A Guide to Writing Your Business Plan
When in business for yourself it is essential to have some type of direction to guide you towards your financial goals as an entrepreneur. The best way to do this is to create a business plan which will map out the path you are looking to take in the growth and development of your business model. Additionally, if you are looking to attract investors or maybe even obtain a business loan, a written business plan will be necessary.
Here are the essential sections that should be included in most business plans.
Your business plan should start with an executive summary which should be no more than a single page long. The purpose of an executive summary is to illustrate in a broad sense what the company is about. It should be brief and should clearly explain your company’s products or services along with the general details of the company’s financial plans.
Description of your company
The second part of the business plan should be the company description. This will include the registered name of the business, where the business is located, and the key personnel in charge of making sure the company operates effectively. The company description should provide a brief biography of key personnel’s previous work experience, related skills, education, and other relevant details. Include what type of business entity your company will be: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, or some other type of entity.
The next part of the business plan will detail exactly what goals your company is trying to achieve in terms of marketing, finances, and other aspects as well. The business objectives should take into consideration the short-term as well as long-term views.
Detail your products and services offered
Provide a description of your company’s products and services you are planning to bring to market. Give a concise explanation of what your product or service is and how it works. Present what your target customer demographic is and the supply chain you intend to use to bring the product or service to customers. Your sales strategy and distribution plan should also be detailed in this section.
Research the market
Make sure to analyze your competitors in order to provide details in your business plan about how your product or service stands out from the rest. Include this in the market analysis portion of the business plan.
In this section you will provide business financials of your company which will include various financial documents that give potential investors an overview of the financial status of your business. These documents will include income statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements and possibly more. You should note if you are a startup business you may not have much information to offer in this section compared to more established enterprises.
This is one of the most essential parts of a business plan. Financial projections provide how you are projecting your future business performance from a financial perspective. These projections will play an important part of the decision-making process for potential investors or possible lenders.