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
- Cover Page. Include a short identification and a description of your business activities.
- Table of Contents. This allows lenders, investors, or partners to reference a specific section of your plan.
- Executive Summary. Provide a total overview of your plan and outline the steps you will take to start and grow your business.
- Business Background. Don't forget to highlight your skills and experience in your industry.
- Marketing Plan. Describe the products and services you offer, your market and pricing strategy, and plans to advertise your business.
- Action Plan. Outline your specific action items to create and deliver your products and services.
- 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.
- Operations. Describe your hiring procedures and expected costs for insurance, leasing, and equipment.
- Closing Statement. Restate your goals.
- Appendix. Include statistical analyses, sample marketing materials, and resumes.
Looking for a business plan template?
Check out these FREE sample business plans.