Creating A Business Plan

Creating a business plan is one of the first steps to navigating the creation of a new company. These plans can be used internally or distributed to potential investors. The information should be detailed and will give those reading it a clear idea of your expectations and goals. By outlining these expectations as well as measurements of success you can continue to evaluate progress. By checking back periodically, this document can keep your business on the right track as well as remind you of the long-term goals. Here are the 8 essential parts to any business plan:

Executive Summary: This is a general overview of your entire business plan. An executive summary should include the background about your company, a mission statement, the market opportunity, financial requirements, a competitive analysis, competitive advantages, and financial projections for the next three years.

Company Overview: This section allows you to go into detail about when and why your company is being formed. Include your company’s mission statement and business model along with information about its structure. This section allows you to outline administrative issues, intellectual property, whether or not you are paying rent for your business’s location, as well as the legal structure of your company, management team, employees, accounting, insurance and security.

Business Offering: What ‘need’ is your business going to fulfill in the marketplace? Identifying a need is the reason you started your company, so go into detail here about your idea, plans and execution. Where will you get your products? Where will you manufacture or assemble them? Where will you sell them? How will they get from the production site to a storefront? If you are selling a service, what is the service and how will you add to your services in the future? A competitive analysis can also outline your direct and indirect competition.

Marketing Plan and Analysis: This section will allow you to outline your marketing strategy. How will you introduce your products or services to the public? What approach will you take? How will you position it? This section is an opportunity to touch on why you think this endeavor will find success, including research on customer and industry trends.

Strategy and Implementation: Go into explicit detail in this section. From launch dates and timelines to sales forecasts, this section allows you to put metrics in front of potential investors and financiers.

Management Structure: Use this section to introduce your company’s executives. Explain who they are, their professional background information and how they will help you meet your business goals. This section can help to reassure investors of the stability of the management team.

Financial Expectations: These are projected numbers, not accounting. Include projected cash flow statements, profit/loss statements and a balance sheet.

Appendix: This section can include research papers, background information, management resumes, copies of leases and other supporting documentation

These eight sections are just a framework for creating a business plan. Using these as a starting point allows you to expand and add sections you may deem relevant based on your intentions and audience. Starting a business plan from scratch can be intimidating. Another option is purchasing an established business. This does not negate the need for a business plan, but it does allow you start with some information already in place. 

If your intention is to create your strategic business plan for a new business or a business already underway, or to buy an existing business, at Sunbelt Central America we have the Advisors and methodologies that can help you in the process. Contact Us.

Source:  Sunbelt Business Brokers