A business plan is an essential management and operating tool for using your time, capital and energy the most effective way. This plan of action for building a successful small business examines the environment in which you expect your business to operate including potential problems, cyclical trends and growth opportunities.
If you plan to get financing, most lenders will require a business plan as part of the loan application. Putting your business objectives in writing as you build a business plan also forces you to think realistically about sales, expenses, short and long term goals. The more specific your goals are the better.
Make sure that the plan is easy to read, clear and can convince family, friends bankers and investors to give you a loan. A formal professional document is essential.
A complete business plan should identify: target customers and you plan to attract them; approaches to differentiating your products and services from competitors; sales and promotions; financial projections and a much more. Ideally, it will show anyone who sees it that you have done your research and understand the industry.
Every business plan starts with a cover page containing your contact information, which is vital to loan officers and other financial backers. The sections that follow include:
The business plan is the most important document for any business as it describes what you are selling and how you are selling it. A business plan benefits both start up and established businesses that need to look at their goals and strategies. Make planning an ongoing effort.