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You want every aspect of your business plan to impress (especially if you're using it to ask for money).Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or looking for financing to expand one you’re already running, you’ll find writing a business plan beneficial, if not essential.This will keep you from getting scattered, sidetracked, or pulled away from what’s likely to make you the most successful.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to teach you how to write the perfect business plan-discussing why you should have one, the different types of business plans you can develop, and what goes into each section.
Before we get into the how-to, let’s take a deeper look into what writing a plan will do for you.
A description of your funding requirements, your detailed financial statements, and a financial statement analysis.
This part of the business plan is where you will present the three main financial documents of any business, the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement.
Generally, in a business plan, you want to "put your best foot forward".
Vanderbilt Ingram Scholarship Essay - Formal Business Plan Example
So if, for instance, you have a stellar group of people serving on your new business's advisory board, by all means, put that section directly after the Executive Summary.Your purpose here is to show the reader of your business plan that you have a thorough knowledge of the people you are planning to sell your goods and/or services to - so thorough that you can make educated predictions about how much of your goods and/or services they might buy.An investigation of your direct and indirect competitors, with an assessment of their competitive advantage and an analysis of how you will overcome any entry barriers to your chosen market.It summarizes the key elements of the entire business plan and is the first thing anyone looking at your business plan reads so it's critical that your executive summary is outstanding.(Reading this Executive Summary Example will give you a sense of how to put yours together.) An overview of the industry sector that your business will be a part of, including industry trends, major players in the industry, and estimated industry sales.Many lenders won’t give you money unless they know you have a well-thought out strategy for where you’re going and how you’ll get there.Even if you’re approaching friends and family for money, people who won’t require you to have a plan, it will be helpful to write one. This article explains how to outline a business plan, listing the sections in the order in which they will appear in your completed plan with a brief explanation of each section to help you get organized and guide you through the process.In each case, following the section title link will take you to an article that details how to write that particular section of the plan, while in some cases, there are also linked examples that you can use as models to write that section.This section will also include a summary of your business's place within the industry.(Here's a Business Plan Example of the Industry Section to serve as a model.) An examination of the primary target market for your product or service, including geographic location, demographics, your target market's needs and how these needs are being met currently.