What you should include in a business plan

Business plans provide goals to work towards, help identify potential problems, give insight into competitors, and highlight potential opportunities.

A great business plan should include a concept, strategy, executive summary, market analysis, competitor analysis, the company’s financials and a clear action plan.

Concept

This part of the business plan is usually broken down into three elements:

The executive summary will highlight the mission of the business by describing its products and services.

It might also be a good idea to briefly explain why you are starting your business and include details about your experience in the industry that you are entering.

Strategy

Understand the scope of your business, as well as the amount of time, money, and resources you will need to get started by writing it down to help clarify your ideas.

Market analysis

You should identify your target customers’ needs, desires and pain points and understand how you can meet them. You also need to understand what else is available on the market and how your offering differs.

Competitor analysis

While it is important to understand the market you are operating in, it is also important to assess the success and weaknesses of competitors within your market to spot gaps and beat the competition.

Financials

A crucial area, this should outline projections for short-term growth and long-term profitability. You should include projections of your profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the next three years.

Setting these points out should help you create a clear set of definable actions that can help your business to grow and flourish. Having a detailed, well-prepared business plan will increase the chances of survival and success for any venture.

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