Most business plans fall into one of two common categories:
Take into consideration that financing isn’t the only reason to write a business plan. There are valuable reasons to write a business plan even if you don’t need funding.
Your executive summary is considered the most important section of the business plan and should be written last even though it is presented first on your document. It should be between 5 – 10% of your overall business plan.
The purpose of the executive summary is to briefly explain what is to follow in the business plan, providing reviewers a high-level overview of your business in a way that encourages further reading. Make sure to use short, concise paragraphs.
Your executive summary should include:
In this section, provide detailed descriptions of who you are and what you do. This is the introduction to your business. Provide information about what makes your business a standout from other similar businesses, your experience, concept development and what makes you a viable candidate for investment.
Key details of this section:
Create your company’s organizational chart. Identify which positions report to whom and the responsibilities of those roles.
But don’t JUST list them. Explain your supply chain and your back up plan if the chain fails. Illustrating that you have a resiliency plan will build confidence in the reviewers that you are prepared for contingencies to ensure that your business does not fail.
You will need to estimate how many people need what your business is offering. The viability of your business succeeding is heavily weighted by whether you have a market for your product or service. This is why the market analysis is a key section of your business plan.
While estimating your potential market, you will want to use as much relevant independent data as possible. Here are some points to focus on when doing your research:
Perform a SWOT analysis – consider your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can list these in a chart that will help you and the reviewer quickly assess factors that may impact your business and determine your competitive advantage in the market. Here is an example for a health supplement:
Most marketing plans include information on four key subjects. How much detail you present on each will depend on both your business and your plan’s audience.
Your marketing efforts are directly informed by your ideal customer. Pay attention to how they found you and what they are willing to spend.
This section will signal to your reader that you have a solid concept of your supply chain and will illustrate any contingency plan in case of emergency or uncertainty. Additionally, this will help you develop your workflow processes.
Include the following:
Regardless of the inspiration behind your business concept and how much time and money you have already dedicated to it, without strong fiscal health a business cannot succeed. A financial plan helps determine if an idea is sustainable. It is an integral part to your overall business plan. You must be able to show that your business is a good investment if you want to attract financiers.
Key elements should include:
Our local resource partners offer different tools to help guide you through producing a powerfully constructed business plan. You can also schedule a free one-on-one counseling session to work through your business plan.
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