Important Steps in Preparing Your Business Plan in Nigeria

When you want to start a business, you need to have a proper planning because failing to plan very well can ruin your effort. When you set up the goals and objectives of your business including its management, you will be greatly motivated to put in your best in your business. One of the things that will help you when thinking of starting a business is having a well written business plan. A business plan is a document formally written to showcase the identity, vision, mission and proposed actions or expectations of the business.

As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, when I first started my first business, I didn’t care much about preparing a business plan. The outcome was that on the long run, I discovered I would have raised enough fund for this business. In my subsequent years in business, I discovered that the businesses that I took out time to prepare a good business plan for, stood the taste of time and kept on flourishing.

When you are thinking of writing a business plan, know that it is of two main types; Internal business plan and External business plan. Internal business plan gives a guide for the structure of your business including its operation and management. External business plan is written when it is needed by external bodies who may want to know more about your business, for instance, when you want to obtain loan or fund or want others to connect with your business.

Why you need a business plan

1. It will help you to know the various actions and strategies to apply in every step in your business.

2. It will make it easier for you to get fund from investors and other financiers.

3. It will help you in your credit purchase and supplies.

4. It helps in measuring the growth and performance of your business.

5. It helps in detecting deviating actions in your business.

Steps in Preparing Your Business Plan in Nigeria

Here are the steps that will guide you in knowing how to write a business plan in Nigeria;

1. State your Identity

This is where you need to tell your business identity. This covers your business name, the description of your business, the address or location of your business, background, history, owners, products or services. A glance at this part of your business plan will give a clear definition of the basic information about your business.

2. Carry out a proper research

You need to get as much information as possible regarding your proposed business. One of the best place to start from is to get information from others doing such business. Search for materials and publications concerning this business. You can get such information online or by visiting libraries. Through this way, you will know the opportunities for such business and also whether you can obtain help from government or other institutions.

3. Make Your Estimates

The volume of your business will determine your estimates and projections. This entails the quantity of goods you intend to purchase, the type and number of labour that you want to hire, required equipments or tools, and other miscellaneous expenses. The capital that you intends to invest in the business and your expected returns may also be included in this . The more you know about your business, the more accurate you can make projections of sales and potential profits for the first years.

4. Know the amount required for starting your business and compare with your budget

You should know that your business may require more money than you intended. Make provision for this. During the early stages of your business, you may not earn much profit as you desire, most times, you may need additional capital to improve your business. It is also good to define the source of capital for your Business. Consider the money and resources you have at hand, whether you can borrow from friends and relatives. If you intend to borrow from financial institutions, know whether you are qualified for such and do well to meet up with their requirements if you plan borrowing from them. Have enough working capital on hand and backup resources incase the new business does not prosper as you anticipated.

5. Study Your Competitors and develop your own strategies

One of the things that will guide you in preparing a good business plan is knowing whom your Competitors are. If you study them carefully, it will guide you in making your estimates and projections. Know why they survive or stick to this business, know their strategies and include them in your plan.

6. Specify the location that will suit your business

Plan to locate your business in a place where it will be easier for your customers to locate you. Pick a good location unless you are ready to invest in targeted advertising. You can equally adopt the two strategies.

7. Create a good image for your business

This will reflect how the general public will see your business. Here, you will include your products and services, what makes you stand out. The quality that you intends to deliver, your packaging and delivery, the cost of your goods and services. This will determine how customers will get attracted to your business.

8. Choose Your method(s) of keeping records

An accurate and complete record will give you guidance in your business. This is needed to file taxes and proper management of your bank accounts. It will give you a true financial stand of your business at all times. You can choose to document the financial status of your business online and offline.

9. Seek for Professional help

No matter how you have rated yourself, seeking for professional help may not be a bad idea. Seek the services of a lawyer, accountant, marketing professional, banker and insurance broker to help fulfill your business needs. Consulting these professionals before starting your business will guide you in making decisions concerning your business.

10. Specify the terms and conditions for making your purchase

You need to include in your plan what you need to purchase, when you need to purchase and where you need to buy from. This will help you in conserving your working capital, reduce lost and be able to beat your competitors. It will also help you to know your sales.

11. State how to determine your profit

The aim of most businesses is to make profit, therefore, this has to be taken very serious. It maybe the last step but it is not the least. Make sure that you plan how to determine how to account for your expenses, possible loses, benefits and taxes. Calculate your legitimate profit and check out if it comes out right. If it doesn’t, rethink your idea.

The aim of preparing a business plan is to show the mission and vision of the business and how the entrepreneur plans to meet up with this. It includes the various actions and strategies that will help to actualize or accomplish the predetermined mission.

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