Writing a great business plan is crucial to getting new investors and building a thriving, profitable enterprise that will succeed in the long run. Business plans are living documents that will need to be constantly readjusted as your company grows, but first you need to come up with a great framework that suits your current goals and can be easily revised in the future. Creating a business plan from scratch can be incredibly intimidating if you’ve never worked on one before but getting started is the hardest part. There are several simple steps you can follow to build a business plan that can help you impress potential investors and become a successful business owner.
Every good business plan needs to be broken down into several separate sections that focus on specific aspects of running a healthy business. Although formats can vary depending on your ideas and goals, most business plans should have the following essential subsections:
The executive summary outlines your business profile and objectives. It should include your mission statement and a description of your products and services. Essentially, the executive summary is just a brief of your business plan and vision, so keep it short and concise.
This section should explain what your business is about and what makes it unique. Use the company summary as an opportunity to show investors why your business will be valuable to consumers and how it will be different from other companies that offer similar products or services.
Merchandise and Service Description
Outline what type of products or services you will offer and how they will benefit consumers in your area or online.
In your market analysis section, you need to demonstrate that you are familiar with the industry and future market projections. Include current market needs, trends and growth potential. Describe your target demographic and their buying patterns. Mention any disadvantages such as legal barriers or steep competition, and discuss how you plan to overcome them.
The management section should outline how your business will be structured and managed. This section should show that you are familiar with management techniques and are capable of running a successful business in today’s competitive market.
Come up with a well-researched marketing campaign that will help you establish a recognizable brand and gain a loyal customer base.
Financial Plan/Funding Request
Your financial section and funding request should include projections for profit and loss, your current financial situation, long-term plans, funding requirements and all other relevant information.
While every section of your business plan should be distinctly different from another, they all need to work together. In a way, every great business plan is like a well-oiled machine. It’s composed of many parts that perform different functions while working together toward a common goal.
Each section of your business plan needs to be polished, and it should be relevant to your overall goal. Investors don’t like gambles that can cost them a lot of money, so they look for potential business owners who know what they are doing. Spending the time to create a comprehensive, well-thought-out plan is always the first step to getting what you need to build your dream business.