Don't mistake a simple business plan with a one-page business plan , which does not contain enough information to get funding from a lender or investor. However, a one-page plan is a good guide to keep you on track and is helpful for explaining your company in a one-minute sales pitch. To maximize the space of your business plan, use charts that condense your data into easy-to-read, visually appealing form.
The key is to pick the right chart for your plan:. Entrepreneur Magazine suggests making your business plan "inviting. Keep your font size at 11 or 12 points. Proofread to remove every possible error. Include a description of your products or services and how your company fits into the market.
Explaining your financial growth — profits and return on investment — is also a critical element. Most executive summaries list the names and biographies of key staff members, including owners and leaders, although sometimes this information is listed in the business description or a separate operations section. If this is a new business, focus your executive summary on the gap in the market and how your company is the one to fill it. End with information about how you expect to grow in five years.
The business description provides more detailed information about the structure of your business and its products or services. Describe whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership or a corporation, as well as the type of business.
For example, you might be in manufacturing, food service, retail or some other type of service area. Explain how you will gain a competitive advantage, such as a unique product or a better customer service model than your competitors. Some businesses address the amount of funding they seek to borrow. Others include this information in the financial projections section. Designed for entrepreneurs who are itching to get started, this simple business plan template asks a handful of questions that you can easily answer in one or two sentences.
The plan covers everything from what you plan to sell and who will buy it to how you will get paid, "hustle" to find customers, foresee challenges and overcome obstacles in a single page.
BizPlan lets you create a business plan for free using your smartphone or tablet, and it offers more than just business plans. You also have access to free pitch script templates, marketing tools, coaching and collaboration features. You can upgrade to paid plans that give you access to more tools, tutorials and other features.
Not all small businesses are concerned with credit lines, partnerships and office space — at least not in the beginning.
So why should their initial business plans include these things? Instead, it offers a business plan template fit for the real would-be entrepreneur.
Where most templates assume all businesses are uniform, Copyblogger's model is designed to get to the heart of what entrepreneurs need to know to start a business: Simply copy and paste the template, created by Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copyblogger Media, and you're good to go. Are you the visual type? Based on the principles of the Business Generation Model Strategyzer app, this template uses sticky notes to help you craft an out-of-the-box business plan.
You create your plan by separating a single page into different sections or columns, such as company information, value proposition and customer segments. Write down your ideas or responses on a sticky note, and then stick it on the corresponding section. You can also color-code the sticky notes for better organization.
Then, if your plans change, you can easily remove a note, move it around or add new ones to better fit the direction in which your business is headed. Financials are often the most confusing and difficult aspect of a business plan for new business owners. If you are looking for a business partner or other interested party, you may choose to reflect more of your business and personal ethos in the business plan.
Err on the professional side, however, when putting together your business plan. Part 1 Quiz What do some business advisors recommend small businesses complete before writing up a full business plan? A questionnaire to determine the basics. An analysis of market research. Keep your writing simple and straightforward.
Avoid too much jargon or long-winded explanations. Streamline your writing to get your point across quickly and concisely. Write the company description and describe your service or product. Describe your company, including how long you have been in operation, where you have operated, your achievements thus far, and what type of legal entity you are sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, etc.
Describe the service or product you are offering. What is unique about your product or service, and why do your customers need you to offer it? For example, you might write: Our granola bars are made from all natural, locally-sourced ingredients and will healthy foods to local children.
You should definitely include this part if your enterprise is a nonprofit organization, since a nonprofit is based on mission and vision. This will convey to funders or other supporters the objectives and goals towards which you are working as a nonprofit.
Present your market research and outline your marketing plan. This section describes the industry or market that you are entering and how you plan to bring your product or service to your customers.
What size is your market, in terms of population and in terms of potential sales? You should have a solid argument about how your product or service will be a welcome addition to the market, meeting a currently unmet need. Talk about your target customers, describing their demographics and their potential to buy your product or service.
Include information about your competitors, both direct and indirect. Then describe how you plan to price your product or service, reach your customers, expand your services, and promote your business.
There are 11 schools with a total of 2, children. While you want to remain positive about the potential success of your business, it is good planning to think about the ways in which it might be challenged or fail.
Think through how you will respond to problems, such as a downturn in number of customers or the loss of a key supplier. If you have specific parts of your business plan that might not work out, what are they and how will you respond to and accommodate these shortcomings? If California faces more drought-like conditions, we may need to expand our supplier list into Oregon, Nevada or Idaho. We will prioritize working with California-based suppliers, however. Provide information about the key people in your business.
A good business plan will not only describe the business and its services, but the people actually implementing and operating the business.
Include a description of the key people involved, their roles in the company, and their background and suitability for contributing to this venture. Include their resumes in the appendix of your business plan. Give yourself a title and write a brief bio highlighting your relevant experience that has prepared you for your current business idea.
She attended culinary school in Paris and also has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of California Davis. Give a financial picture of your business venture. The financial picture has a couple of different components. You should give an overview of the financial viability of your business through financial projections projected revenue, expenses, profits , as well as funding or investment strategies.
Provide numbers for revenue and expenses. To calculate revenue, base a sales forecast on pricing of your product or service and how many customers you plan to serve. Estimate sales over the next years. Expenses will include fixed costs such as salaries, rent, etc. Think about costs to launch the business, operate the business, hire and retain staff, pay advertising, and so on. Also include expenses like fees, licenses, and taxes. Consider too assets and liabilities that you have; assets can include property or equipment, while liabilities might be loans you owe for this business.
Include strategies for funding or investments. If you are using your business plan to secure funding of some sort, this section will be especially important. You need to know exactly how much money you want and how it will be spent. Depending on your business and the level of detail in your business plan, you may want to include additional materials to support your plan.
Some possible materials to include might be: Write the executive summary. This section is written last and should be no more than two pages. If you are writing a very short business plan, your executive summary may be just a paragraph, or you may forego it altogether.
The executive summary is essentially an overview of your company, your uniqueness in the marketplace, and a brief description of the services or products to be sold. You will also include an overview of your financial projections, including your expected revenues, profits, and expenses for the next five years. If you are seeking funding, you should outline this briefly as well, describing the exact amount of money you seek and how it will be used.
Put it all together. Each of these sections will be mini-essays that contribute to an overall picture of your business. You should make it look professional by putting it all together in a single document with consistent formatting, section headers, and a table of contents with page numbers.
Read through it several times and check spelling and grammar. Too many fonts can be visually distracting. Likewise, make sure your font size is readable by using an or point font. If you are at the stage of writing a business plan, you are probably excited to get moving on your idea. You should, however, still take your time at this stage, thinking through the possibilities and eventualities of your business.
Your plan may help you identify problems before you start so you can avoid them. It also sets out a roadmap for you to use, keeping you focused and on track.
Part 2 Quiz Which should you include in a business plan?
Jul 16, · Second, you can download our free one-page business plan template and use that as a starting point. Third, you can try out LivePlan’s Pitch feature. Just answer the questions it asks and click “publish,” and you’ll have a professionally-designed, one-page business plan that is easy to share and covers everything an investor wants to know/5(97).
While writing a business plan can be frustrating (especially when you're writing one from scratch), there are plenty of online templates available to take some of the pain out of the process. Small business .
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. That brings us to the second business plan format — the simple or one-page business plan. Business Plan Tips: Writing the Company Description. How to Prepare an Investor-Ready Business Plan. Get Tips on Writing a Comprehensive Outline for Your Business Plan. Learn More About Small Business.
The Business Plan Outline The first thing a person should do is learn about the different sections of a business plan. Here is a generic outline. All sections may or may not pertain to you and your business. • Look at this outline • Understand what each section is about. Article provides information on writing a simple business plan and warns against cutting corners to shorten the plan.