What about product launches and trade shows? Don't forget more everyday marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, or brochures. Include an approximate budget. This section describes the legal structure, ownership, and if applicable management and staffing requirements of your business. The operating plan outlines the physical requirements of your business, such as office, warehouse, or retail space; equipment; supplies; or labor.
This section will vary greatly by industry; a large manufacturer, for instance, should provide full details about supply chain or specialty equipment, while a therapist's office can get by with a much shorter list. If your business is a small operation like a one-person, home-based consulting firm , you might choose to eliminate the operating plan section altogether and include the operating essentials in the business overview. The financial plan is the most important section for lenders or investors.
The goal is to demonstrate that your business will grow and be profitable. To do this, you will need to create realistic predictions or forecasts. To avoid inflated expectations, a prudent financial plan underestimates revenues and overestimates expenses. The appendices and exhibits section contains any detailed information needed to support other sections of the plan. Possible Appendix or Exhibit items include:.
Small Business Administration. Look at This Data. Marketing MO. Startup Nation. Small Business Business Plans. Table of Contents Expand. Table of Contents. Title Page. Section 1: Executive Summary. Section 3: Market Analysis and Competition. Section 4: Sales and Marketing Plan. Section 5: Ownership and Management Plan. Section 6: Operating Plan. Section 7: Financial Plan. Section 8: Appendices and Exhibits.
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Article Sources. If your executive summary doesn't capture the reader's attention, they won't read further, and their interest in your business won't be piqued. Even though the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, you should write it last. The key with this section is to be brief yet engaging. This section is an overview of your entire business. Make sure you include basic information, such as when your company was founded, the type of business entity it is a limited liability company, an S corporation, etc.
Provide a summary of your company's history to give the readers a solid understanding of who you are and what your business is. Focus on your customers' perspective and needs by demonstrating the problem you are trying to solve. The goal with this section is to prove that your business fills a bona fide market need and will remain viable for the foreseeable future.
In this section, clearly define who your target audience is, where you will find customers, how you will reach them and, most importantly, how you will deliver your product or service to them. Provide a deep analysis of your ideal customer and how your business provides a solution for them. You should also include your competitors in this section and illustrate how your business is uniquely different from the established companies in the industry or market. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and how will you differentiate yourself from the pack?
You will also need to write a marketing plan based on the context of your business. For example, if you're a small local business, you want to analyze your competitors who are located nearby. Franchises need to conduct larger-scale analysis, potentially on a national level. Competitor data helps you know the current trends in your target industry and the growth potential. These details also prove to investors that you're very familiar with the industry. For this section, the listed target market paints a picture of what your ideal customer looks like.
Data to include may be the age range, gender, income levels, location, marital status, and geographical regions of target consumers. A SWOT analysis is a common tool entrepreneurs use to bring all collected data together in a market analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses analyze the advantages and disadvantages unique to your company, while opportunities and threats analyze the current market risks and rewards.
Before anyone invests in your business, they want a complete understanding of what they are investing in and who the company principals are. This section should illustrate how your business is organized. As you list each individual, provide a summary of their experience and their role within your company.
Treat this section as a series of mini resumes and consider appending full-length resumes to your business plan. Last, the financial plan should include a detailed overview of your finances. At the very least, you should include cash flow statements , as well as your profit and loss projections, over the next three to five years.
You can also include historical financial data from the past few years, your sales forecast, balance sheet, etc. Make sure this section is precise and accurate. It's often best practice to create this section with a professional accountant. Finally, if you're seeking outside funding for your business, highlight why you're seeking financing, how you will use that money and when investors can expect a return on their investment.
Investors want detailed information to confirm the viability of your business idea. Expect to provide an income statement for the business plan that includes a complete snapshot of your business. The income statement will list revenue, expenses and profits. Income statements are generated monthly for startups and quarterly for established businesses.
Another element of your financial plan is your projection for cash flow. In this section, you estimate the expected amount of money coming in and going out of your business. There are two benefits to including a cash flow projection.
The first is that this forecast demonstrates whether your business is a high or low-risk venture. The second benefit of doing a cash flow projection is that it shows you whether you would benefit most from short-term or long-term financing. Finally, a break-even analysis should be included in your financial plan. The break-even point is the point at which your company's sales totals cover all of its expenses.
Investors want to see your revenue requirements to assess whether your business is capable of reaching the financial milestones you've laid out in your business plan. The operational plan section details the physical needs of your business. The section discusses the location of the business , as well as required equipment or critical facilities needed to make your products.
Some companies, depending on their business type, may also need to detail their inventory needs, including information about suppliers. For manufacturing companies, all processing details are spell out in the operational plan section. For startups, you want to divide the operational plan into two distinct phases: the developmental plan and the production plan.
The developmental plan explains each step in the process of bringing your product or service to market. You want to outline the risks and the protocols you're taking to demonstrate to investors that you've examined all potential liabilities and that your business is well positioned for success. For instance, if workers or your products are exposed to toxic materials during the production process, in your developmental plan, you want to list the safety measures you will follow to minimize the risk of illness and injury to workers and consumers and how you plan to minimize any potential culpability to your business.
Production plans have the day-to-day operation information, such as your business hours, the work site s , company assets, equipment pieces, raw materials and any special requirements. LivePlan allows business owners to craft perfectly formatted business plans. They have more than plans encompassing nearly every industry you can think of.
After selecting the template you like, you can customize it to create a compelling presentation to pitch your idea to would-be investors. Post-launch, you can track your actual revenue and expenses against your earlier forecasts.
We, at Business News Daily, have put together a simple but high-value template to help you create a business plan.
Restaurant Business Example Mini Business Plan Farm Business Plan Social Business Sample Presentation Business Plan Start-up Business Example Bakery Business Plan Car Wash Business Sample Cleaning Business Plan Daycare Business Example Insurance Business Sample Lawn Care Business Plan Personal Business Plan Real Estate Business Sample Retail Business Plan What is a business plan?
What are the main components of a business plan? What is the purpose of a business plan? A business plan is a formal and comprehensive document that is prepared by a business to outline the goals of the business and how it can be attained. It states the time frame within which these goals should be achieved, along with the product details, manpower, and financial estimates.
Each business plan examples share common components such as the executive summary , company description, marketing plan, operational plan , and so much more. However, how these components are expressed or explained will differ according to the needs and designs of the business owner.
The purpose of a business plan is to define the goals of a business along with the steps needed to reach them. Now that you have a business idea and you know how to write a business plan, it's time to go for it. Our business plan software will take you through each step outlined above in more detail so there are no surprises on your journey.
Whether you're starting or growing your business, after reading your business plan you'll be ready to take the next step to success. After trying Upmetrics, I wish to highly recommend this app to anyone who needs to write a business plan flexibly and to a high standard.
Seriously, forget about LivePlan, Bizplan or Cuttles. I've tried them all! Thank you Upmetrics for your excellent customer support. Let's not waste your creative time for common questions, we already answered all possible common questions.
No, still got questions? A business plan is simply a document that contains a summary of your business goals and a roadmap showcasing how you aim to achieve them. Having a business plan helps when you're seeking a loan or investments as it instils trust that your business idea has potential. It helps reduce the risk factor, set achievable goals, and helps you manage the finances of your business. A business plan is beneficial for entrepreneurs of any industry.
Drafting your business plan will help better navigate your business. It depends on your requirements. For a quick one-page business plan, you can use a lean business plan. Again, it depends. If you are well aware of the process and have an ample amount of disposable time in your hands, then you can draft your business plan all by yourself. On the other hand, if you don't know the process and need a professionally written business plan, you can hire a freelancer, an expert,or a business strategy company—depending on your budget and time constraints.
There are numerous websites that provide samples. A quick Google search can help you find the perfect sample based on your business requirements. You can take a look at these sample business plans to get started now. A few things to remember while drafting your business plan are to keep it short and crisp, realistic, creative, and make it adaptable.
You will need to constantly revise your plan as your business grows. Prioritize concisenessover length. This way, you ensure that your business plan is easily interpretable and gets the message across. Several websites offer tools to help you do your research.
We suggest the U. However, if your needs are quite expensive and you intend to customize your business plan regularly, a business planning software can help ease the work load. The length of your business plan depends on the type of plan you choose. There are one-page business plans that offer easy and practical planning.
Then you have traditional business plans that usually vary from 20 to 50 pages. Create an account and let's get started. We are in the process of starting a new business and Upmetrics has been invaluable for modeling realistic financials. Getting a feel for which knobs to turn to improve the chances of success, being able to see the development of your revenue, cash flow, etc. Having complete control over the numbers and the business plan has been instrumental in being able to raise funds from investors.
Being able to go online and pull up the numbers directly in front of investors really impresses them. A great product that keeps getting better. When I started developing my business idea, I needed a business plan. After trying a few online business plan services I found Upmetrics. The templates really sold me on the service as they saved me a ton of time, pro-typing my idea. Upmetrics also has powerful tools that were easy to learn, great customer service and the perfect price.
Been using Upmetrics for my crypto startup and can only recommend it. The hours I spent searching for an online business plan template was countless. I love how they are providing an explanation for every single step. You'll get guided from the beginning to the end. Had some questions and their support service replied and helped in less than 24 hours. Kinda cool!
Customer service was great and really no complaints. There are helpful tips provided on how to complete each section. The charts and visual sections of business plan are pretty cool addition. Overall, it's a helpful resource to aid in completing a business plan. Create an account to write your business plans. Upmetrics is loved by beginners and experts, teams and individuals.
Already have an account? Log In. Sample Business Plans We have created a library of sample business plans for all industries to help you start writing your business plan. Select your business plan category Food and Restaurant Services Real Estate Software and Mobile App 9.
Education And Training 5. Medical and Health Care 4.