December is National Write a Business Plan Month

Dec142016

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Are you interested in starting a business? Creating a business plan is one of the most important steps you will take because the plan serves as your road map for the early years of your business. The business plan generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to reach its yearly milestones, including revenue projections. A well thought out plan also helps you to step-back and think objectively about the key elements of your business venture and informs your decision-making on a regular basis.

SBA's Business Plan Tool provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you get started. All of your information entered into this tool can only be viewed by accessing your account using the password you have specified. Not only can you save your plan as a PDF file, you can also update it at any time, making this a living plan to which you can often refer.

Essential Elements of a Good Business Plan

What are the key elements of a business plan? From market analysis to your company financials, this guide walks you through the essential components of your plan, including how to develop a funding request.

  • Business Plan Executive Summary Your executive summary is a snapshot of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals. Read these tips about what to include.

  • Market Analysis Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market and competitors.

  • Company Description Your company description provides information on what you do, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves. 

  • Organization & Management Every business is structured differently. Find out the best organization and management structure for your business.

  • Marketing & Sales How do you plan to market your business? What is your sales strategy? Read more about how to include this information in your plan.

  • Service or Product Line What do you sell? How does it benefit your customers? What is the product lifecycle? Get tips on how to tell the story about your product or service.

  • Funding Request If you are seeking funding for your business, find out about the necessary information you should include in your plan.

  • Financial Projections If you need funding, providing financial projections to back up your request is critical. Find out what information you need to include in your financial projections for your small business.

  • Appendix An appendix is optional, but a useful place to include information such as resumes, permits and leases. Find additional information you should include in your appendix.

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Last updated: 04/19/2017 - 4:11pm