Your business plan should be unique, just like your business. But that doesn’t mean
Your business plan should be unique, just like your business. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t key essentials you need to make sure are included. Here are seven of the most important sections to think through and outline in your plan to ensure you are ready to become a new business owner.
1. Executive summary
The first section is an overview of the entire plan. It needs to grab the attention of your reads – whether that is an investor, financial institution or potential business partner. It should explain what your business is, what it does, what your mission statement is and what you hope to accomplish with the plan (secure funding, outline management, etc.)
2. Company description
In this section, include the legal structure (corporation, sole proprietorship). Give a history of the business and the needs you saw that you are responding to with this new business. Explain the products and services, as well as customers and suppliers. Summarize growth, including financial and market highlights, and explain your short- and long-term goals.
Explain what you are selling. Who are your suppliers? What are the costs for your products or services? What net revenue do you expect? If you have pictures of your products, include them here. If your products are copyrighted or patented, include that information as well. You should also explain why these products are different than the others that are currently on the market.
4. Market analysis
You’ve done your research. Now explain what you’ve found. Explain your target audience demographics and an overview of the industry – include statistics wherever possible. Evaluate your competitors and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
5. Marketing and sales strategies
Summarize your strategies for marketing and sales in this section. How will you implement them? Show how you plan to promote your business and gain new customers. Will you use digital advertising with AdWords or Facebook Ads? Will you advertise in trade publications or local newspapers? Will you use social media or a blog on your website? You can include all your plans and ideas in this section.
Now, you need to explain how your company is organized. Identify owners, management and any other executives. If you have advisors, list them here. Include profiles and resumes of key leaders for the company, their job responsibilities and why they are qualified for that role. You can also include an organizational chart of departments, department leaders and responsibilities for each department.
7. Financial projections
Finally, money – the ultimate goal of business. Where are you getting money from? Where is it going? How much do you expect to earn? These are some of the questions the financial projections need to answer. You can include forecasted income, balance sheets and cash flow statements. The projections should be done over the first five years of the business’s operation.
It can seem overwhelming to make sure everything is ready to go not just with your business plan but also with your business. Work with Bargain Business Plan to make sure your plan is customized and professionally prepared so you can start on the road to entrepreneurial success.