A solid business plan does many things for a business owner. It provides a clear road map which outlines the future of the business. It sets goals and holds a business owner accountable to them. It explains what the company is, who it serves, and how it works. It is the overall what, why, and how of a company. And perhaps most importantly, a business plan can make the difference between getting gaining crucial funding for equipment leasing or not.
What is the information that goes into a business plan and makes equipment financing lenders become interested in your business? What exactly do they look for, and what convinces them to approve your application?
Here are the seven components of a business plan, and what your potential funders will be looking for when they go through it.
This is a brief summary of your business, and should also compact all the important information of your entire business plan into a relatively short overview. It summarizes the highlights of the other sections of your plan, so a good rule of thumb is to write it after you’ve written all the other parts of the plan so that you can add the important ideas from other sections. This is most likely the first thing that your potential lenders will see, so it needs to be exciting, engaging, and informative—but not too lengthy.
This section explains what your business is, and what it does. It should state when the company was founded, where you are located, your mission statement, your business model, the legal structure, and your projected growth. These answers will tell your story and will help equipment financing lenders connect to you, as it will show them how you’re viewing your venture.
Your market analysis section is where you take a look at your market as a whole, where you fit within it, and why you stand out against your competitors. Be sure to include information on your target market, your customer personas, and testimonials (if you have them). The market analysis section is also the perfect place to answer the questions that your value proposition asks:
This section is important to equipment financing lenders as it will teach them about your market and how you will impact it.
This section is a great opportunity to impress equipment financing lenders. Be sure to spotlight the expertise and qualifications of each member of your team. Equipment financing lenders will be more likely to approve your application if a company has a competent, qualified staff. It’s the ideal place in your business plan to brag.
The sales strategy section is very important for equipment financing lenders. It’s where you explain in detail how you will utilize marketing efforts such as social media, press releases, search engine optimization, web design and development, and more to raise money with your business and make profits a reality. You will describe your price strategy and will also detail the promotional strategies you’re currently using, along with strategies you plan to implement later on. This section shows that you have carefully considered how to using sales to grow revenue and in turn be able to pay your equipment lease payments.
Here’s where you will ask for the amount of money you need from potential equipment financing lenders. In this section, it’s important to be as realistic as possible, and to also include information for a best-case scenario as well as a worst-case scenario.
Another very important section for potential investors, the financial projections are where you summarize any successes up to this point and make forward-looking projections. The projections should be based on information about your revenue growth and market trends, and should be created using information about what’s currently happening, combined with your sales strategies. These projections will let potential equipment financing lenders know when they can expect to see timely repayments.
Each section of a business plan is very important to your potential equipment financing lenders. They will be looking through all of them to discover your story, purpose and mission; who your customers are; why you believe you stand out from your competitors and where you see yourself within your industry; what sort of team you have; what your “disaster planning” is; how much funding you need, and give them confidence in your ability to repay.