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A practical guide for starting a small business

How to Write Business Plans

Why Bother with a Business Plan?

Business Planning for the small business owner is not an optional activity. It is an essential document for applying a loan.  Who would lend someone money for a business that is only in their head?  The business plan is also  a guide to help you identify and meet your business goals.

What is a Business Plan?

The business plan has information on:

How to Write Business Plans - Steps by Step Guide

You can follow these 7 steps to a drafting your own business plan:

  1. Executive Summary - describes concisely the product or service that you want to sell, the business that you are in, and the amount of financing that you are seeking.
  2. Business Description - it further describes in detail the business, the industry, your product or service, and any unique features of the product.
  3. Market Strategies - tell the reader about the market, size and growth. What is the sales potential and what % market share will you capture? Describe the price, distribution, and sales strategies that you will use to achieve your sales and market share goals.
  4. Competition - identify who are your competitors.  What are their competitive advantages?  What are their weaknesses?  How are you going to be better than them?
  5. Product Design & Development - describe the product design and how you are going to develop the product.  Diagrams, specifications, and timelines are appropriate for this section.
  6. Operations & Management Plan - describe the structure, the people and their qualifications and how they are going to run the company on a daily basis.  What are their roles and responsibilities?
  7. Financial - you need to include income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements for this section.

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