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Executive Summary: A short paragraph that quickly describes the goals and accomplishments of the company or organization. This is typically written once the rest of the plan has been curated. Company Description: A much more detailed version of the executive summary that outlines what your business is and why its different from other businesses like it. Market Analysis: A section outlining who your demographic is, their size, their needs and why they will want to utilize your services. Organization and Management: The details on how your company is structured and who is running it. Service/Product Description: An analysis of what your product or service is and how it benefits your customers. This is where you will share your plans for intellectual property and any research and development you may be doing for your service or product. Marketing Strategy: This section will describe how youll attract and retain customers. This should also include the financial process of how a sale will happen. Logistics and Operation: This section will outline what systems youll utilize to make your product or service. If youre utilizing suppliers, production companies, shipping companies or any other kind of service to help you sell your product, youll want to include it here. Financial Plan: The most crucial for funding requests, this section will detail the financial successes of your company and its ability to bring in income. If your business is already established, this section should include income statements, balance sheets and cash low statements for the last three to five years.
Know Your Intentions
While business plans are often used to request funding, its important to decide what you want to use your plan for. Are you using this as a resume to gain business connections? Do you just need a personal business plan where you can keep all of your information in one place? Regardless of the intention, make sure your plan is easy to understand and requires the necessary information needed by whoever will eventually read it.
Take Your Time
A business plan isnt going to get done in a day and a good business plan will take research. Make sure to take your time in curating your plan so that you have the proper facts, details and information needed to successfully run your business. A well-researched plan will also help potential partners to best understand the need for your product and the seriousness you have to fill that need.
Don't Forget the Little Things
Curating a business plan can be a lot of work, so dont let little mistakes ruin its legitimacy. Here are some simple errors to watch out for: Make sure your plan doesnt exceed 15-20 pages. Keep an eye out for spelling or grammatical errors. Include all of your needed sections. Keep it honest - overexaggerating or underexaggerating business details will do more harm to your company than good.
You're Not Alone
Most important, remember that you dont have to write this plan alone. There are plenty of online and in-person resources that you can utilize to help you put together the best business plan you can. For more information, start at sba.gov for ways you can curate the perfect plan.
Sources: SBA, Shopify
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