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Melissa Wylie is a former senior small business writer. In her role, Melissa explores all aspects of business ownership.
- 1 Get Help Writing A Business Plan
- 2 Looking To Hire A Professional Business Plan Writer? Here’s What To Do!
Get Help Writing A Business Plan
Kurt Adams is a senior editor at. Before becoming a money nerd, he had nearly a decade of experience as a writer, editor, and digital marketing strategist.
How To Write A Strong Business Plan
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Writing a business plan illustrates how you will turn an idea into a profitable business, breaking down each step along the way. A business plan provides a detailed explanation of all aspects and processes of your business, from financing to marketing, and you’ll look back on it as you develop and grow your business.
Most business plan formats follow similar outlines. Templates are available online from resources such as the Small Business Administration, SCORE, LivePlan, and Bplans.
To begin your business plan, describe your company, including your product or service, mission statement, and basic information about your leadership team, location, and employees. It also provides an overview of financial information and growth plans, which you will describe in detail in the next section.
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Provide details about your business, such as the problems you hope to solve with the company and the specific type of customers you plan to serve. The company description is a place to highlight benefits and advantages such as desired location.
Showcase your market research, including industry insights and what your competitors are doing. Explain any trends or themes in the market and how you plan to outperform the competition.
Identify your business entity and who will run, or currently run, the business. You must include job descriptions and resumes of anyone already on the team. The more team experience you can demonstrate, the better your business will look to investors. Here you can also discuss the sourcing and distribution of your products. You can describe your strategy for fulfilling orders and delivering products to customers.
Describe in more detail the product or service you sell, how it will benefit customers, and the product life cycle. Include any plans to file for a patent or copyright, as well as any research and development you are doing. In this section, you’ll also include pricing information and metrics to measure performance, such as profit margin.
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Your marketing strategy should be accurate, outlining your branding, sales and promotion strategy. Clearly define your target market and where they are. Marketing also extends to digital marketing such as social media accounts. Set up official websites and ads beyond social media campaigns, such as print or TV ads.
If you want to pitch your business plan to investors or commercial lenders, be clear about the type of funding you’re looking for. This is your chance to determine how much money you need, how long the money will cover, and how you will use the funds. Also mention the terms you want to apply to your financing, such as how long you want to repay your debt.
Provide a financial view of the company for up to five years. Include a projected income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and budget. If you’re in the first year, you can make monthly or quarterly projections, because you don’t have a full year of data yet. An established business owner should file an annual income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement to give an idea of the company’s financial health.
Womack says entrepreneurs should be conservative in their financial projections. A financial expert reading the document will know if you’ve embellished something or if you’ve set unattainable goals.
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Include any additional documents you haven’t found elsewhere, such as credit history, reference letters, consent or legal documents.
New entrepreneurs should write their business plan before making any formal moves, such as creating a legal entity, to ensure they have a viable idea. After finalizing your business idea, do thorough research to see how your concept will fare in the market. Then compile all of this research into your business plan.
Analyzing your competition helps you make business decisions, such as determining your price and product line. It also helps you shape your business model so you stand out from the crowd.
The legal structure of your business determines your personal responsibilities, how much you pay in taxes and what documents you need to complete.
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New business owners often underestimate the amount of financing they will need to get started when considering a business loan. Carefully evaluate all areas of your business to ensure that you are asking for sufficient funding in your business plan.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Identifying them in your business helps organize the information you need in your plan.
When it comes time to put together a business plan, there are a few steps you can take to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Using a template ensures that you don’t run the risk of leaving out crucial material. If you’re not sure what to include in a business plan, a detailed template will help you gather the right information. From there, just fill in the blanks under each section title, which makes the process easy.
How To Write A Business Plan 101 — Greater West Dayton Incubator
A business plan can be anywhere from 10 to 30 pages, depending on the level of detail. If you are working for yourself or applying for funding, nine to 12 pages is sufficient, focusing on financial information.
You may need to tailor your business plan to a specific audience or target. For example, a lean business plan is a condensed version of a traditional business plan. A lean business plan includes small actionable steps to achieve various goals. This planning may be more useful for startups or companies with limited resources.
When you start a business, all of your financing is based on your personal credit before you build business credit. Business owners may not realize the role their own financial history plays in securing financing for their business.
Before you send your business plan to a potential investor or lender, make sure your credit is in good standing. You can make improvements by paying down existing debt and making sure you pay your bills on time.
Reasons To Write A Business Plan
Writing a business plan takes several weeks, and questions may arise as the process progresses. Surprises aside, it’s important to take the time to create a quality business plan that will benefit you as you grow your business.
After you make your initial projections in your business plan and open your trades, periodically adjust for changes in the business to see if you need more capital than you think.
A business plan is a guide to starting and running your business, which describes how you will manage the main areas of the business. A business plan will allow you to communicate your business idea to others, such as potential partners. You should create one when you apply for a business loan or recruit investors. In this case, the money-related elements of your plan will be most important.
A business plan should describe all aspects of your business, including a description of your product or service, your marketing strategy, and your financial forecast. If you’re pitching your business plan to investors or lenders, it should also include how much funding you need and how you expect to get it.
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Your local small business development center can offer free business plan writing assistance. SBDCs operate across the country in partnership with the US Small Business Administration, offering free business advice and training on a variety of business topics. You’ve decided to pack your bags and travel for several months, so you need to plan carefully. . You must determine the weather and financial constraints, and the length of stay in each area. Also, there needs to be careful planning, a written document announcing your plans, for any business you are about to start. It doesn’t matter if you want to sell flowers or settle down
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