Creating a Business Plan
Creating a business plan is one of the first steps you should take as a prospective business owner. It will help you to craft your game plan, hone your product, understand your customer base, and guide your decision-making to set up your business for success.
Writing a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is an important first step to getting your business up and running. An effective business plan will serve as a roadmap for your business, guide your decision-making process, help you to obtain financing, build relationships, attract good employees, and boost your confidence as a business owner.
The structure of a business plan may vary depending on your business and needs, but it often incorporates the sections below:
The executive summary is the first (and sometimes only) part of your business plan that people will read. The executive summary should provide information about your business and incorporate the highlights from each of the sections below. Ultimately, you want to leave the readers with a strong understanding of what your business is and why it will be successful.
Provide a high-level overview of your business, how it will be structured and what your goals are for your business.
Describe your business, the specific product or service that you will offer, and the features that differentiate you from your competitors.
Demonstrate why your business model is relevant and timely. This section should ideally include information about industry trends, your target customers and their demographics, and your competitors in the region. This information will be essential to help you think about how to differentiate your product, where and who to market to, and different locations where your business might be most successful.
Organization & Management
Focus on the ownership, legal structure, and human resources side of your business. Use this area to introduce your team and the skills and expertise that they bring to the table. It can be helpful to provide an organizational chart to show the roles and responsibilities of you and your team, and a plan for when and how to hire additional staff if needed.
Marketing & Sales
Provide a plan of action to market and sell your product or service to the target customers that you identified in the Market Analysis. Identify the different strategies that you can use to build and grow your business over time.
Show your current and projected financial status, including balance sheets, a cash flow statement, and revenue projections. In simple terms: how much do you need to earn each month to cover wages, rent, loans, equipment, and other expenses?
Appendix or Supporting Documents
Include additional documents that support your plan