Create your Business Plan
An essential part to any successful business is a business plan. This is a completed document that describes how a business will operate and grow revenues. Learn how to create a business plan and what it consists of by reading the following sections.
Considered the most significant part of your business plan, the executive summary is where you explain your business location, where you plan on taking it, and how you business idea will generate profit. What you include in the executive summary will depend on the stage of your business. For established an established business, you will need the following information.
- The mission statement: This should be several sentences to a paragraph in length, describing exactly what your business is about.
- Company info: This statement should include your business address, when your business was formed, the number of your employees, and the names of the founders along with their roles.
- Highlight growth: In this section, you need to include financial and market highlights that are examples of business growth. Graphs and charts may be used and are helpful.
- Your services or products: This is a description of the services and products that your company provides.
- Financial information: You may include your company’s current banking and investing information if you plan to seek financing.
- Summarize future plans: This is a description of where you plan on taking your business.
For startups and new businesses, you will not have as much to write down as for established businesses. You will instead focus on why you chose to start that particular enterprise as well as your background and experience. As a new business owner, you have to be prepared with a thorough market analysis. You can include information that explains a gap or need in your market and how your business has the solution that can fill it.
This section of the business plan includes a comprehensive description of all the elements that your business is comprised of. It is intended to help readers and potential investors understand your organization’s goals and its unique proposition. Be sure to include the following in your company’s description.
- Clarify the nature in which your business operates and list the needs of your targeted marketplace.
- Describe how your business can meet these needs.
- Include a list of specific consumer groups or businesses that your business serves.
- Describe how your business can be successful by explaining competitive advantages, for example your efficient operations, location, or expert personnel.
In the market analysis section, you need to illustrate your knowledge of the targeted market or industry, along with your research data and their conclusions. You will need to include the following into your market analysis: a description of your industry characteristics, the size of the primary target market, how much share you expect to gain, the pricing structure, a competitive analysis and regulatory restrictions.
Organization and management
The next section in your business plan should be the organization and management. In this section you need to include your firm’s organizational structure, information on who owns your company, and information on management personnel. This is where you give a good description of each department/division and their duties. You need to answer who does what, what their background is, and why you have them as employees. You will also need to describe your company’s organizational structure. Be sure to include a simple description of the layout structure of our business.
Service or product line
The next part of your business plan is the service and product line section. In this section you will describe your service or product. You need to emphasize the benefits that your goods have on potential and current customers, and provide a description on why your product or service is able to fill a need in your target market.
Marketing and sales
The next section focuses on your company’s marketing and sales management strategy. As there are many ways of approaching marketing strategies, your strategy should be unique to your business and should involve a thorough business evaluation process.
Include this section into your business plan if you are planning to seek funding for your venture. All of the following should be included in your funding request.
- Amount of funding required
- Projections of any future funding requirements
- How funds are intended to be used
- Any strategic plans for future financial situations
The last section included in your business plan should be the financial projections. You will need to include the following information in this section. For established businesses, you will need to provide historical data such as your firm’s income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets. All businesses, whether established or new, need to supply prospective financial data. For this part, you need to provide documents that include forecasted cash flow statements, balance sheets, income statements, and capital expenditure budgets.