December is National Write a Business Plan Month, so for those of you who have a great idea for a business but have yet to begin writing your plan, this month is a great time to start. Every business needs a business plan to help identify the business’s goals and how those goals will be achieved, and the better researched and detailed your plan the easier your life will be in the future. Having one will help you acquire funding and other resources, recruit senior management or business partners, and have a realistic approach to your business. While it might take some time and hard work, your business idea will benefit tremendously from having everything all laid out. If you’re not sure where to begin, for today’s #BusinessTipTuesday here are some of the essential elements of a great business plan.
- Executive Summary- Outline your business plan in its entirety, including your business’s profile, mission, and how you plan to get there
- Market Analysis – Discuss the market/industry you’re trying to enter, who your competitors are, where you fit in the market, and who your target market is. Include an analysis of your company’s strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats
- Company Description – Describe what your business does and why your product or service is different
- Management and Organization – Describe your management team and the organizational structure of your business. Discuss whether your business will be online or brick and mortar, the size of your company, and how your products/services will be produced/ delivered
- Services/Products – Go into detail talking about what your business is planning to sell or what services it plans to offer
- Marketing and Sales – Explain how you plan to promote your product or service and how you’ll make sales.
- Request for Funding – Describe how you plan to acquire funds for your business if you need funding assistance
- Financial Projections – Provide financial projections for 3-5 years. Define how much you plan to spend, earn, and what your profit is expected to be
Don’t forget to post a status on social media using the #WriteABusinessPlanMonth! People might be inspired to work on their own business plans and check out your business in the future.
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center