Do It Yourself Business Plan (What You Need To Know)

Are you considering writing your own business plan? Maybe you aren’t sure what to consider when writing a business plan? Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter the question that brought you here, we have the answers for you! 

Do It Yourself Business Plan (What You Need To Know)

Finding out what to include in your business plan can be tricky, especially if you have never written one before.

You head online for some answers but are met with pages and pages of contradicting and confusing advice. How are you supposed to know who to trust? And how do you know what to include in your business plan? 

Well, we are here to help! Today we have everything you need to know about doing it yourself business plans. Keep reading to see all the factors that you should be aware of when writing your own business plan (and lots of helpful tips too)!

What Is A Do It Yourself Business Plan?

Before we dive into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it. A do-it-yourself business plan is a business plan that you write yourself.

Instead of hiring a business plan writer or consultant, you will be responsible for creating and writing the plan for your business. 

A business plan typically includes long-term goals for the company. These might be related to growth (double sales within 12 months, double our workforce, etc.), or they might be related to specific profit turnovers (i.e. achieve revenue of 250k).

Whatever the goals are, these should reflect the direction you want your business to take. 

The plan will then lay out a road map that will allow you to achieve these goals. This is usually time-stamped, allowing everyone in the business to know what they need to achieve and by when.

The plan is usually shared with managers and other bosses, who will use it to guide their teams to success. 

Business plans are typically reviewed regularly to see whether the company has met its goals yet and if any changes need to take place. As businesses constantly change and evolve, the goals are likely to shift over time. After all, you can’t have growth without change! 

Now that we have briefly established what a do-it-yourself business plan is, let’s dive in deeper to see what you need to know about them! 

Do It Yourself Business Plan, What You Need To Know

Do It Yourself Business Plan (What You Need To Know)

There are several things that you need to know about a business plan before you start writing one yourself. You need to know what is included, who the business plan is for, and when you should review the plan.

These can sound like vague things to consider but don’t worry, we have broken them down into small and detailed sections for you to check out. 

Remember that your business plan needs to work for your business. It might look a little different from other business plans, but it needs to work for you, so don’t get bogged down in copying another plan word for word. 

Who Is The Business Plan For?

First, you need to know who the business plan is for. Is the plan just for you or will you be sharing it with others in your business? If the business plan will be read by others you need to ensure that it is clear and easy to understand. 

Business plans that are only shared internally don’t need to be overly polished, but they should be concise, use simple language and be well presented. If your business plan will be shared with potential investors, clients, or any other external party, consider them. 

What will an external party want to see in a business plan? Typically, they want to know that the questions they have about the validity and future of the business will be answered in the plan.

Be sure to keep them in mind when writing your business plan if it is for an external party. 

What Goes Into A Business Plan?

A good business plan has four key elements: 

  • An executive summary
  • A rundown of the opportunity
  • Details on how the idea is executed 
  • A financial forecast

This can be fleshed out as little or as much as you would like. You can add other sections if you want like business history, company structure, legal structure, and supply chain information. 

The financial forecast section will be the most challenging to write for a new or emerging business. You will want to do your research here to see what similar businesses in your field and of the same size have achieved within their first few years of operating to give you a rough idea. 

Don’t worry if this part of your plan isn’t super detailed, this will change over time as you learn more about your area and how the business performs. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to break even in the first year and turn a profit in the second year of business. 

A key thing to include in your business plan is proof. If the plan is to be shown to investors, you need to prove everything you include. Any statements you have made about the market, any quotes you have included, any projections, or information about supply chains should be backed up. 

These don’t need to be lengthy quotes, you can just include where you got the information from. You can make note of footnotes to do this or include a simple reference list at the end of the plan.

Doing so not only shows investors that you have done your research and know the market, but it suggests that you have good attention to detail which always bodes well in the world of business! 

If you aren’t sure how your business plan should look, we have some helpful guides on our website for you to check out. Alternatively, there are lots of example plans online that you can use as a rough guideline too. 

How Often Should I Review It?

Your business plan should be regularly reviewed by your internal team, and also with investors to check on the progress of the business. Business plans are works in progress rather than a polished article, and you should expect to make changes to them regularly. 

We recommend reviewing your business plan at least once a year. You could do this as the end of the financial year approaches, allowing you to make changes that you can implement when the new year starts. 

You can review your plan more frequently too if you wish, but we suggest no more than quarterly. If you review your plan too frequently you run the risk of not allowing enough time to see changes in the business. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, what you need to know about a do-it-yourself business plan! Although writing a business plan can seem daunting, if you keep the factors we have mentioned in your mind, you should find the process far simpler! 

Don’t forget to check out our other articles about business plans to learn how to write them and become a business plan expert! 

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