A business plan serves as a black and white copy of your business think tank. All of your ideas
and the growth of your business is planted on paper. The plan lays out the complete structure of
your business from start up through establishment and eventually the growth stages.
Your business plan will serve as a blueprint for the present and future strategy of your business.
A basic business plan is comprised of an executive summary, product or service plan,
marketing plan, financial plan, organization & management plan and appendix.
To begin your business plan, lay out the complete structure of how you desire your plan to go.
Below, you will find a sample structure and a description of what each section should consist of.
You may follow the order of the structure below when creating your business plan.
Your executive summary will describe, in detail, an overall outline of your business model.
Hypothetically speaking, a bank or investor, may only read this section of your business plan, so
be sure to include the valuable information. The reader may never reach pages 5-8 where the
“good stuff” lies.
Within this section, you can also include a company description. The description should include
your location, company size, vision and mission statement, what you do and what you desire to
The company description can also be separated into a section of its own that follows the
executive summary.
This section will include information such as your legal form of business, management team,
board of directors/advisory board, recruitment and selection of employees, compensation,
ownership, communication, and employee reward and incentive plans.
Be sure to do your research before selecting your legal form of business and ownership
strategies. Consider what happens to your business if any life changing events take place.
Also consider how your business will be structured, who is involved in the day to day, and how
your business will be managed.
The purpose of your product or service will be discussed under this section in great detail. You
will cover the features and benefits of your product/service, stages of development, possible
limitations, product/service liability (liability insurance), and production, facilities, and suppliers (if
Related products/services, trademarks, patents, copyrights, licenses, and royalties should also
be highlighted, if applicable. A plan of protection should be in place in case your business is
easily replicated or even unique.
Again, do your research. Every product or service is not copyright or patent appropriate.
Market research is an important process for any business, no matter what stage of business you
may be entering into. The marketing plan portion of your business blueprint will cover all areas
of the market research you have completed.
Information to include consists of industry profile (growth potential, current size, industry trends,
etc.), competitive analysis (direct/indirect/future competition), market analysis (target market and
customer profile), pricing (pricing strategy, price list and pricing polices), and market penetration
(customer service, location, company image, advertising, etc.).
Details for financing your business’s present day operations, future growth, and running
estimates of your ongoing operating expenses will be included here. Consider how much
outside funding, if any, may be needed. Also, consider how much cash you may have to put in
upfront. Create a spreadsheet that captures your projected revenues and profits over the next
five years.
The backup data, such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements, can
be included in the appendix section of your business plan.
The United States Small Business Administration offers a quick 30 minute course that will
explain the importance of business planning and further describe the components your business
plan should include. The link for this course can be found below.

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