Whether you are just starting out or ready to expand your existing enterprise, a business plan is your blueprint for success. Business plans help you prospect for the next 3-5 years to clarify your business goals and clarify your path to achieving those goals. It is essential to attracting investment for startups, and also a very important tool for managing and expanding an established business.
Each business is different, so each business plan is different. But every business plan should include the following elements:
This part is a snapshot of your business plan, which involving your business’s mission, history, organization and structure. You can make an executive summary of a brief overview of your products or services, projected sales, profits and cash flows. If you want to use your business plan to attract investment, then you should also state how much capital you need and how you intend to use it in your plan.
2. Business Description
This section is a description for what your business does. It contains your company history, mission, organization, and marketing strategies. What’s more, it should also include administrative issues such as business location, legal structure and personnel, and explain how you will handle accounting, insurance, legal and security matters.
3. Market Analysis
This section describes your industry, the market environment for your products or services and the competition your business faces. It should be based on real data and show how your business will be successful. The market analysis should describes your industry’s current size, historic growth and trends, and identify your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses.
4. Organization and Management
This section captures the organizational structure of your business and the background of its key people. You can discuss your business’s divisions, their respective responsibilities and how they interact in this section. Besides, the experience and responsibilities of your business’s executives and how each helps your business achieve its goals can also be shown.
5. Products or Services
You can highlight the products or services your business provides in this section. Meanwhile, you should also show how your products or services will satisfy a need in your target market and help your business maintain a competitive advantage. What’s more, the scheduling, costs and personnel needed to deliver your product or service, as long as any potential risks and how you will mitigate those risks are also needed.