A business plan, put simply, is an outline for the future of your company.
If you have goals, and some ideas of how to reach them, then you have a great start to a business plan.
Here is a great primer to get you started writing your first business plan:
A good business plan follows generally accepted guidelines for both form and content. There are three primary parts to a business plan:
- The first is the business concept, where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success.
- The second is the marketplace section, in which you describe and analyze potential customers: who and where they are, what makes them buy and so on. Here, you also describe the competition and how you'll position yourself to beat it.
- Finally, the financial section contains your income and cash flow statement, balance sheet and other financial ratios, such as break-even analyses. This part may require help from your accountant and a good spreadsheet software program.
Breaking these three major sections down even further, a business plan consists of seven key components:
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Market strategies
- Competitive analysis
- Design and development plan
- Operations and management plan
- Financial factors
Have you tried to write a business plan before? How did it go?