• Inc writing-a-business-plan

What Goes in a Business Plan?

Every business needs a documented plan to help focus its direction, outline operations, and secure investors. Get prepared before you start your business to maximize your chances for success.

10 Essential Elements of a Business Plan

  1. Cover Page. Include a short identification and a description of your business activities.

  2. Table of Contents. This allows lenders, investors, or partners to reference a specific section of your plan.

  3. Executive Summary. Provide a total overview of your plan and outline the steps you will take to start and grow your business.

  4. Business Background. Don't forget to highlight your skills and experience in your industry.

  5. Marketing Plan. Describe the products and services you offer, your market and pricing strategy, and plans to advertise your business.

  6. Action Plan. Outline your specific action items to create and deliver your products and services.

  7. Financial Management, Statements & Projections. Include your sources of startup capital, monthly budget, anticipated expenditures, expected return on investment (ROI), projected balance sheets, and accounting strategies.

  8. Operations. Describe your hiring procedures and expected costs for insurance, leasing, and equipment.

  9. Closing Statement. Restate your goals.

  10. Appendix. Include statistical analyses, sample marketing materials, and resumes.

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