicious. Break down information into digestible chunks using subheadings and concise paragraphs.

Besides clarity, make sure you’re showing off professionalism through consistency in formatting across all sections – from font style to indentation rules – giving everything a polished look that screams “I mean business.” Remember: first impressions count.

Sharing Your Plan

Once you have completed your business plan, it is time to distribute it among important people and possible financiers.

It’s pretty standard to email a PDF, but why not kick it up a notch? Consider making an interactive online version of your plan. This move doesn’t just make navigation between sections a breeze for readers, it also gives them instant access when they need it.

Finalizing and Sharing Your Winning Business Plan

After laboring over your business plan, the time has come to add the final touches and ensure its accuracy. Don’t rush through this step; precision here is key.

how to write a business plan that wins

Crossing the T’s and Dotting the I’s

Your first task? Proofreading. Ensure that you’ve proofread the entire business plan, checking for any spelling errors or awkward phrasing. But don’t stop there. Also look out for inconsistencies in data, unclear sections, or unsupported claims. It may seem tedious but remember – investors won’t trust a sloppy presentation.

To further refine your plan, ask trusted advisors or mentors to provide their insights as well – they can often spot things you might have missed.

Making Your Pitch Deck

The next step involves creating a pitch deck – an abridged version of your business plan tailored towards potential investors who might not have time to read the full document at once.

This should highlight only the most compelling parts of your business strategy, such as unique selling points (USPs), financial projections, target market analysis etc., all aimed at convincing them about why they should fund you.

Sharing with Stakeholders

Finally comes sharing your masterpiece with relevant stakeholders – from team members who need to understand where their efforts fit into larger goals to potential partners who want insight into what makes your venture tick.

As daunting as finalizing and sharing a winning business plan may sound initially, remember these two words: Be Bold. Not everyone will agree with every aspect of it but being able to defend its content confidently shows conviction in your ideas. And who knows, the right investor might just be around the corner waiting for a plan like yours.

FAQs in Relation to How to Write a Business Plan That Wins

What is a successful business plan?

A winning business plan outlines your enterprise’s goals, methods to achieve them, and measures for success. It should convince investors that your venture is profitable.

How do you write a key to success in a business plan?

To pinpoint keys to success, analyze what sets you apart from competitors. Highlight these unique selling points in your strategy and operations sections of the plan.

What are the 7 steps to create a business plan?

The seven steps include crafting an executive summary, writing company description, market analysis, organization structure overview, developing marketing strategies & sales plans, financial projections and finalizing the document.

Conclusion

Mastering how to write a business plan that wins is no small feat, but you’ve taken the leap. You’ve learned about crafting compelling executive summaries. That first impression sets the tone for everything else.

Digging deep into company descriptions was next. Sharing what your venture does and why it’ll succeed paves the way forward.

We explored conducting thorough market analyses too. Knowing your industry inside-out lets you stay one step ahead of competition.

An effective marketing strategy can’t be overlooked either. Meeting target customers’ needs helps draw them in like bees to honey.

A solid financial plan? Absolutely crucial! Investors need confidence they’ll see returns on their investment – don’t leave them guessing.

Last but not least, we covered formatting and presenting your masterplan professionally – because appearances matter just as much as content itself. Remember: proofreading thoroughly before sharing with key stakeholders keeps those pesky errors at bay.

Take the first step towards transforming your real estate dreams into reality with eFunder. Click here to schedule a personalized consultation and discover how we can help you secure the optimal financing for your next investment venture. Let’s build your success story together!

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Picture of Terence Young
Terence Young

Founder of eFunder

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