A business plan is a strategy for exactly how you’re going to create success. The plan should give you direction, lay out your goals and provide information on success timelines, including how and when you plan to reach your objectives. Here’s a quick outline of the six elements necessary for any good business plan:
1. Executive Summary:
Write this last. It’s a single page of highlights from everything you’ve put into your business plan; it should make people want to read more of the plan, not explain every detail.
2. Company Description:
This covers your legal establishment, history and startup plans, and includes your mission statement.
3. Products or Services:
Describe what you’re selling and focus on customer benefits and return on investment (ROI).
4. Market Analysis:
You need to know your target markets, customer needs, where they are and how to reach them. This will show you – and the salespeople who work for you – exactly where your revenue will come from.
5. Strategy and Implementation:
Be specific; include management responsibilities with dates and budgets.
6. Financial Plan:
Include profit and loss, cash flow, balance sheet, break-even analysis, assumptions and business ratios. Be as specific as possible with this. It’s important at this time to have some defined revenue and profit goals.