This piece of the puzzle is arguably the most important part of the plan—if someone reads this and doesn’t want to keep going, you’ve lost them.
Whether it’s a traditional plan or a lean startup document, your business plan should cover everything someone would want to know about your business. Now that we’ve established how important a business plan is, how do you write one?
The idea of writing a blueprint that carries your business five years down the road can sound intimidating to some, but a business plan is only as complicated as you make it.
You can and should give the concept your personal spin.
That said, there are areas that most business plans cover, in varying amounts of detail.
Logistics-wise, you should have an organizational chart that describes who is in charge of what in your company.
Even if it’s just you or you and a few employees, lay out each person’s responsibilities as well as backgrounds and experience. In addition, include information about your company’s legal structure here. This helps investors or lenders understand what legal protections you may or may not have in place. Product development plan Describe your products or services here.Positioning includes your branding, which is more than just your logo and name; it also includes your company culture and reputation.Promotion is your plan for making people aware of your business, from where you’ll advertise to potential content marketing practices.Meredith Wood is the head of content and editor-in-chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business financial solutions such as loans, credit cards and bank accounts.Prior to Fundera, Meredith was the CCO at Funding Gates.A business plan is as important to a new business as a map is to a ship, or blueprints are to an architect.A written business plan will guide your actions and keep you focused on your short- and long-term goals.Even small, home-based businesses can often require thousands in startup capital. Now that you’ve shown your financial expectations, explain how an infusion of funds (whether via investment or a loan) will help put you on the path to success.How much funding will you need over the next five years, and why? This way, investors and lenders will know what you expect from them. Appendix A good business plan will include an appendix that provides supporting documents, materials, contracts, permits, licenses, resumes, credit histories and any other important information.For sales, describe how a sale will actually happen.Who will make sales, what tools will they use, and what is the overarching strategy for obtaining, converting and maintaining leads? Financial plan and projections Here, you’ll discuss both your current and future financial situation.