Writing a business plan is likely to make any business owner a bit rattled but if you know exactly what to include it can make the process a whole lot easier. It can also help give you and the business the results that you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for investors or are interested in loans or other types of credit from your bank, you must have a business plan.
To begin, your business plan needs to include information about your business as well as the financial, marketing and management aspects. Your plan should clearly outline what your business is about and include information about your finances and financial projections, marketing efforts and advertising and information about the people who manage the business as a whole.
When writing your business plan it’s good to be optimistic but you also need to show any potential negative information as well. For instance it’s a good idea to know who your competition is. Also, don’t forget to talk about any weaknesses or uncertainties because every business has these things. Your business plan audience will welcome this information and be happy that you’re being up front about it rather than believing that nothing could possibly go wrong.
It’s essential that you provide as many supporting documents as possible. Some documents you should include are:
- Loan Applications
- Balance Sheets
- Breakeven Analysis
- First Year Month-by-Month Detail
- 3-Year Summary
- Profit and Loss Statements
- Tax Returns for the Last 3 Years
- Copies of Resumes
- Copies of Licenses
- Copies of Purchase Agreement or Lease of Building Space
These documents will help back up the information you have included in your business plan. They are the documents that prove your business is what you’ve said it is and also shows how it has been performing.
Your business plan should include everything about your business that gives your audience a crystal clear picture of how your business operates and what you hope to accomplish. Remember to not be too optimistic when writing your plan. It’s a good idea to show that you realize there are some risks involved and that your business isn’t perfect. Admitting this up front can really help make your business plan work for you.