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Building a Business Plan

A business plan that clearly outlines goals and visions is imperative when it comes to creating a successful business. A business plan is essentially a comprehensive overview of how your business will be run, and includes goals, financial information, and much more. Having a strong business plan is essential when it comes to obtaining funding for a business so care should be taken to create a really strong plan that clearly outlines your business.

The Key Principles of Business Plans

  • A plan of what you think the business will be able to achieve.
  • The plan should include both long and short term goals.
  • Incorporate key people into the plan, not just the business owners.
  • Include budgeting and finance information that can later be used to compare to actual figures.
  • Prepare to modify your budget and other parts of your business plan when dealing with investors.
  • Use target figures to create goals and incentives for employee performance.

The Parts of a Business Plan

Executive Summary

A business plan normally starts with an executive summary that should be written with the goal of drawing a reader in. The executive summary should include a brief overview of your business concept and provide a sense of your vision for the company. When writing the executive summary, remember business concept, objectives, key people, and vision.

Company Information

The company information section of your business plan should include all the details about your business. Company information should include the history of the company, achievements, information about the place where the building will be housed, and relevant contacts. If necessary, this section should also include a startup summary and information about equity shareholders.

Operations, Products, and Services

All products or services you will be providing should be clearly explained in your business plan with a focus on how the products or services will be good for customers. In this section, you should also include information about people, equipment, and facilities that are necessary for your business. Technological aspects and intellectual property ownership can also be included when explaining products or services. It is important that the information on products or services is easy to understand.

Market Research

A business plan should include information based on market research that has been done. You need to identify your target market, the size of the market, and potential for growth. This part of the business plan should also include a summary that profiles your potential or existing customers as well as competitors.

Financial Information

This section will include all of the financial information for the business, including a summary of your funding requirements in addition to future financial projections. A sensitivity analysis and cash flow projections should also be included with your financial information along with details of your revenue models.

Management, Key Personnel, and Organization

The summary of key personnel, management, and organization is one of the most important parts of your business plan. This section should include a paragraph for each key member of your team. The information should be supported further with resumes included in the appendix. The type of information that should be in your summaries includes training needs, responsibilities, business backgrounds, and salaries.

Company Needs

Outlining your company needs in a business plan is optional but can be helpful when trying to obtain funding. The company needs section may include things such as corporate strategy, sales and marketing plans, and what help you need expanding the business.

Additional Resources Re: Business Plan Development