What existing problems or needs does your product or service solve for your customers? This is one of the most important questions to answer, because ultimately, your product or service is just another one available unless it clearly and uniquely solves a problem or need which buyers face. To give an example, let's say your product is a software application that helps you manage your finances and taxes. There are a few applications in the market which do that already. So, what does your application do that others don't? Is it better on features, is it faster? Is it more secure? Is it more user_friendly? Is it more portable? Does it really help someone save money or increase their net worth? Can you see why getting clear on the solution you offer to your target market is so crucial?
You would first do a P&L for the present year for your existing business and the first year and as many years after as you would like to have your plan cover. Your existing business financials will be the foundation for building yourself a business plan for as many years out as you want. This data will tell you a number of things but first if you want to build your plan around what you want in life, you would need to decide some things about your life: 1. You would need to decide how much income you would like to have for yourself for each of the years you plan for. 2. You would need to determine what kind of profit margin you would want from your business for each of the years. 3. And by combining these 2 things into a P&L format you can develop a financial business plan that can extend as for into the future as you would like. 4. The first thing it will show you is how much sales you would need each year to give you the income and profit you would like. Once you see the sales needed, if you know your business well enough, you should be able to estimate those additional expenses needed to overcome capacity constraints that will occur as your business grows. With this information you can actually predict not only what your sales will be, but you can see how much your fixed and variable expenses will be, what your labor cost will be, your material cost, and your profit.