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How To Write A Business Plan In Nigeria For Start-ups / Existing Businesses

How To Write A Business Plan in Nigeria

How To Write A Business Plan In Nigeria For Start-up / Existing Business -Blackvvell (2004) was dead right when he pointed out that starting a new business venture is like going into a tropical forest on a treasure hunt; with rewards to be won, both in material wealth and in personal satisfaction, but there are dangers lurking and you can easily lose your way.

To avoid losing and possibly facing the dire consequences associated with losing, a lot of precaution ought to be taken before dabbling into enterprise setting. One of such precautionary measures is to prepare a business plan. There is this popular saying – look before you leap, in setting up a business, preparing a business plan helps to serve the purpose of looking before leaping.

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The business plan helps answer many questions about a proposed business project. According to Abrams (2009), a business plan is expected to answers the following question:

  • What is your business idea or what is your existing business?
  • Who are your existing and /or potential customers and what motivate them to buy from you?
  • How will you let your customer know about your business?
  • Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?
  • How will you carry out the basic functions of your business?
  • Is your management team capable of guiding your business to success?
  • What is the long – range future of your business?
  • What is your company’s financial picture?
  • How much money will it cost to set and run your business and how much money will you make?

Meaning of a Business Plan

Business plan nigeriaThere are several definitions of a business plan as there are several scholars in entrepreneurship. For instance, Holt (2006) defined a business plan as a comprehensive set of guidelines for a new venture. In the same vein, Hisrich & Peters (2002) stated that “the business plan is a written document prepared by the entrepreneur, which describes all the relevant external and internal elements involved in starting a new venture. Timmons & Spinelli (2007) consider the business plan as the culmination of a usually lengthy, arduous, creative, and iterative process that transforms a raw idea into a magnificent opportunity by carefully articulating the merits, requirements, risks, and potential rewards of the opportunity and how it will be seized. Abrams (2009) sees a business plan as a powerful document telling the story of your company, while Lambing & Kuehl (2007) defined a business plan as a comprehensive document that helps an entrepreneur analyze the market and plan a business strategy.

Thus we can define a business plan as a detailed document of intent by an entrepreneur showing the existence of business opportunities and the ideas developed to exploit them with details of all the relevant external and internal elements involved, and the merits, risks and the potential rewards inherent in exploiting the opportunities. Some other definitions of a business plan are shown below:

  1. A   document   that   comprehensively   describes   the   goals   and objectives of a business, and equally shows in details how and when they will be achieved.
  2. A structured guideline on how to accomplish a business goal.
  3. A proposal  that explains  a  business  opportunity for financing agencies or investors.
  4. An action  programme that outlines  in  detail all the  necessary aspect of a proposed business.

1.2         Who needs the business plan?

Businesses and Start-ups all need to plan how to utilize their resources in growing and establishing their businesses respectively. Existing businesses use business plans to show the current position, where the businesses wants to be in the future, and what it will take the business to be there. On the other hand, the Start – ups want to know what resources are required to establish the business and where it would be in the nearest possible future. It could be inferred from the foregoing that all individuals involved in setting up a business, growing a business, and even sustaining a business all need business plans.


1.3 Desirable attributes of a business plan.

It is common to write a business plan with a view of using it to secure loan from banks, and or other interested investors. It is therefore to bear in mind that your plan must be presented in such a way as to the approval of these potential investors. To do so, the business plan ought to have the following desirable attributes:

  1. Simple and clear
  2. Concise but precise
  3. Sequential and logical
  4. Models reality
  5. Use figures where necessary


  1. Simplicity and clarity.

It is usual for the person who has the authority to approve your business plan for funding assistance to have a very busy schedule; also it is equally possible that business plans from other entrepreneurs are competing with your plan for funding. As such, your business plan needs to be simple and clear. This can be done by: ensuring that your language is simple; clear; avoiding cramming many ideas into one sentence; and using tables where it can help to bring out information more clearly and sharply.

    1. Concise but precise.

Where the business plan is bulky, the person reading it may get tired even before forming opinion about the business proposal. This might rub a business plan the due consideration it deserves. To avoid this, all unnecessary details are removed from the business plan. In fact, only essential information necessary for the reader to form opinion and take decisions should be left.

    1. Sequential and logical.

The   business   plan   should   have   its   ideas   and   facts   presented sequentially and logically. This makes it easier for people to read and understand the plan. Efforts should be made to ensure that what is written in one section of the plan fits together with what is written in other sections. In fact, all the sections should add up to make up the whole businesss plan.

    1. Models reality.

For a business plan to be a valid document it ought to be as real as possible. That is to say that it should be as close to reality as possible.

Operations, market analysis, estimates of sales and expenses should reflect what is happening in real life. Where a business plan models what obtains in real world situation, it becomes an instrument on which decisions could be based.

    1. Use figures where necessary.

Most bankers or investors that would read the plan are highly numerate, mainly thinking in terms of numbers. Experience has shown that most banker and investors are impressed when ideas are backed with figures. In order words, it is advantageous to quantify wherever it is possible.

The Business Plan and Intellectual Property Protection

Developing a business from the scratch requires a lot of intellectual capital that ought to be protected. During the process of documenting a business plan, some of the intellectual capital that form the basis of a good business might need to be disclosed especially where the plan is used to attract investors and lenders. In this instance, wide circulation becomes potentially dangerous. Where the business plan is discussing a business idea that have not been patented or copyrighted, it becomes very wise to include a strong non-disclosure statement on the cover page that states that information in the plan is not to be disclosed. In some instances, the cover page of the plan, in addition to signing the non-disclosure documents, may carry the ISBN number showing that it is copyrighted.

1.4      Why write a business plan?


Business plans could be written for any of the following reasons (ICT of the ILO, 2005):

  1. To have an integrated view of your business – it discusses all aspects of the business.
  2. To keep you focused on your goals and strategies – the plan serves to remind you of the goals and objectives of the business.
  3. For the purpose of obtaining finance from outside sources – the plan can  be used as a persuasive instrument to convince outside fund sources to contribute in financing the business.
  4. It guides the opinion of a business – the plan gives highly valuable information on all aspects of the business and as such helps to guide opinion of the business.
  5. It also helps to guide the managing of a business – the plan creates performance benchmark against which the running of the business can be compared.
  6. It is an instrument that helps to communicate clearly with all interested parties – a business may have  many stakeholders with varied interests, the plan serves as a document the stakeholders can consult to see if their interest is covered in the proposed business.
  7. It helps to evaluate before hand it there are chances of success for the business – the business plan projects into the future and shows with facts what is likely to happen in the future.
  8. It helps to convince other parties that you can manage the business.
  9. It also shows the available market for the business’s product/service.

1. 5 What type of business requires a business plan?

As already stated, the business plan is a document that marshals out the what, when, how, why and where of a business. As such, it is required by all businesses not minding the mode of business operation. Note that there are two modes of business operation namely: the mode that is service based -which delivers services of various kinds; and the mode that is production/manufacturing based – which focuses on businesses that are into production.

What information is contained in a business plan?

Information in a business plan must necessarily be about:

  • Customers: who are they? What do they want? What are their other attributes?
  • Competitors: Who are they? What is their market share? How does the business  compare with them  in terms  of pricing,  quality and branding?
  • Suppliers: Are located far or near? Are there many sources of supplies and do the supplies configure an advantage or disadvantage to the business?
  • Financing: What is the financial structure?  How does the equity compare with the borrowed funds? Who are the lenders? Etc.
  • Employees: What type of individuals will work in the business
  • Products:   What   makes   the   products    unique?   What   are   the competitive edges of the products?
  • Location: Why is the business located where it is? What are the reasons for locating the business where it is?
  • Equipment: What technology is embedded in the equipment? Is the equipment complex and from where is it sourced?
How To Write A Business Plan


1.6   The structure of a business plan.

Ordinarily, a business plan is usually structured to contain the following major topics and sub-headings:

1.0   Executive summary

2.0   Background

  • Introduction
  • Vision and mission statements
  • Ownership
  • Legal status
  • Location and facilities,
  • Production/services
  • Production plan
  • Business strategy
  • Key success factors

3.0   Market

  • Nature and size
  • Target market
  • Key competitors and players
  • Service delivery
  • Quality assurance
  • Demand/supply analysis
  • Technology
  • Competitive edge

4.0   Marketing Plan

  • Promotion and distribution strategy
  • Alliances
  • Market positioning
  • Market positioning
  • Service delivery strategy
  • SWOT Analysis

5.0  Organization and Management

  • Organizational structure
  • Shareholders and directors
  • Management team
  • External support
  • Personnel plan
  • Value and norms of the company.

6.0  Legal, regulatory, social and environmental issues

  • Legal issues
  • Regulatory issues
  • Social issues
  • Environmental issues

7.0  Financial Plan

  • Initial
  • Forecast of sales
  • Estimate of costs
  • Working capital projection
  • Startup capital required
  • Proposed financial structure
  • Depreciation
  • Loan repayment and interest payment schedule
  • Projected profit and loss account
  • Cash flow projection
  • Projected balance sheet
  • Financial analysis

8.0   Risk Analysis, Contingency Plan and Exit Strategy

  • Risk analysis and mitigants
  • Contingency plan
  • Exit strategy

9.0   Other considerations, conclusion, and recommendation,

  • Economic justification
  • Commercial viability
  • Conclusion and recommendation.


  • Photocopy of certificate of incorporation
  • Approvals
  • Licenses
  • Organogram
  • Assumptions behind the figures.

The above are discussed in the sections that follow.

1.0       Executive summary.

The executive summary can easily pass as the most critical aspect of a business plan especially where outside funding is sought (Abrams, 2009). As the name implies, the executive summary presents a summary of the important facts in the business plan. It should be noted that although the executive summary is the first part of the business to be presented, it is usually the part to be prepared last.

As one prepares the executive summary, it is important to bear in mind that the plan is mainly going to be read by individuals who: are being asked to invest their resources in the business (angle investors); bankers, and other would be stakeholders who probably have other business plans to read. In fact, an ideal executive summary should be concise, but must have the important highlights that the investors, bankers and others who the plan is being prepared for are looking for. To make the executive summary appealing, the following tips have been suggested by Abrams (2009):

  • Divide the summary into paragraphs that mirror the sections of the business plan.
  • Keep each topic brief.
  • Use bullets to highlight your most compelling information.
  • Include a small chart or graph if it makes an important point clear.
  • Use white space and informative subheads to break up text blocks and make pages seem less intimidating.

Ideally, the important issuer in the executive summary could be presented as shown below:

  • Give the basic information about your business.
  • In a very brief but clear way, the products and or services to be offered by the business are discussed.
  • Individuals who are used to analyzing a business plan are interested to know your target market. Who are the customers? To be credible here, you can include a summary of the underlying market research results.
  • It is very important for you to identify who the competitors are. If you know the relative market share of the competitors, you should state it. In a short and direct way, state what competitive edge your business has.
  • Marketing plan gives  a  brief highlight, of the  marketing and sales strategy. Essentially you need to say how you will market and sell your products and or services.
  • Outline the operational features define your business and make it unique. You are to state the critical operational features of your business.
  • State the key members of your management team and their qualifications – briefly stating the nature of the experience each brings into the business.
  • Is there any legal or regulatory issue pertinent to the success of the business? This must be highlighted together with the accompanying environmental issues.
  • Almost all stake holders would be interested to know the expected financial performance of the business. You are therefore expected to state the company’s expected gross sales and net profits. Stating the outcome of some ratio analysis will be of good help.
  • You have to show the total required investment and the proposed financial structure.

3.0 Company background.

In this part of this business plan – basic details about the business plan is provided. Unlike the executive summary which strives to persuade readers of the expected success of the business, the background or company description provides all necessary specific information about the business. Expectedly some Individuals spend more time than necessary trying to write this part, but this need not be so. All that is really needed is for you to provide the relevant background information about the name of the company, and other details like your company’s structure, ownership, and important milestones.

K is also in this section that you give a brief of sector and industrial developments relevant to your business. It is important to relate these industry/sector developments to your current and or expected business lance. Particularly the following points should be discussed:

  • Vision Statement: This is a statement of how the owner of the business wants the public to see the business.
  • Mission Statement: This is a statement of what the business entity essentially does in order to realize her vision.
  • Ownership/Legal Status: Who owns the business? Is it registered? If registered, what is the ownership structure? Also state whether the business has trademarks, copyrights, or patents. What are the other legal issues relevant to the company? Particularly, state if there is any distribution or licensing agreements and whether there are regulatory issues relevant to the company.
  • Key Milestones: This is mostly for existing businesses that are probably seeking expansion. Important milestones could include any of the following: incorporation; major changes in product design; target markets penetrated; strategic alliances; etc.
  • Location and Facilities: Where is the business located and why is it located there? You need to state the specific address of the business. Alternatively the general area or city could be named if a particular location has not been chosen. Sometimes, the company might have more than one location from  where  it  executes   its   locational addresses, and where this is not possible list the areas you plan to operate in.
  • Products/Services: Clearly identify the products and or services the business would render (or is rendering). Describe the product (s) or service (s) you are going to offer. Discuss the branding, the packaging (where applicable), ongoing product development, etc. An analysis should be done of the features and their benefits and they should be compared to the major competitors. Sometimes the products might; be too many and listing all the products might make the business plan voluminous. In   this  case   use   of   categories to present the products/services is advised. Also when discussing your products, you; should be cautious about divulging proprietary or technical information.
  • Industry Trend: Since your business is part of a larger whole which is the industry, it would help issues if you could discuss industry trend In fact stating industry trends helps in providing facts that could used to buttress claims made for your company. In the industry trend, the following questions should be addressed: what industry does you company belongs; is the industry a growth industry; and what are the challenges of the industry? Particularly state the opportunities in the industry and how you would utilize them.
  • Production Plan: There is no general agreement amongst scholars regarding   which part of the business plan the operations production plan should be discussed. Some scholars create a separate section for this, and others discuss it where they judge it would contribute in making for more understanding, logical sequence and ease of presentation. Here our main consideration for discussing the operations here is due to the later.

In the production plan, we must consider the following issues: required facilities and why they are required; output target and the revenue base; the required inputs; production process; and quality control. Note however that the production plan (operations) section of the business plan is not intended to be a detailed operation manual. In some instances, especially where the business is small and the operations basic and simple, it could be skipped. In the operations pattern you adopted, you should highlight its advantages and particularly the edge it confers on your business. Also to be considered here is the issue of the operational challenges being experienced or expected.

  • Business Strategy: The business strategy adopted is part of your success factors. Here you consider those things you need to do to distinguish your business and also make customers to consider you as an option of first choice. A business strategic could be any of the following: to be known as the company that produces the best quality product without endangering the environment; a reliable source of product supply at any point in time; the player with the best ethical standards; etc.
  • Key   Success   Factors:   Generally what  are  those  factors  that predispose your company to success? Is it location, product quality, etc? Specifically discuss them.

3.   Market.

Whether the proposed business will succeed or not, depends on the market. In this section describe who will buy your products or services. Is the market growing or declining? What influences will affect the market? Are there seasonal trends? It is very important to consider whether your company’s products and services meet the needs and desires of the target market. In this section, you must be able to show that customers exist for your business, that you know these customers (i.e. who they are, what they Bee, what they want, and even where they live), that the number of the customers are enough to support your business, and that the customers are ready for your products and services and that they are willing to buy them. [The following hints will serve well here:

  • Identify the geographic location and reach of your target market and where you consider it necessary state: Whether it is an urban suburban or rural area, and other details like climate and culture.
  • Identify the demographic attributes of the market: What is the population characteristics of the target market, especially those highly associated with the probability of whether they will buy or not. Included here are; age; income; gender; hobbies; occupation; marital status; family size; etc.
  • Customer   motivations   and   purchasing   patterns:   Certain customer attributes are  less  physical,   but formidable  in  making customers behave the way they do. Abrams (2009) suggested that in describing customer motivations the following questions should be considered:
  • What concerns your customers most when making purchases? (Is it price? Quality? Convenience?)
  • How quickly do they make their buying choices?
  • Where do they usually buy their products or services?
  • With what kinds of companies do they prefer to do business? (Large? Small? Socially responsible? Locally based?)
  • How do your customers view themselves?  (Do they see themselves as having a leading -edge? Technically savvy? Smart shoppers?)

Also when describing customer purchasing patterns, consider:

  • Who makes the decision to purchase, if other than the end user?
  • How often do they buy?
  • How do they pay? (Cash? Credit? Purchase order? 30 – 60 -90 day terms).
  • Market Size: By the market is meant all the people within a specific geographical area and are in need of a certain product or service and have the resources to buy it and also within reach to buy the product or service. This definition brings out certain dimension about the size of a market by implicitly considering:
  • People within a geographic area – population area.
  • Who need a product and or a service – have expressed interest.
  • Able to buy the people who have both access and money. understand the issues involved in determining market size, the issues above are diagrammatically shown in exhibit I below:

Exhibit I: Market Dimensions

Adapted from Philip Kotler’s marketing management, page 22

  • Potential market

Potential market is a subset of the total market. It consists of only those members of the total population who have professed interest in the product/service being offered. It totally excludes every member of the total population who has no interest in the product/service being offered

  • Available Market

Potential consumers must have adequate income to afford a purchase. By corollary, if the price is high, the number of consumers within this market will be low. Also some consumers could have interest and adequate income and still may not be a part of the market because of access. Thus, the available market consists of those members of the population that are interested in given product/service offering, who have adequate income to effect purchase and have market access.

  • Qualified Available Market

Sometimes a business enterprise may restrict its sales to certain groups. For instance, in Nigeria, banks offer banking service to individuals who have money to save and who are willing to save. However, if an individual is less than 18 years, such an individual is considered to be a minor and will not be served. Most market offerings in product/service have no restriction thus making the Available market to be the same as the qualified available market.

  • Served Market:

This is the proportion of the qualified available market that an organization decides to pursue.

  • Penetrated Market:

This is the set of consumers who really buy the product. We can use these definitions as a useful tool for marketing planning of our selected product/service.  However, to get information regarding these dimensions of the market, we must carry out a market survey. Other Issues that ought to be discussed in this section are as follows:

  • Key Competitors and players

In this section, you have to specifically identify the major competitors in your line of business. These competitors are to be evaluated based on how customers view them and .how they operate. You must consider what is the market share of each competitor? Do they have renowned brands? Are they market leaders and are they targeting the same geographical market as you? How do their products and services compare with your own?

Do you think you have any winning strategy against these competitors and can you persuade interested stake holders that you can beat these competitors in the game? Exhibit 2 below can help you articulate the relevant issues in this section.

Exhibit 2: Competition Analysis table

S/N Competitor Strength Weaknesses Other Attributes





  • Service delivery: For businesses that are service based, it will be necessary that a description of the sequence and how the service will be rendered are included. Young (2010) giving a specific example of a client with a computer system to repair has suggested that a typical example of a service delivery procedure may be as shown below:

Source: Adapted from Young (2010) How to prepare a winning Business plan PP. 27

  • Quality assurance: Most businesses lose customers due to faltering quality of their products. It is therefore very important that the business owner would spare time to think on how to maintain quality. Other stake holders would want to be assured that the business they are investing in would not lose out due to lack of quality. In this section, steps to be taken to ensure quality assurance should be discussed.

Demand and supply analysis: This is also called demand supply gap analysis or market analysis. In this section, the demand for the products and services of the business are estimated. This will help you determine if there is a sound customer base for the business. You should also articulate the market needs and client dynamics, and the product Supply analysis. To state the market demand, the following might be necessary: describe how you have carried out your customer and market research. Customers want to know what the benefits are of the product or service features, especially with a new product. Why do you think the customer will leave other products/services for your own? The current supply is the subtracted from current demand and whatever figure that is got is adjusted for competition from existing concerns, expansionary ambition of existing concerns and even firms that are planning to open up shop in that line of business. For example consider exhibit 3 below. In the exhibit it is assumed that market research carried out reveals that annual average demand for the product (refrigerators) is 100,000 units and that 35% of this market is already served. Also it is further assumed that 20% of the demand will be served by new entrants into the business and by increases in the output of existing concerns.

Exhibit 3: Estimating Demand Supply Gap

Adjustments Demand-Supply Gap
Estimated average annual demand

Less 35% of supplies due to existing similar shops in the area



Less 20% due to expansion of existing shops and establishment of new ones 65,000


Less 5% estimate error 52,000


Estimated Demand Supply Gap

Installed capacity of shop



The estimate made for the demand supply gap enables us to plan for capacity to be installed in our business. This also helps us to plan the operations that will generate the business’s target output which is usually less than the installed capacity which in turn is less that the estimated demand supply gap. le. where D represents demand supply gap, and K stands for installed capacity, then let T be the target output The relationship is given thus:


  • Technology: Technology plays vital roles in businesses today. The type of technology  adopted  say  a  lot  on   how  far  the  business  will. Particularly, some issues that need to be considered here are: is the technology product or process technology; is it complex or simple; does it easily get obsolete; is local or foreign; is it expensive; and does it need special training.
  • Competitive edge: Your products or services must have products and services that compete with it either directly or indirectly. Be very careful to identify those competing products, services or businesses. Do not “assume” that there are no competitors look hard. Check the newspapers, search in magazines, check the internet and look in all the places you expect them to advertise. How do you compare to your competitors on pricing, product, promotion and distribution? Tabulate a list that shows your features against their and what gives you a competitive
    edge. Do not ignore the negatives if there are any, as you must address them.

Marketing and sales plan.

The marketing and sales plan discusses how you intend to win over your ‘Customers and through that means ensure adequate sales for the business. Note that there two major ways you handle your marketing: one of the ways is through marketing – which essentially deals with activities to make customers aware of your products or services and the values associated with them (this is usually done through advertising in print, radio, TV, and internet; producing collateral materials like brochures, and product information sheet; preparing company web sites; public relation events (press ‘releases, and events); attending trade show exhibitions; and offering free sample giveaways), Generally describe in detail how you planed your marketing activities.

  • Market segmentation:  Also called niche marketing. The segmentation strategy considers how to separate the customers into groups with similar needs and or characteristics. Segmentation could be done on the basis of geographic and or demographic considerations.
  • Promotion Strategy: Promotion what type (i.e.  road shows, raffle draw, a type of competition by customers, etc) where and how often?
  • Marketing  Strategy:  A good  marketing strategy  is  crucial  to the success of a business. Customers must know about the product (s) or service(s) to be predisposed to buying them. List in detail the key strategies and explain how they will work and dovetail together if relevant The strategies might include:
  • Pricing how is this to be used?
  • Literature what type and how used
  • Customer Service what Benefits?
  • Advertising what and where and the outline cost,
  • Product or Service launch) plan
  • etc.
  • Market Positioning:   Messages are  usually  sent  by  businesses  via marketing to customers. The ways the customers understand this message and associate their understanding of the message to the business’s   image   define   the   market   positioning   enjoyed   by  the business.   Market   positioning   defines   what   are   you   known   for regarding the market offering you are making? Is it quality? Excellence? Reliability? Flexibility? Or what? Note that the use of slogans help to create a good market position.

Management, organization and ownership.

Provide a clear description on the proposed ownership structure and why it is being chosen. Refer to the background of the key persons in the business and what other staff or contractors will be required. What level of remuneration it? Either expected or anticipated. Briefly list any issues that might be pertinent with the employment of staff. You use the subheading below to present your discussions.

  • Shareholders/Directors:  who  is  the  main   promoter  of the business,  his  experience,  qualifications  and  other  attributes? Who are the other members of the management team and what benefit do they bring to the company?
  • External Support: The business can do more where there is the possibility that it can get outside collaboration. From where else does the organization draw help, mention the sources and what they do?
  • Personnel plan: What types of skills are needed? What is the recruitment policy? What is the proposed organizational structure; positions in the business; does the positions arise from the structure; how many employees; and how much do you pay in wage bill? Exhibit 5 shows a hypothetical organizational structure of a piggery which could help address the above issues.

Exhibit 4: Organizational structure of a hypothetical small scale piggery


  • Value and Norm of the enterprise: Does the company adopt: best practices; integrity; accessible; do business within the ambits of the law.

Legal, environmental, social and regulatory issues.

  • Legal Issues: Will the business be registered? What legal form and why? Registered with whom? There are many options as to how a new business can be structured. For example, is it going to be registered as a Sole Trader; a Partnership; a Limited Partnership or a Proprietary Company? Will there be Trade Marks or Patents and will the company trade under a business name or a company name? What of the necessary business permits, and licenses, franchises, etc.
  • Environmental issues: Are you environment friendly? Do you comply with environmental laws and requirements, etc?
  • Social issues:   How does  the   business  affect  the  wider  society, economically, in poverty reduction and job creation?
  • Regulatory issues: Who are the regulatory authorities? Do you keep to the rule?

Risk analysis, contingency plan, and exit strategy.

  • Risk analysis: What risks are the business open to? Have you identified such risks and what are the mitigants?
  • SWOT Analysis:  It is crucial to  carry out a SWOT analysis for a business plan. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT analysis could be categorized into two: influences that is company specific – and hence could  be manipulated  by the company  –  like  strengths  and  weaknesses;  and   influences that is economy wide and cannot be manipulated by the company. Strengths could derive from location, management, and or technology. Strengths are those that the company can exploit. Weaknesses could be as a result of poor product quality, poor capital base, etc. Weaknesses are areas of the business that need to be addressed. On the other hand opportunities can arise on account of export potentials, government priorities, increasing GDP growth rate, etc. Opportunities show the market place areas that can be built on. While threats could be due to unstable    government    policies,    adversely    changing    demographic attributes within the target market. Threats are those issues that could affect the business. Not only should you list each of the Strengths. Weaknesses, etc. but you should also assess what each means to the shape, direction, and tactical running of the business.
  • Exit Strategy: Sometimes a business may not turn out to be rewarding as initialing expected. When such is the case, it might be reasonable to withdraw from such a business. The danger here is that any attempt to back out from a business after making the investment outlays always portends huge losses for the investors. Therefore investors want to know how withdrawal from the business could be effected with minimal lose. This section addresses the questions: are there plans for exit? And at   what   point   should   exit   be   contemplated.   The   owner   might contemplate diversification and not exit. Also there could be buy off.

Company financial analysis.

The financial plan is so important due to the fact that it most provides answers, in numeric terms, to three basic questions that a business plan ought to provide answers to. The three basic questions are:

  1. Will the proposed business be profitable?
  2. Will the business be able to pay its maturing obligations without sinking into insolvency, and or bankruptcy? In order words, how liquid would the business be?
  3. Will  the  proposed  business  deliver wealth  to  its  owners  or promoters?

To answer these questions, the company financial analysis must be performed. To do this analysis, the following steps are to be followed”

  • Reconsider the Schedule of production: The production plan was earlier considered in section I of the chapter. You should spell out how the product(s) or services(s) are to be produced and “costed” and the quantity. For instance, is it a manufacturing process or is it a bought-in-item. The cost and price should be clearly stated. It might also be necessary to state what proportion is material, labour and overhead recovery, and how they relate to the selling prices. If it is a service on what basis is the cost charged?



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  1. I need a well organized formats of a business plan on agriculture


    Hi. Could you please provide me with information on how you can be of help in writing a business plan for my company. Please provide necessary information and possibly your contact details so that we can discuss. Regards.

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