How to write a business plan

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How to write a business plan
Write a Business Plan

Every business should have a business plan. It is your road map to the future and is usually essential if you want to get financing.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Bonded paper
  • Business plan software
  • Computer
  • Laser printer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Organize the information for your business plan. Include information on your company, product or service, customers, market, competition and potential risk.

  2. 2

    Write an executive summary. This is the first section of the plan--a 2-page description of all the elements covered in more detail later.

  3. 3

    Describe your company. Spell out the purpose of your business. Talk about the skills you and your management team have.

  4. 4

    Explain your product or service. Detail how you will make or provide it. Analyze the costs associated with this process. List your supply sources.

  5. 5

    Talk about the market you're entering. Discuss general trends in the industry. Include details about the market segment you are pursuing, the niche you are targeting and your target customer; provide demographics on your potential customers and explain their buying habits. Analyze your competition.

  6. 6

    Describe your marketing plan. Explain how you will generate sales through advertising, promotion and public relations. Estimate all costs conservatively.

  7. 7

    Detail your yearly revenue projections and your expenses.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to gather all of the information for your business plan before you start writing it. Organize your research in outline form, then start writing.
  • Limit the plan to less than 50 pages. Investors and lenders get business plans every day. Most plans get a cursory look before they are either discarded or kept for further review.
  • A business plan is a never-ending process. As your company grows, update your business plan projections.

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