Eight Things Every Business Plan Should Have

Writing an amazing business plan can really boost your odds of getting funding from investors. Think of your business plan as a platform for presenting your ideas to people who have the power to make them a reality. Creating a good business plan is challenging and time-consuming but well worth the effort in the long run. Without an effective plan, most investors won’t give you a chance. While plans can vary in content depending on the type of business they outline, there are five things every successful business plan should have to get investors interested in learning more.

1. Clear and effective mission statement.
Your mission statement should briefly explain what your business is, what it will sell and why it’s needed. Investors should be able to get your concept just from reading your mission statement.

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2. Executive summary.
Similar to an elevator pitch, the executive summary should tell readers what they need to know about your business if they only have a few free minutes. It should elaborate on the mission statement without going into too many details. Briefly outline how much money you need to raise from investors and how you plan to use it. Some investors use the executive summary to figure out if they are interested enough in your business to read more about it, so it’s important to include information that they might find helpful.

3. Market research.
Investors like to see realistic numbers and statistics in every business plan, and you can’t provide them unless you learn about current market trends. Review how similar businesses in your area are doing to figure out if your numbers make sense.

4. Target demographic.
Your plan needs to show who your customers will be, how you will reach them, and why they will want to buy your products or services. Investors want to know that there is enough demand for the type of business you want to build to bring in a lot of money.

5. Competition analysis.
All businesses have competitors, and not going over how you plan to deal with yours can make you look unprepared and hurt your credibility. Research similar businesses in your area, and come up with strategies that will give your start-up an advantage.

6. Detailed financial report.
Besides including projections that are based on market research, you need to describe how much money it will take to grow and develop your business. Talk about both your short-term needs and long-term goals.

7. Advertising.
Your business plan needs to tell investors how you plan to get new customers and build a unique brand. It should include detailed advertising strategies that are aimed at your target demographic.

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8. Team description.
List all of the people who will help you build your start-up and describe what role each one of them will play in both day-to-day operations and in the long term. Explain how each member of your team will help you build a successful business by briefly going over their backgrounds and qualifications.

Peter

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