It might be time for you to write a business plan for your company, and if this is the case you might not know exactly what the next step is. Many people realize the importance of a business plan for a startup in need of a loan, but actually, a business plan is important for businesses at all points in their lives. A business plan provides you with a tidy, organized document that can give you direction and a definition of purpose. These are the seven elements you will need in your business plan.
1) Executive Summary: You will write the executive summary last, but it will be the first part of your business plan; it basically sums up everything you say in the remainder of the document.
2) Company Description: This part will detail your history up to the present if you are an established business, while it will detail your startup plans if your business is new.
3) Product or Service: While this section is straightforward – intended, of course, to describe what you sell or perform – make sure you keep the focus on customer benefits in this section.
4) Market Analysis: This is hugely important, especially when you need a loan. In this section, you should prove your understanding of both the market and your customer’s needs, as well as your plans to reach the customers.
5) Strategy and Implementation: Concreteness is important in this section; make sure that you aim to avoid vagueness. Give concrete details about your company’s structure and strategies.
6) Management Team: As you dig into the backgrounds and histories of your key team members, this section can become an excellent selling point.
7) Financial Strategy: Especially if you are a startup company, you have to make sure you understand what you are doing in this section, providing detailed analysis and projections.
If you are trying to get your feet under your business, a good business plan can help; if your feet are already under you, you can gain even more traction with a solid business plan. A sloppy business plan, on the other hand, can prevent you from procuring necessary financial support, and can keep your business from moving forward.