Writing a Business Plan Business plans are considered the resumes of businesses. They give a clear description of what your company offers, how much profit is expected, how the business operates, as well as how soon these goals will be met. If you want to start a business, you need to write a business plan, as no financial institution will ever make the mistake of approving a business loan without going through the blueprint of success. There are free business plan templates on the Internet today. You can also buy book references at local bookstores. A sample business plan is generally enough to give you all the important details you need as a prospective business owner. To help you get started, below is a quick outline of how a business plan should be written.
Sample Business Plans
A template refers to the standardized document that contains the basic layout of a business plan, where additional details may be added to customize for specific use. A business plan template is basically an outline that will serve as your guide on making your own, adding information regarding your company and making a distinctive presentation. All business plans must include these sub-headings:
Executive summary – The opening section of the business plan must include introductory information about your business, such as names of the owners, date started, employee accounting, as well as a comprehensive description of the premises. It must also include a summary of the rest of the document, as the executive summary is oftentimes the only section people read in great detail. You need to briefly describe the service or product your business offers, the description of your advertising approach, startup money, other financial requirements, expected sales numbers, and selling successes to date, if any.
Company overview – Each segment of the summary should contain as much information as possible. You must include detailed biographies of each principal owner, especially if they relate to the industry where your business will operate. Explain the industry and its current financial condition and future expectations. Thoroughly describe new developments and products that will either negatively or positively affect the position of your business in the industry. Make sure that you also include any innovation that you introduce in your business. List your client base, include the names of your target customers, and describe how you’ll get their attention.
Market analysis – In this section, expound on the items stated in the company overview. Come up with an accurate estimate of the current size of the market you wish to enter (when and how it is expected to develop and grow), the trends that affect your operation, the direct and indirect competitors of your business, the prices of your services or goods, and the strategies you have come up with to enter your target market. This is also the section that will include the list of your vendors or suppliers. You can also incorporate a testimonial or a feedback for each supplier if possible.
Sales strategy – Provide all necessary information pertaining to both sales and marketing, including descriptions for your ad materials, type of marketing methods you wish to use, and how you intend to deliver and sell your service or product to customers. Also include a projection of sales for the first eight to twelve business quarters.
Operations plan – Describe your business location in detail and give an example of what each staff member is expected to perform on a daily basis. List the equipment you have and don’t have. Also include sources and prices. Outline your inventory tracking methods, and detail the processes you intend to follow to track purchases, sales, as well as customer satisfaction.
Management plan – Create a list of personnel you need and identify the costs associated with maintaining a certain level of service. Describe your hiring methods and the skills each employee must have in order to fulfill their jobs properly. Mention all the benefits you offer, give a summary of their costs, and include a copy of employee policies and procedures.
Financial information – This is one of the most important sections of a business plan. Include profit-and-loss statements, the evaluation of the money you need to earn break even, and the figures that move into profitability. Come up with a list of sources and uses of funds. Also include a cash flow projection. Provide an explanation where the money will go – equipment, real estate, personnel, inventory, or capital – as well as your exit strategy. This information will be used by anyone who wants to invest in your business.