Writing the Perfect Business Plan: Overview
As we discussed in a previous post, the decision to write a business plan or not is very personal. If you are planning on writing a business plan, you’ve come to a good place; we are about to start a series on writing the perfect business plan. We are going to begin by looking at the business plan as a whole. In the coming posts, we will break down each section and analyze it further. Let’s begin!
The executive summary will be an overview to your entire plan. In a short glance, someone will be able to know what your business is currently like and how you plan to grow it in the future. Even though it is the first section of your business plan, you should write it last, since it is a summary.
Your company description will be a section that expands on the company itself. Who are you? What do you offer to your customers? What gives you a competitive advantage over your competitors?
Are you a sole proprietor, an LLC, or something else? Your Organization & Management section will answer this. It should also tell about the professional background of the people in your organization. This will let someone reading your business plan know what your qualifications are.
This section will take some research. That is because the market analysis section looks at both your target market (who do you hope to reach) and your competitors. You will need to analyze the characteristics of your potential customers. Plus, you will need to investigate who your competitors are and what they are all about.
This section is self-explanatory. You simply answer: “What is your product or service?” You should be very detailed, explaining everything about it. In addition, if you have multiple products/services, explain what the whole line is and how they are related. Bonus points if you included how these can be expanded later on!
Your Marketing & Sales section should outline the methods you will use to market your business, and also to close sales. You should include who your sales team will include and how they will function. Also, all methods of marketing (social media, website, print, etc.) should be detailed. This section will be long, so I recommend creating a separate marketing plan to have in easy access as well. (that can be done later)
Your Financial Plan & Projections are arguably the most difficult part of writing the perfect business plan. This is because they are, by nature, estimates. You need to project what you think will happen, without having any history to start with. However, it is crucial that you do this. It will help you to see the viability in your business, as well as plan on what you need financially. This is also a crucial section when presenting to banks and other investors.
Now you have an overview of what sections to include when writing the perfect business plan. Click on each section to learn about it in more detail!