If you’re starting your own business, it can be extremely helpful (and sometimes necessary) to have a prepared business plan or at least to know how to write one. Your business plan can help you when reaching out or appealing to potential sources of financing, investors, or business partners. On top of that, your business plan can be useful for you by acting almost like a road map that you can continually refer to whenever you need. And while business plans and their components can vary and differ, we will provide you with the components needed for a simple and easy business plan.
1. Executive Summary
Your executive summary is essentially a brief outline or overview of your business and your plans. So while it should be the first component of your business plan, it can be a lot easier to write it last as it summarizes all of the other components.
2. Business Description
You want to make sure to explain key information about your business, products, goals, and your leadership or executive team. This can include an overview of the need or want that your product or service is addressing, in addition to an outline of the features of said product. It can also discuss the way in which the business will be organized.
3. Market Analysis
In this section, you will want to demonstrate your understanding of the ins and outs of the market you're planning to enter (or already operating within). This is the point when you will want to analyze your competition, the profile of your target customer base, and data and trends belonging to the industry or market you are entering. This section should allow you to show how your business will stack up against the competition in that market or industry.
4. Marketing and Sales Plan
Next, you will want to provide a description of how you intend to market your products or services to your target customers, keeping in mind your intended promotion, pricing, and branding strategies. Additionally, you should also cover the budget that you will need to implement the aforementioned strategies.
Lastly, your financial section should encompass multiple things. Firstly, it should include the funding that will be needed, in addition to how you're planning to use said funding/capital. If you are able, you might also want to include your plan for raising this capital. Another element to add to your financial section if you are able to do so is any financial goals or expectations that you may have for the business’ first year.
At the end of the day, remember that you want your business plan to be logical, objective, and realistic. It is supposed to be a plan after all.