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- Building Your Business Plan
Main Components of a Business Plan
- Executive summary This is your five-minute elevator pitch. It may include a table of contents, company background, market opportunity, management overviews, competitive advantages, and financial highlights. It’s probably easiest to write the detailed sections first and then extract the cream to create the executive summary. Try to keep it to just a couple of pages.
- Business description and structure This is where you explain why you're in business and what you're selling. If you sell products, describe your manufacturing process, availability of materials, how you handle inventory and fulfillment, and other operational details. If you provide services, describe them and their value proposition to customers. Include other details such as strategic relationships, administrative issues, intellectual property you may own, expenses, and the legal structure of your company.
- Market research and strategies Spell out your market analysis and describe your marketing strategy, including sales forecasts, deadlines and milestones, advertising, public relations and how you stack up against your competition. If you can’t produce a lot of data analysis, you can provide testimonials from existing customers.
- Management and personnel Provide bios of your company executives and managers and explain how their expertise will help you meet business goals. Investors need to evaluate risk, and often, a management team with lots of experience may lower perceived risk.
- Financial documents This is where you provide the numbers that back up everything you described in your organizational and marketing sections. Include conservative projections of your profit and loss statements, balance sheet, and your cash flow statements for the next three years. These are forward-looking projections, not your current accounting outputs.
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The 5 Key Elements Of A Good Business Plan
22 January 2020
Although some Founders are sceptical about planning too far ahead for their businesses, preparing a solid business plan is necessary for many purposes.
As any founder knows, the only sure thing about running a growing company is change.
In fact, your business plan is perhaps the thing that will change most often throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
Although some Founders are sceptical about planning too far ahead for their businesses, preparing a solid business plan is necessary for many purposes, including, but not limited to:
- Raising finance through investment;
- Applying for a business loan;
- Budgeting for the long and short term;
- Gaining a deeper understanding of how your business works.
Perhaps even more important than preparing a business plan, is making sure that this is updated for each of the small and big changes that your company will go through as it grows and evolves.
Different companies require different types of business plan. Depending on your business model, your revenue structure and many other factors.
However, there are 5 elements of a business plan that are absolutely key to making sure that the reader understands how your company works and plans on growing.
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It includes a complete structure , detailed instructions on how to write each section and tips on how to tweak it for each specific use .
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1. Executive Summary
The Executive Summary represents the reader’s first impression of your business
The Executive Summary is the first section of your business plan, and also the last one you should write. It represents the reader’s first impression of your business . As a result, it will likely define their opinion as they continue reading the business plan.
A good Executive Summary includes key facts about your business such as:
- Business & product description;
- Current positioning & targeting;
- Financial outlook & requirements;
- Past and future achievements & goals.
However, the most important function that a great Executive Summary serves is communicating to the reader why they should read the rest of the business plan , and why you want them to.
2. Business Overview
After the Executive Summary, a business plan starts with a comprehensive explanation of what your business proposition is and how it relates to the market where your company operates.
In this section of the business plan, you should explain precisely:
- what your company does;
- what are its products or services;
- in which market it operates;
- who are its customers.
When describing your business, you should make sure to that the reader knows what kind of market environment your business operates in, but also how it can thrive in such an environment from a competitive point of view.
For some very niche or particularly innovative sectors, this may mean that you need to inform the readers about specific market dynamics .
In these cases, make sure that you clarify what is considered ‘the industry standard ‘ in your sector, the selling points that current players are competing on and how your business is positioned relative to them.
Make sure to include:
- Your mission statement;
- The philosophy, vision and goals of your company;
- Your industry and target audience;
- The structure of your business, detailing your customers, suppliers, partners and competitors;
- Your products and services and the problem they solve;
- Unique Selling Point(s).
If the company already has a well-defined product or service, this section can be divided into Company Description and Products & Services .
3. Sales & Marketing Strategy
This section of the business plan requires a deep understanding of your market space and how your business positions itself within its niche and competes with existing players .
Within your Sales & Marketing strategy, you should outline:
- A definition of your target market – include its size, existing and emerging trends and your projected market share;
- An assessment of your market – this should summarise how attractive your target market is to your company and why, Porter’s Five Forces or the more recent Six Forces Model are useful tools to define this;
- Threats & Opportunities – you can use a SWOT Analysis to present these;
- Product/Service Features – once you have thoroughly described your product/service, make sure to highlight its Unique Selling Points, as well as any complementary offerings and after-sale services;
- Target Consumers – whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, it’s a good idea to include an ideal customer profile to describe exactly what niche(s) you are going to target;
- Key Competitors – research and analyse any other players inside or outside your market whose offering might compete with you directly or indirectly;
- Positioning – explain in a short paragraph how your company differentiates from your competitors and how it presents itself to your target niche;
- Marketing Plan & Budget – outline the marketing and advertising tactics you will use to promote your business, giving an overview of your brand and of the communication elements that support it;
- Pricing – explain how your pricing strategy fits within the competition and how it relates to your positioning;
A very common mistake that should be avoided is writing that you have no competition. Instead, you should show your efforts in researching your competitors and assessing how they could threaten your business .
4. Operations & Management
This section gives you the opportunity to explain to the reader how your company does things differently .
The people and processes that are allow your business to operate on a daily basis are the key to your competitive advantage . In fact, they help you build a better product, deliver it more efficiently or at a lower costs. Your Operations & Management must be able to successfully realise what you ‘promised’ in the previous sections.
Here, you must demonstrate how much you know about your business, so don’t leave out any relevant detail. Be concise but thorough, focus on two main points:
- Production or Service Delivery;
- Quality Control;
- Credit policies;
- Legal environment;
- Organisational Structure – this is an overview of all the people involved in your business and their position in relation to each other. You should detail the experience of the existing team, as well as the roles that haven’t been filled yet. Include advisors and non-executive directors . Investors and banks will also look at this section to get an idea of salary costs. As these are normally a significant cost centre, don’t overestimate your staff needs.
5. Financial Plan
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Your Financial Plan is possibly the most important element of your business plan . This is especially true if the business plan is aimed at investors or lenders.
This section includes projections, budgets and goals that are unique to each business. In particular, you should focus on explaining the assumptions on which you based your forecasts , more than on the forecasts themselves. Every good Financial Plan will include:
- 12-month Profit & Loss Projection – A month-by-month forecast of sales, operating costs, tax and profits for the following year. Sometimes three years.
- Cash Flow Statement & Forecast – This financial statement tracks the amount of cash that leaves or enters the business at any given time.
- Breakeven Analysis – This is a cornerstone of your business plan. Here you should show what level of projected sales allows the business to cover its costs.
- Capital Requirements – This point is fundamental as it shows investors what their money will be spent on. It should contain a summary of all the expenses for big purchases and day-to-day running costs.
The Financial Plan is usually followed by the Appendices. Here you should include detailed spreadsheets and calculations used to prepare the financial statements.
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Nothing on this page is intended to be or should be construed or taken as accountancy, investment, tax or any other kind of advice. We recommend individuals and companies seek professional advice on their circumstances and matters.
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Business Plan Checklist: 5 Components Startups Must Include
- Posted by RocketSpace on 3/29/18 8:30 AM
"Planning is one of the most important parts of running a business, no matter whether it is a large multinational corporation trying to plan an expansion or a small business launching an exciting new product," says Stefan Topfer, contributor at Nasdaq . "It is easy to start a project, but without careful planning, it is like setting off on a journey to an unknown destination without a roadmap."
For most early-stage startup founders, the planning process begins with a business plan. According to Palo Alto Software, entrepreneurs with business plans are twice as likely to secure capital investments, qualify for loans, and successfully grow their companies . However, business plans are much more than tools used to raise funds. In fact, they serve as a blueprint for scaling fast, staying on track, and avoiding roadblocks. When building a business plan, the best startup founders include the following:
Business Plan Checklist: 5 Key Components to Include
1. executive summary.
The executive summary is the most important part of the business plan. It should effectively summarize the business's goals and objectives. What makes the startup unique? How is the startup qualified to solve the industry's biggest challenges? What does organization do to "wow" consumers?
"Think of the executive summary as an advance organizer for the reader. Above all else, it must be clear and concise. But it also has to entice the reader to read the rest of the business plan," says Susan Ward, contributor at The Balance .
Because the executive summary serves as an overview of the entire plan, write it last. As a baseline, the best startups include the following components:
- Business Opportunity: Why do consumers need the product/service?
- Target Market: Who will benefit from the product/service?
- Business Model: What is the product/service?
- Marketing Strategy: How will consumers learn about the product/service?
- Competition: Who else is fighting for market share?
- Goals: How will the startup revolutionize the marketplace with the product/service?
2. Company Summary
The company summary is the next critical component of any well-formulated business plan. If the executive summary is designed to intrigue, the company summary is designed to inform. In this section, founders describe when, why, and how they built the tech startup. It's important to give as much detail as possible in this section. Additionally, approach the company summary with investors in mind.
"If the goal of your business plan is to secure funding, you want to focus on areas that will appeal to investors and lending institutions such as why you're the best person to run this business, your experience in this type of business, and how you plan to make it a success. For example, you want to include your background knowledge, expertise, and experience in doing the work involved in your business," says Randy Duermyer, contributor at The Balance .
Above all, the company summary should address the following:
- Business name.
- Business structure.
- Mission statement.
- Competitive advantage.
- Date founded.
3. Market Analysis
Every business plan needs to include a solid market analysis. This section should cover the most important information about product development, customer acquisition strategies, and strategy. The market analysis is the section of the business plan that will require the most time and research. However, Tim Berry, contributor at Inc , recommends to be selective about the data you choose to analyze:
"A useful business plan doesn't necessarily include a market analysis suitable for a Ph.D. candidate in market research," says Berry. "If you are looking for investment, then you may have to use this section to display your wisdom and understanding of your industry, but don't overdo it. The value of information is limited by its impact on decisions. If more market information is not going to help you do something better, then don't bother."
The market analysis should include:
- Detailed descriptions of the target consumer.
- In-depth definitions of the chosen market segment.
- Comprehensive summary of market growth projections.
4. Management Team
Even the best startups will fail without an all-star team. In fact, companies with high-quality talent are more likely to hurdle unforeseen roadblocks. As such, it's important to highlight each team member's education, skill set, and experience in this section. Founders can also include details on how the management will orient the startup towards long-term success.
The management team section should answer the following:
- Who are the key leaders?
- What experience do these leaders have?
- What are their responsibilities and duties to the company?
- How much are they being paid?
- Do they have any stake in the company?
5. Revenue Projections
Revenue projections provide potential investors with a glimpse of what they can expect to see in financial returns. Early-stage startup founders who are seeking funding should provide detailed assessments of revenue, financial milestones achieved, and projections. A brief overview of cash flow helps potential investors understand current spending habits and more.
The revenue projections section should address the following:
- Sales forecasts.
- Expenses budget.
- Cash flow statement.
- Income projections.
- Assets and liabilities.
Many founders struggle with creating realistic projections based on current sales data and market trends. There is no perfect formula for generating financial projections, but an experienced advisor can certainly point founders in the right direction.
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Top 10 Components of a Business Plan
Whether you’re planning to open a shop that makes the best coffee or you want to sell eco-friendly office supplies, you’ll need to explain why your business is necessary and how it’ll differ from its competitors. That’s where your business plan comes in. It provides investors, lenders and potential partners with an understanding of your company’s structure and goals. If you want to gain the financial autonomy to run a business or become an entrepreneur, a financial advisor can help align your finances.
1. Executive Summary
Your executive summary should appear first in your business plan. It should summarize what you expect your business to accomplish. Since it’s meant to highlight what you intend to discuss in the rest of the plan, the Small Business Administration suggests that you write this section last.
A good executive summary is compelling. It reveals the company’s mission statement, along with a short description of its products and services. It might also be a good idea to briefly explain why you’re starting your company and include details about your experience in the industry that you’re entering.
2. Company Description
A company description includes key information about your business, goals and the target customers that you want to serve. This is where you explain why your company stands out from other competitors in the industry and break down its strengths, including how it offers solutions for customers, and the competitive advantages that will give your business an edge to succeed.
3. Market Analysis
This is where you show that you have a key understanding of the ins and outs of the industry and the specific market you plan to enter. Here you will substantiate the strengths that you highlighted in your company description with data and statistics that break down industry trends and themes. Show what other businesses are doing and how they are succeeding or failing. Your market analysis should also help visualize your target customers. This includes how much money they make, what their buying habits are, which services they want and need, among other target customer preferences. Above all, the numbers should help answer why your business can do it better.
4. Competitive Analysis
A good business plan will present a clear comparison of your business vs your direct and indirect competitors. This is where you prove your knowledge of the industry by breaking down their strengths and weaknesses. Your end goal is show how your business will stack up. And if there are any issues that could prevent you from jumping into the market, like high upfront costs, this is where you will need to be forthcoming. Your competitive analysis will go in your market analysis section.
5. Description of Management and Organization
Your business must also outline how your organization is set up. Introduce your company managers here and summarize their skills and primary job responsibilities. An effective way could be to create a diagram that maps out your chain of command.
Don’t forget to indicate whether your business will operate as a partnership, a sole proprietorship or a business with a different ownership structure. If you have a board of directors, you’ll need to identify the members.
6. Breakdown of Your Products and Services
While your company description is an overview, a detailed breakdown of your products and services is intended to give a complementary but fuller description about the products that you are creating and selling, how long they could last and how they will meet existing demand.
This is where you should mention your suppliers, as well as other key information about how much it will cost to make your products and how much money you are hoping to bring in. You should also list here all relevant information pertaining to patents and copyright concerns as well.
7. Marketing Plan
This is where you describe how you intend to get your products and services in front of your target customers. Break down here the steps that you will take to promote your products and the budget that you will need to implement your strategies.
8. Sales Strategy
This section should answer how you will sell the products that you are building or carry out the services that you intend to offer. Your sales strategy must be specific. Break down how many sales reps you will need to hire and how you will recruit them and bring them on board. Make sure to include your sales targets as well.
9. Request for Funding
If you need funding, this section focuses on the amount of money that you need to set up your business and how you plan to use the capital that you are raising. You might want to include a timeline here for additional funding that you may require to complete other important projects.
10. Financial Projections
This final section breaks down the financial goals and expectations that you’ve set based on market research. You’ll report your anticipated revenue for the first 12 months and your annual projected earnings for the second, third, fourth and fifth years of business.
If you’re trying to apply for a personal loan or a small business loan, you can always add an appendix or another section that provides additional financial or background information.
Every company is different so your business plan might look nothing like another entrepreneur’s. But there are key components that every good plan needs to have, and it’s always a good idea to provide a clear and accurate summary of your business goals in your business plan.
Tips for Business Owners
- A financial advisor can help you align your personal finances to give you an edge as a business owner or an entrepreneur. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now .
- If you are thinking of buying real estate, equipment, developing new products and other big-ticket activities for your business, you should consider using a capital asset pricing model to determine whether an investment is worth your risk.
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Basic Elements of a Business Plan
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Business plans are essential to small businesses. They provide you with direction, help you stay focused on key activities and are required when seeking investment or finance.
At their core, business plans have 5 basic pieces of information. They include a description of your business, an analysis of your competitive environment, a marketing plan, a section on HR (people requirements) and key financial information.
The following is an explanation of the 5 key elements to a business plan.
1. Your business description
Your business description should give a brief, simple explanation of your business. Don’t go into too much information, as those reading it will either be short on time or have little understanding of your specific business.
The goal with your business plan is to be pragmatic, so include what the business is, the products or service you are (or will) provide and who your target audience is.
2. Your competition
Are your competitors someone in the same shopping strip or centre, or someone else local? Is your competition not defined by geographic location? Is the focus more on industry segment, or product/service? Is your business online, competing with others in this space?
The goal of defining your competition is as much for you as anyone reading your business plan. Do your ‘due diligence’ and thoroughly research your market. Try to determine who are the most successful players in your space and identify what makes them a success (e.g. product offering, best pricing, superior service). Once you have this information you then need to assess how you can beat them, however, it’s important to be realistic.
If they are a success because they have 20,000 products, don’t say you can beat them by having 21,000 products. The same with price. If you’re only focused on being the cheapest, then the person who’s willing to drop their price further will win. This ends up a race to the bottom and is an unsustainable business strategy.
Additionally, make sure you have ‘best case’ and ‘worse case’ scenarios of your modeling. Most small businesses overestimate their impact and projections in the short term, which is why they don’t survive long term.
3. Your marketing
Unless you have experience with marketing, this one may be a little bit hard. The first thing you need to do with your marketing is develop a ‘positioning statement’. A Positioning Statement is an organisational statement that defines the benefit of your product/service to your target customer and states how you’re different from your competitors. Once you have this statement, you can then start working on your marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy should focus on the channels that are right for you. Most will include a website. If you’re in the consumer space, you may also focus on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+. If you’re in the B2B space, you may focus your social media activity around LinkedIn. You may also want to consider PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, which is available on most online and digital channels.
The most important considerations with a marketing plan are knowing where your market is, knowing how to access them, and knowing what will create a ‘call to action.’
4. Your people
Does your business have face-to-face engagement with customers, or are your relationships digital? Do you currently have a team of people in place? If so, who are they, and what skills and experience do they bring to the table. If not, what people and skills do you need and for what roles. Most businesses still ultimately rely on people to be successful. Make sure you have the right people in the right roles.
With the ‘people’ section of your business plan, it’s helpful to create an organisational chart that includes roles and responsibilities. This organisational chart should also identify the people gaps that you may need to fill.
From an investor’s perspective, they want to see that you have your team in place and that they have the relevant experience to make your business a success.
5. Your Financial Data
This is where it’s important to have some basic bookkeeping and accounting skills. If you don’t have them, talk to Bizally for assistance.
Your business plans need to include a balance sheet (this outlines your current financial position in a universally accepted format), and your current profit and loss statement (also in a universally accepted format. Again, Bizally can help). Your financials should also include your income sources and costs (such as wages, rent, and other costs).
If you’re a start-up, your business plan should include start-up costs (such as plant, business registration, fit out ETC), at least the first year’s financial statements and a cash flow budget. The purpose of these figures is to demonstrate that you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Depending on your sector and offer, try to create realistic cash flow projections over at least a 3 to 5 year period. This helps both investors and those providing finance that you have a strategy going forward.
‘I’m not confident in creating a business plan without help.’
If you’re starting a new business or even if you have been in business for some time, some of these items may be a little outside of your skill set and knowledge. That is where the help of an organisation such as Bizally can be invaluable. Bizally can demystify the whole process and help you with specific areas, such as projections and cash flow modeling, as well as profit and loss and balance sheets. Simply contact Bizally today and arrange a discussion.
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Learning » Business Plan » What are the 5 Core Components of a Business Plan?
What are the 5 Core Components of a Business Plan?
Shubhangi Jain | Updated: Aug 23, 2022 | Category: Business Plan
Despite having a great idea, most businesses cannot achieve the desired results from their activities. Some startups also fail, while others cannot perform successfully compared to other businesses in the market. The main reason for this is a lack of clarity and a defined business plan that effectively conveys the objective and goals of the business. Further, even if a business has a business plan, they often miss out on the critical information they need to incorporate in the same. This article discusses the core components of a business plan that every business must include:
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a document that describes the core objectives and the measures undertaken by the company to achieve those goals and objectives. It is a detailed document covering different aspects of a business, from its management to its financial projections. A business plan is prepared either to obtain funding from the investors, a business license from any authority or to serve as a guide for the business’s future operations.
What is the Need for a Business Plan?
A business plan is needed because of the following reasons:
- To understand the competition in the market
- To document the marketing plan
- To lay down the customer base of the business
- To devise a plan of action in case of contingencies
- To determine the staffing needs of the business
- To define the business goals for stakeholders 
- To assess the feasibility of the venture
- To analyse the risks involved and lay down the mitigation strategy
- To lay down the financial model for the business
Further, it is imperative for the business to understand the core components of a business plan along with the need for the business plan.
What are the Primary Components of a Business Plan?
Every business must include certain vital elements to cover all its business verticals and operational aspects. Some of the most important components of a business plan are:
An executive summary is the first section of a business plan that provides a brief overview of the company. An executive summary describes the company’s affairs, objectives, mission, vision and values. It also lays down the details of how the business is unique and distinct from its existing competitors.
Details of Management and Key Personnel
One of the crucial components of a business plan includes the details of the management and key personnel of the company. This section defines the profiles of the company’s management and other key personnel. The relevance behind including this information is to explain to the stakeholders the company’s managerial team’s expertise so they can meet the business goals and benefit the clients. Highlighting the experience of the management also lowers threats perceived by the stakeholders and gives more confidence to them about the skills and knowledge of the company’s team.
Business Model and Strategies
This segment lays down the description of the proposed products or services, the USP of the business, revenue model, business framework, etc. The description of the business product includes information about the manufacturing process, raw materials used in the manufacturing, inventory management and other relevant operational details.
If the business renders any services, the business plan must describe the service along with its value proposition to the customers and other details such as strategic relationships, vendor management, client acquisition plan, etc.
Technology, Marketing and Customer Management
Other essential components of a business plan include market analysis, marketing strategies, technologies implemented, digital presence (if any), and the business’s customer relationship management plan. It is also advisable to provide the matrix for resolving customer complaints and the timeline.
This is where the business needs to provide the financial forecast regarding its capital infusion, future payroll plan, expenses and projected revenue. The financial model also includes the profit and loss statements, cash flow statements and balance sheet for the next 3-5 years.
Benefits of a Comprehensive Business Plan
A well-drafted document that includes all these components of a business plan can help a business in the following ways:
Provide More Operational Clarity
A comprehensive business plan provides more clarity regarding the key aspects of the business, such as working capital investment, marketing plan, operational strategy, etc. It also helps identify and define the priorities and milestones that need attention and helps better decision-making.
Create a Business Roadmap
A business plan helps to identify the target customer base, market analysis and strategies for promoting the product /services of the business in the market. Therefore, it serves as a roadmap for the team to align their goals per the set targets and the company’s mission.
Provide Operational Benchmarks
A business plan also serves as an instrument to track the progress of the business by laying down its plans and projections. It serves as a reference tool to keep the business on the right track by defining the sales targets and operational milestones. It can also help identify where the business diverts from its operational objectives and financial goals.
To Submit to Licensing Authorities
There are numerous business sectors where a business plan is a key requirement for obtaining a business registration or license. For instance, a business plan is a mandatory requirement for obtaining NBFC registration, Insurance Broker License, Account Aggregator License, etc. Including all the critical components of a business plan mentioned above can help the business to secure its registration easily with authorities such as the RBI, IRDA, etc.
To Attract Qualified Personnel
It is highly vital for any business to have qualified and experienced personnel in its team. However, top-tier managers or executives often look for a business before joining an organisation. A well-written business plan can provide details about the vision, objectives and goals, how the employees can contribute to the business, and the benefits they can expect from the business.
A business plan plays multifaceted functions in a business. Therefore, it is important to have a well-written document that includes all the necessary information covering the different aspects of a business. Including the core components of a business plan becomes especially important when it is a mandatory requirement to obtain a business license or approval from a government authority. Not only can such a business plan help the business in successfully convincing the authority about its capability of setting up a profitable business, but it also provides an internal manual for its team to function efficiently.
Read our Article : Why a Business Plan is Considered as a First Step of Business?
Shubhangi has completed her B. A.LLB (H) with specialization in Business Laws from Amity University. She is particularly interested in legal research and writing and wishes to utilize her knowledge to create informative legal content. She has prior experience in corporate and criminal litigation and has great drafting skills. She has also published various research papers in reputed journals.
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5 Key Sections to a Great Business Plan
We can argue all day long about whether your business plan should be 3 pages or 30 pages, but one thing is certain: You aren’t finished with the plan until you can describe the 5 critical aspects of your company: The idea, the product, the market, the team, and the money.
As you write your plan, be sure that you add detailed descriptions to each of these five sections:
1. Business Idea: What are you building?
This is harder than it sounds. Being able to tell your friends “I’m starting an internet business” is one thing. Describing the business in a meaningful way is something else. How about “My business will be a subscription-only website where independent music labels can find, organize, qualify and coordinate the musicians, engineers and marketing experts they need to publish successful CDs.”
TIP: If you get stuck on this step, try asking yourself a different question, like “why is this business important?” Then talk through your answer with a friend until you can describe the key features and benefits of the business in one or two tight sentences.
2. Product & Sales: How will you make money?
Can you really describe what customers buy from you? A great business plan will have specific products and pricing, but if you aren’t there yet at least describe the categories of products or services you will sell. For example, it’s fair to say that a garden center sells “Ornamental Plants”, and skip the detail like “Mexican Orange Blossom shrubs”.
TIP: Besides what you are selling, describe the pricing and margin of each category or item. Need some help? Start with the pricing charged by competitors.
3. Marketing: Who is the customer and how will you reach them?
The most important thing in this section is to know the “scale” of your opportunity, and to match your promotions to the same scale. If you have a local auto repair shop, it does not make sense to talk about the $200 billion auto repair market. Likewise, a TV ad during the Super Bowl would not be appropriate. If you’re launching the next Facebook, however, maybe a Super Bowl ad is just what you need to make a splash.
TIP: Describe the market as the number of customers you can reach and serve based on your geography, ad budget, and operating capacity. Find creative ways to reach your audience on a small budget. And remember, marketing is a waste of money if you can’t describe how you will turn prospects into paying customers!
4. Management: Who believes in you?
The management section should include a discussion of your advisors and/or directors as well as the top two layers of management. It’s easy enough to stick a few resumes together and call that your Management section, but a better idea is to describe only the strongest, most relevant accomplishments of each team member. If you don’t have all the right people in place yet, at least identify the role and title for each. Know when you will need to hire them and what qualifications they will need to do the job.
TIP: Put extra effort into recruiting. A great management team gives you instant credibility with customers and investors.
5. Financial Information: Can you really make money at this?
Keep it simple and don’t worry if you include assumptions. No one knows the future, so all financial projections are technically wrong. It's more important to be complete than it is perfect. Just be sure you know how much investment it will take to (a) get up and running, and (b) reach profitability. A simple monthly or quarterly income statement is enough. Keep going until you can describe all the expenses and how many customers it will take to break even.
Business plan templates and tools (like enloop ) are great ways to organize and present this information, but they can’t do all the thinking for you. Consider your business from each of these five angles and be ready to write plans for each.
When you do, you’ll have a stronger idea and a stronger overall business plan.
Main Components of a Business Plan · Executive summary. This is your five-minute elevator pitch. · Business description and structure. This is where you explain
1. Executive Summary · 2. Business Overview · 3. Sales & Marketing Strategy · 4. Operations & Management · 5. Financial Plan
Business Plan Checklist: 5 Key Components to Include · 1. Executive Summary · 2. Company Summary · 3. Market Analysis · 4. Management Team · 5.
1. Executive summary · 2. Business description · 3. Market analysis and strategy · 4. Marketing and sales plan · 5. Management and organization
1. Executive Summary · 2. Company Description · 3. Market Analysis · 4. Competitive Analysis · 5. Description of Management and Organization · 6.
At their core, business plans have 5 basic pieces of information. They include a description of your business, an analysis of your competitive environment
1. Executive Summary · 2. Company Description · 3. Products and Services · 4. Market analysis: · 5. Strategy and Implementation: · 6. Organization
What are the Primary Components of a Business Plan? · Executive Summary · Details of Management and Key Personnel · Business Model and Strategies.
The 4 Key Components of a Business Plan (and Why They're Important) · 1. Executive summary · 2. Marketing plan · 3. Key management bios · 4.
5 Key Sections to a Great Business Plan · 1. Business Idea: What are you building? · 2. Product & Sales: How will you make money? · 3. Marketing: Who is the