DIY Toolkit | Business Plan

Almost every good idea
needs a little bit of funding to get going. But what’s the best way to
create a proposal that’s appealing to potential funders? When you’re trying to implement
an idea or grow your work, you should be clear
about three things. The problem you want to address. The vision of how
you will address it. And why you are the
best person to do it. A business plan is
a structured way to capture this information. It should cover
everything a funding partner might be interested in. An introduction to your
management team, a marketing plan, and an operation
and financial plan. This way they can be
confident about where their money will go. James is a technology
entrepreneur. He has developed a
solution to improve access to malarial medicines in
rural areas of developing countries using
simple SMS technology. It uses a combination of
mobile phones, the internet, and electronic mapping
to track weekly stock levels of public
health facilities. The technology is being tested
in three districts of Tanzania for six months,
covering a population of 1.2 million people. The results have been great. But now James needs
to find funding to help him grow
this service further. He begins drafting
a business plan. The worksheet lists
the important parts that he will need to cover. This includes a few paragraphs
about the main idea, the need and the market for it,
the plan for action, and what makes James and
his team the right people for the job. He starts with the
overview, explaining clearly what the service is. He lists plans for a
marketing and sales strategy, what the organisation needs
to function and how it will deliver, the management and
people skills that James has around him, plans for new
markets he wants to target and how to avoid risks,
James’s financial requirements and forecasts. Finally, James uses
all this information to write his executive summary,
a clear statement of why he needs the money,
how it will be spent, and how it will be earned back. James doesn’t spend too long
on his first business plan. He knows that he will
write many draughts before he gets it right and
finds the best way to explain his service to funders. Eventually James is
successful with his proposal. His SMS solution has grown
into an innovative partnership between a global health care
company and mobile providers operating in countries
across Africa.

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