Writing a perfect business plan in Nigeria shouldn’t be a difficult task, let talk about this!
Are you starting a new business in Nigeria and you don’t want to fail? Then writing a good business plan should be considered the second great deal after your initial idea before you put in your capital.
In today’s business world, one of the great ingredients for a successful business is proper documentation, one of such documents is your Business Plan; which is why I’ll be showing you how to write a perfect business plan in Nigeria.
Well, not as perfect as an angel. But, I’m sure this blog post will really help you understand the simple secret behind writing a good business plan.
But we need to understand some basic concepts in order to fully understand the proper crafting of a business plan. In business schools, we’ve got different definitions of what a business plan is.
What is a Business Plan?
Basically; a business plan is a comprehensive, yet concise description of a business entity, be it a startup firm or well-known cooperation.
It’s a document that describes several areas of your business as an entrepreneur, these include; financial, executive, operational, marketing, and goals of your business. A business plan may serve one or all of the following purposes, which is;
- To present current and potential investors what your business entails in a bid to make them invest, or;
- To serve as a guide for the company – leading you from where you are present to where you wish to be in the future.
But often, business proposals and business plans are oftentimes, used interchangeably, while in essence, they differ to some extent. So, what are the differences between them?
Difference between Business Plan and Business Proposal
A business proposal is a document showing potential investors your business idea and how you tend to execute such an idea and how viable it is, all these are done with the aim of getting support from investors and clients. You don’t need to have a business up and running before drafting a proposal, just an idea is enough.
Business proposals are for a specified set of audience.
ALSO READ: How to Write a Good Business Proposal
A good business plan in Nigeria as earlier stated serves as a document to guide a firm into its future or to seek investment from investors. You need to have a business up and running before you could write a business plan.
A business plan is meant for a much wider spectrum of people.
Importance of a Business Plan in Nigeria
Few advantages of crafting a good business plan in Nigeria include;
A Business Plan Makes It Easier to Make Future Prediction
With a well-defined business plan, it’s much easier to predict the future of your business. When you’ve got a clear goal of where you are going, it becomes much easier to plan towards it.
It Gives You Better Understanding of Your Market
When crafting a business plan, you get to do quite a lot of research work which would include your target market. Doing this will give an insight into the market, something you probably didn’t have before.
You will Know the Business Pros and Cons
As you outline your plans, your strong points become more obvious to you, and that’s what you should focus on moving forward. You’d also see your flaws, with this knowledge, you can work on improving on them – turning them into strong points.
Business Plan Improves Decision Making
Irrespective of who your business plan is targeted at, you still get to keep a copy. This informs your decision, leading you to make better choices. If ever you lose track – which is quite certain, you could get right back with the knowledge of your intended plan.
There are many more advantages of why you should have a good business plan in Nigeria, these are just some of the more prominent ones. Therefore, it’s important you take time to carefully craft a business plan, which leads us to the next phase.
Things to Note Before Writing your Business Plan
Before you go-ahead to start writing that business plan, take note of these three points;
- Know your Audience: Who would be reading your business plan? Are they well versed in your field of expertise? probably not. This lets you choose your words so as to accommodate almost everyone, you can leave out the technical jargon because not everyone is acquainted with your field. The aim is to use simple grammar while writing, this makes it easier for any investor to comprehend what you’re up to.
- Not Too Long, Not Too Short: This is a really sketchy one, but you don’t want to tire out investors. Too long, it seems discouraging to read and most probably won’t be. Too short, you’re seen as not committed to the business. This is what you need to do; your entire document should be between 15 to 25 pages with a very legible font.
- You don’t have to be an Expert to get started: Many entrepreneurs feel reluctant to start writing a business plan, with the mindset of being an expert with good writing skills to start writing their business plan. There are lots of platforms that could help you create a really good business plan in Nigeria. You could also research available templates to make it a lot easier.
To have a more personalized business plan, you need to craft it yourself, which leads us to the meat of the article.
Proper Structure to Write a Perfect Business Plan in Nigeria
If you want to capture the hearts of your future investors, and probably something to keep you from going on track, then you need this structure in place, in the following order;
N.B. Remember to use legible font while writing, proper paragraphing should be employed and also ensure to use infographics where possible.
This is the first part of your business plan, it’s the summary of all other sections of your plans, and as such, it should be concise – not giving off too many details. A good executive summary will determine if the rest of the business plan will be read, especially by a potential investor.
If this part of your document is nicely written, stating all the relevant information, a client may not need to read the whole plan because you’ve already conveyed the whole message.
When writing a business plan in Nigeria, you should see this part of the document as your major selling point, so you need to get it right.
A perfect executive summary should summarize the following;
- Value proposition
- Problem(s) you wish to solve
- Solution(s) you’re offering
- Your target market, your competition
- Overview of your business team
- Means of funding and milestones reached.
All these shouldn’t be more than two pages of your document, with you stating the most relevant points, facts, and figures of each.
PROBLEM & SOLUTION
As an entrepreneur, your business will definitely be solving a problem, directly or indirectly. You should know what the problem is, making this the second part of your document. If your company isn’t solving any direct or indirect problem, then its relevance is questionable.
You’ve got problems to solve, how do you go about solving them?
This is where you’ve got to show your ideas’ credibility. Certainly, you’re not the only one solving the stated problem, there are probably other small business owners like yours, who’re providing similar products or services.
You’ve got to give reasons why your products and services outperform your rivals, how you intend to make it much better and easier, this is what investors care to know about. Offering a much more efficient product or service which tackles the challenges stated opens the door of investments.
ALSO READ: Top 10 Business Investors in Nigeria
Another strong point that would make your business plan stand out is by identifying and targeting a section of the market. Gone are the days of making products or offering services with no intended market, it is critical to the success of any business in the current world.
Take, for instance, you’re into clothes manufacturing, you need to have a specific gender in focus, a specific age group, and probably, people with similar style tastes. In doing this, you’ve got a good chance of succeeding in your field as you already know who you’re targeting, this will surely make investors sign those deals.
If you take a vivid look at the business world we have today, it is obvious that most business entities have direct alternatives, they may be one or more than one alternatives to your business, a perfect example is the Nigerian telecom sector. While this is good for the customers, as they’ve got varieties to pick from in case one option sucks, it’s a challenge you must face as a business entity.
What you should note therefore in your document are; what your target market entails, what your counterparts are doing currently, and how do you wish to improve on it. Remember, you need to offer better products or services than your competition, or offer these products/services in a much better way.
After you must have written all the above sections, you then need to come up with an execution plan. Whatever will be written here has to be feasible, without knowing how to go about executing, your plan will remain just a mere plan without life. This is where your plan gets into action.
“Execution” in business plan entails how you tend to market your products/services and your brand, and the mediums required to do so. There’s also a need to structure your pricing policy in relation to the current market.
You don’t necessarily need to give out the actual figures, but you could suggest pricing patterns – the same price as the market, or higher/lesser than the actual market figure. When writing your business plan in Nigeria, it’s important you’ve got steps to execute it, investors don’t invest in oral contents – they invest in the actual content.
Publicity is one good point to note when writing a perfect business plan in Nigeria. Truth be told, no one is going to come to look for you if you don’t exist. If you’re just an entrepreneur starting out, then you need to make people know you exist.
Your branding, PR, and advertising all come under this part of your business plan. You’re competing against similar brands and you need publicity to grow your business beyond its current level.
TEAM & COMPANY OVERVIEW
Now your business plans have been stated out, revealing all the bits and pieces, and how to execute, but who will execute? Your team of experts is the people responsible for bringing this plan to life. You need to have a competent team, who should be able to carry out this plan and you have to include this in your document.
You don’t need to highlight the titles of the personnel involved here, an apt description of their level of proficiency in their respective field will be enough.
In your team and company overview, you’d have to include the following to give more insights about the plan;
- Your intellectual property,
- Your mission statement
- Business structure
- Business history
- Your financial plan
- Personnel plan and your profit/loss profile.
Now, Your FREE Business Plan Template
As you see in the title of this blog post, I promise to give a free business plan template, and here it is. Please enter your best email address and name in the contact form here and write in the message ox that “I need the business plan template“. Click on “SUBMIT” and the template will be sent to you.
CONCLUSION – Writing a Perfect Business Plan in Nigeria
Writing a good business plan could be an arduous task, but with proper research and commitment, you could craft a perfect business plan among your competitors in Nigeria. You don’t want to rush things, take it a step at a time.
If you need a good business plan writer in Nigeria, you can contact me here or use the free template to craft your own plan.
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