How To Create a Business Plan

Starting a business is an exciting thing, and if done right, can be life-changing. But there are key steps that must be taken in order to give your potential business the best chance for success. At the top of this list is having a business plan.

What is a business plan?

Hubspot’s definition of a business plan is as follows: “A business plan is a living document that maps out the details of your business. It covers what your business will sell, how it will be structured, what the market looks like, how you plan to sell your product or service, what funding you’ll need, what your financial projections are, and which permits, leases, and other documentation will be required.”

Essentially, a business plan shows if your idea is worth putting in the continued effort to make it flourish. You are forced to look at the big picture and explain every detail that defines your holistic view.

Making a business plan

Building a  business plan may seem like an unwieldy task, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep it short and simple, as too much information or minute detail could confuse or distract anyone reading the plan such as shareholders, investors or any others involved in the inception of your business. The plan should also have a certain amount of flexibility built into it, and be able to grow and evolve as the vision for your business does. Finally, you’ll want to really dig into what makes your idea for a business unique within your space. Being able to stand out from a crown is a major prerequisite when starting a business.

Now you’re ready to put everything together and write your very own business plan. These templates organized by INC. are a great place to start and will help you organize all of the information you will need to present.

To fill out these templates, you’ll need to be ready with these sections of information:

  1. An executive summary
  2. A company description and business model
  3. A market analysis
  4. A description of your products and/or services
  5. Outlines of operation and management roles
  6. A basic sales and marketing strategy
  7. A financial plan that includes costs, funding and profit/revenue projections
  8. A summary of the above information

With that, you’re all set to start pitching your business and moving onto other tasks like choosing and registering a name, determining your legal structure and getting ready for a successful launch.

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