How to Write a Business Plan
Do you need a Business Plan?
Some people say you should just do a pitch presentation instead of a plan. Either way, If you are interested in starting a business, you are going to need a business plan. This short video describes how and why to write a business plan, using SBA’s free tool at www.sba.gov/business-plan.
Creating a business plan is the most important step you can take towards success. Think of a business plan like a road map it sets the direction for the early years of your business and outlines how you plan to make sales and grow revenues. A business plan generally includes six sections, they are;
- an executive summary
- a company overview
- market research data
- a description of your products or services
- your marketing and sales approach
- your financial projection
Let’s take a closer look at each section.
The Executive Summary
An executive summary is the first section of your plan. Use it to introduce your business and identify your customers. Make a short but strong case that explains how you’ll make your business successful.
The Company Description
The next section is your company description. Provide a high-level explanation of your business, what it will do, and how it will make money. Include a mission statement and the location of your business. Identify key employees and any other qualities that make your business distinctive.
Next up is your market research use this section to provide detailed information that shows you’ve done your homework and that you understand your industry and target market. Be sure to include an assessment of your competitors and any legal requirements impacting your company and industry.
Products & Services
The fourth section is a description of your products or services. What are you selling? How will it meet the needs of your customers? What are its benefits compared to the competition? Answer these questions in detail and be sure to note the current development stage of your business.
Marketing & Sales
Discuss marketing and sales in the fifth section of your business plan. Explain how you’ll identify potential customers. You’ll also need to include your marketing approach.
Provide financial projections in the final section of your business plan. This is important for investors and lenders because it explains how your business will meet as financial obligations and maintain a positive cash flow balance.
Tools & Resources
Are you ready to get started? Here are some resources that can help you on your journey;
SBA’s Build your Business Plan Tool
Build your customized business plan using SBA’s free step by step tool. This tool will help you navigate each section and your information. You can even save your plan and finish it later. Print download email and update your plan any time. try out SBA’s build your business plan tool at https://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan
A business plan is a living document that will change again and again. It’s the core content of your elevator speech, your pitch presentation, your summary memo, and your business management. Don’t take any shortcuts here and it will pay off big.