Conquering a Business Plan Like an Expert in 8 Sections

Conquering a Business Plan Like an Expert

If you’re an entrepreneur, then you know that a business plan is essential to your success. But do you know how to write a business plan like an expert? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to create a business plan that will help you achieve your goals. We’ll also provide tips for making your business plan stand out from the crowd. So read on and learn how to write a business plan like a pro!

Writing a Business Plan

This goes against everything I was taught throughout business school, but a business plan is not an absolute requirement for every single business. It really depends on the venture.

If, for example, you plan on flipping domain names as your entire business model, perhaps you don’t need to come up with 20 pages breaking the process down into microsteps and overanalyzing every little detail. After all, you probably aren’t seeking outside investment from anyone who would demand a business plan for funding.

That said, you have no idea how you may want to scale in the future and a business plan will keep you on your intended course. If you plan on trying for a business loan, you will need to have a plan with forecasts already established before you walk into your meeting.

It is incredibly hard to find the time to write a business plan for a business that’s already in operation. It’s even harder to find someone to do it for you because that person must share your vision completely in order to write from your perspective.

The best rule is simply to bite the bullet and commit yourself to coming up with a solid plan including the following elements:

Executive Summary

This is the most important part of a business plan. This is where you show your business is viable. This section should contain a mission statement, company information, concise founder biographical information, products or services, financial position and requirements, and growth projections.

You can also highlight any special achievements here. This is where you lock your audience in and make them interested in reading the rest.

Business Description

Not only does this include details on your company, products/services, and target demographic, it also includes industry and major competitor information. Mention whether you intend on manufacturing, wholesaling, or retailing. Include information about the company’s current position and history, if any, as well as its primary strengths and business entity type.

Market Analysis

Include a profile of the industry, detail opportunities and threats, and analyze industry forces like entry barriers for new competitors, substitute or competing products, applicable government regulations, and buyer/supplier power. Also offer a profile of your target customer focusing on demographic and psychographic information.

Competitive Analysis

Define and profile your major competitors and how you’re different. Describe how you will use your strengths to capitalizes on their weaknesses and seize opportunities. Provide details on your competitors’ market share, marketing campaigns, price points, distribution channels, product or service features or benefits, and financial strength or industry positioning.

Marketing Plan

Detail the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Describe your product’s benefits and supporting features, your pricing strategy, how and where you will be distributing your product, and how you plan to promote your offerings. It may be helpful to include a timeline of planned activities so your potential investors can get an idea of a potential breakeven point on their investment.

Operating Plan

This is where you will breakdown what your company will be doing internally. Describe the ownership and management structure, other staffing needs, production methods, required production equipment or other resources needed, billing and collections procedures, inventory control and record keeping, your quality control and assurance plans, and how to will address compliance and potential legal issues.

Financial Projections

This section covers your evaluation of your company’s profit potential. You should include forecasts of demand, expenses, and revenue as well as your funding requirements. An investor will use this section to decide, based on your projections, whether a venture is financially worth investing in. Include 2-4 years of income, cash flow, and balance sheet projections and perform a breakeven analysis.

Appendices

This is where you get to provide all your supporting documentation from everything you claimed in the rest of your plan. You need to show that you did your homework and put the effort into researching. Include things like a capital goods requirement table, a cost of goods table, an income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, management resumes, permits or licenses, product pictures, marketing materials, and relevant legal documents.

Literally, this section is for everything that a stakeholder may want to reference after reading your business plan sections.

Conclusion

So there you have it – the key elements of a winning business plan and how to approach each. The above sections don’t need to be in any particular order, but always include the executive summary first so you capture your reader and inspire them to read on. For some templates that can help you get started, see PandaDoc’s resources here. Check out our other posts for more in-depth views at business plan-related topics.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Jump To

On Key

Related Posts