Quick Guide to a Business Plan

Today, we’re going to to look at the basic structure business plans. Welcome to the quick guide to a business plan.

Why Have a Business Plan?

A business plan is a written document which identifies your objectives and outlines your strategy for achieving those objectives. A completed business plan is a summary and evaluation of your business concept. It is a blueprint for your business operations. It will help you to assess whether the business is viable and will allow you to anticipate and plan for potential weaknesses within it. A business plan can also be used to raise finance from lenders or other investors. Keep in mind that although you need a comprehensive business plan, don’t waste too much time over-analyzing every detail – at some point you must decide to stop planning and research and start to action your plan.

An Overview of a Business Plan

  • Executive Summary – An overview, one to two pages that quickly summarizes your business.
  • Industry Description – About your industry: e.g. size, trends.
  • Business Description – Description of your planned or current business
  • Products and Services
  • Niche Market Identification
  • Competitors – the in-depth analysis of your competitors – their SWOT analysis and how you plan to differentiate your business
  • Business Objectives
  • Marketing Plan – your Marketing strategy for your business
  • Business structure and Employees – What legal structure is your business? Who are the key employees?
  • SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
  • Financial Forecasts and Statements
  • Appendices

We will examine how to write these sections of your business plan in the coming articles.