A business plan is an important written document that serves as guide as you start and operate your business. Not only does your business plan provide a blueprint for running your business, it also serves to attract investors when you seek funding for your project. There is a standard format for writing a business plan. The following are essential elements included in a business plan.
Executive Summary. This is one of the most important sections of a business plan. The executive summary should include the following: information about your company, mission statement, summary about the product or service you offer, description of your competitors and revenue and cash requirement. While appearing in the first section, the executive summary is written last. It summarizes the key elements of the whole business plan. It is often used to attract lenders and lure them into reading the rest of the plan. Make the executive summary succinct and interesting.
Company Description. Include a brief history of your company. This should include when your business was formed, the company’s mission statement and its operational philosophies. The names of the founders and their duties, number of your employees, your business location and contact details should be included as well. ItΓÇÖs a good idea to also include any past profits and financial information as well as impressive facts and achievements.
Products and Services. This section is where you describe your product or service, highlighting the benefits to customers. Emphasize on why your particular product or service will fill a need for your customers. Be sure to highlight any advantages your service or product over the competition.
Market Analysis. Provide an examination of the target market for your service or product, including geographic location and demographics. Discuss the needs of your target market and how these needs are being fulfilled currently. Provide an explanation of your pricing plan and sales strategy, proposed advertising and promotion methods, and product or service’s benefits. Describe your competitors and plans to make your business stand out from the competition.
Financial. This is another important part of a business plan, and this section has a huge impact on whether your business idea is viable enough to attract potential investors to your business. In this section, you should provide details about your funding requirements, your financial statements, and a financial statement analysis.
Management. The management section introduces the team of managers who run the business and their responsibilities. Any degrees, certifications or past business successes should be discussed in this section, because lenders and investors are happier to provide financial backing to a management team that has already operated a successful business. You should list a person with excellent credentials as an advisor or even put them on the board to pump up your business plan.
After you have written your business plan, take the time to go through it and make corrections. Look for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors and correct them. If you need help writing a business plan, you may consider using a business template to help you create a good business plan. Business plan templates are excellent resources that can help you create a great business plan quickly and they are available online.