Key contents of a business plan

Conducting new research and updating your plan could also provide answers when you hit difficult questions.

outline the contents of a business plan

Make sure that you number your pages correctly so that a person can quickly and easily find the sections they are interested in.

Otherwise, you might come off as an amateur. Used mainly by manufacturers, cost-plus pricing assures that all costs, both fixed and variable, are covered and the desired profit percentage is attained. Traction is a huge part of making that case.

You should also provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including any new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business.

The financial data will include both historical information that is company income statements balance sheets and cash flows for the last three to five years.

12 components of a business plan

Used by companies that are entering a market where there is already an established price and it is difficult to differentiate one product from another. A positioning statement for a business plan doesn't have to be long or elaborate. For example, your business will be better because you will supply a full line of products; competitor A doesn't have a full line. Double-check for typos and grammatical errors. Stay tuned for the next post and in the meantime, let me know your thoughts on how to best structure a business plan. Financial features. In order to project market share over the time frame of the business plan, you'll need to consider two factors: Industry growth which will increase the total number of users. Although there is a fairly well accepted structure for a business plan format, there are many ways of putting it down on paper. After you've finished, you'll be able to determine just where you stand in relation to the other firms competing in your industry. If the business description is long and drawn-out, you'll lose the reader's attention, and possibly any chance of receiving the necessary funding for the project. What stage of growth is your competitor in? Customer Definition The name of the game here is know your audience! Prices must be established to assure sales. These essentially determine your ability to grow the business or achieve profitability.

This includes: Advertising. How much money do they make?

Business plan sample

Your merchandise will be of higher quality. If the loan for initial capital will be based on security instead of equity, you should also specify the source of collateral. Tell us about your relationships and what they can handle. When was the company founded? A market analysis also enables the entrepreneur to establish pricing, distribution and promotional strategies that will allow the company to become profitable within a competitive environment. You can use the Internet, industry experts and associations, suppliers and existing competitors for the information. It could be longer, depending on how complicated the use of funds may be, but the summary of a business plan, like the summary of a loan application, is generally no longer than one page. They'll want to know what suppliers or experts you've spoken to about your business and their response to your idea. Using this channel, a manufacturer sells to a wholesaler, who in turn sells it to a retailer or other agent for further distribution through the channel until it reaches the end user. Once the size of the market has been determined, the next step is to define the target market. This is a scale that lists all your major competitors or strategic groups based upon their applicable assets and skills and how your own company fits on this scale. Product Description The description of your product or service begins with the way your product or service affects your customers. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering.

You may want to emphasize any unique features or variations from concepts that can typically be found in the industry. What have you learned from your early revenue efforts?

Key contents of a business plan

Most projections utilize a minimum of two growth models by defining different industry sales scenarios. Includes the advertising budget, creative message s , and at least the first quarter's media schedule. Remember, these are just my minimum components for reviewing a business plan, but they should give you a good guide. The product description statement should be complete enough to give the reader a clear idea of your intentions. Operating Efficiencies What can you do from an efficiency standpoint that no one else can? Once the size of the market has been determined, the next step is to define the target market. Margins Your margin refers to the profit percentage you end up with after you subtract out the costs for the goods or services being sold.

If your plan isn't too complicated, keep your business description short, describing the industry in one paragraph, the product in another, and the business and its success factors in three or four paragraphs that will end the statement. What customer needs does your product fulfill?

Distribution Distribution includes the entire process of moving the product from the factory to the end user.

How to write a business plan

When describing the industry, discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. Are there any recent acquisitions examples of larger companies buying up companies similar to yours that could bolster the case for your own exit strategy? The names of the members of the Board of Directors along with their position on the board, the extent of their involvement with your company, their general background, and any contribution to the company's success should be discussed. Then, triple check. If they can do that much by themselves, just think what they can do with my money behind them! These factors are usually tied to the structure of the industry, the impact of competition, strategies for market penetration and continued growth, and the amount of capital the business is willing to spend in order to increase its market share. Sales Potential Once the market has been researched and analyzed, conclusions need to be developed that will supply a quantitative outlook concerning the potential of the business.
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10 Essential Business Plan Components