In this article I will discuss, what should be in a business plan.
The business plan is oftentimes a stumbling block for the new business owner or business startup hopeful. It is that ubiquitous document that you are told must have if you ever expect to succeed in business. We also believe that having a business plan is important – when the time is right.
When writing your business plan think about what you would want to see in a proposal if someone were to come to you for money. You would want to know if they were going to spend it wisely. You would want them to provide you with a logical and well thought out plan that answered as many, if not all of your concerns before you wrote them a check.
Those kinds of answers are what should be in your business plan.
A full blown business plan will include: Executive Summary; History of the Business; Management and Personnel; Markets and Competition; Products; Marketing and Selling Methods; Manufacturing Processes; Historical Trading Performance; Financial Analysis and Underlying Assumptions; Risks and Rewards; and Appendices.
If you are starting a new business some of the components will not be necessary as you will not have that information, i.e. Historical Trading Performance.
You will want to describe all the relevant elements (internal and external) that are a part of your business startup. While the components listed above may seem like separate entities, they are actually integrated into the function of your business. A lender will want to know how they integrate and more importantly how they mesh with your short term and long term forecasts for the operation of the business; generally over 3-5 years.
What should be in your business plan is your road map describing Where you are now, Where you are going and How you plan to get there.