How to Write a Business Plan
The best way to learn the language and structure of business plans is to look at real-life examples. Some great resources to check out are:
- And at the bottom of the post we’ve listed some sample plans.
This is a list of elements most business plans should include, but be sure to research the specific requirements of your industry.
Elements of a Business Plan:
- Cover page: Business name and contact information.
- Table of contents: Lists all the sections of the plan and page numbers.
- Executive summary: One-page overview that summarizes the whole report.
- Business description: How your business satisfies a need.
- Business environment analysis: What is the outlook for the industry you are getting into? Why is it a good time to start this type of business?
- Industry background: your experience in the industry or other qualifications.
- Competitor analysis: Prove that there is a market for this product or service by listing competitors who have had success in the field. Then, point out competitors’ weaknesses and how you plan to be better than them.
- Target market: Describe which demographic will want your product. For example, new parents living in the suburbs.
- Marketing plan: Describe how you plan to reach your target audience. For example, Internet advertising, phone calls and email, billboards, commercials, or magazine ads.
- Management summary: Who is in charge, why are they qualified, and what is their vision for the business?
- Operations plan: Describe the process of creating your product from start to finish. Where and how will you produce your product/service? How will you assure quality? What raw materials do you need? Who will be your suppliers?
- Financial plan: Describe your plans to get funding, what expenses you are expecting, and how you will generate revenue over time.
- Attachments and milestones: Include any other relevant information, achievements, or awards.
Here are some more industry-specific sample business plans to check out:
*if you don’t see your business idea on this list, check out bplans.com