What Does a Business Plan Include?

2 min read · 10 years ago

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What is business plan? Business plans range from 20 to 50 pages in length, but, typically, they all contain the same sections. You’ll find detailed overviews of example business plans and what to include within each section by looking at business plan examples and going to online sources.

Your business plan should include:

  1. The Executive Summary Business Plan.

    This is a concise one- to four-page summary illustrating the key points that are detailed in each section of the ensuing business plan. The Executive Summary business plan should stand on its own as a separate document.

  2. Business Overview.

    Offer a description of the business, including:

    • The legal structure
    • Business formation history
    • The type of business
    • Location
    • Means of doing business (Internet, storefront operation, mail order)
  3. Operations Business Plan.

    Offer an explanation describing how the business will function, including the physical setup and responsibilities for specific tasks.

  4. Market Analysis Business Overview.

    Include an overview of the market as a whole, with specific data and charts or graphs, if appropriate. Define your target market and your plans for catering to this specific audience.

  5. Products and Services Business Overview.

    Describe the products manufactured or sold or the services offered. Classify the different types of products or services and provide a brief description of each.

  6. Sales and Marketing Business Plan.

    Outline pricing and sales information business overview. Include rationalizations for why your audience will buy your products or services and how you will reach them through marketing and advertising efforts.

  7. Competitive Analysis Business Overview.

    Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your direct and indirect competitors. Demonstrate how you will gain a competitive edge against your competition.

  8. Management Team Business Plan.

    Provide pertinent, concise background information on all key players involved in the business overview.

  9. Business Plan Financials.

    Include all financial information, from startup costs to balance sheets. The financial section should outline:

    • The amount necessary to start or maintain the business plan
    • The amount needed over the next two, three, and even five years
    • Business Plans to use funds
    • Anticipated need for additional funding
    • Ongoing business expenses, including salaries, insurance costs, promotional expenses, etc.
  10. Business Plan Projections.

    Provide projected income statements and balance sheets for at least two or three years.

 

At the end of your business plan, attach supporting documents, such as articles on the company, résumés of key personnel, etc.

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