How to Create a Business Plan

How to Create a Business Plan

  1. Executive summary
  2. Company description/Objective statement
  3. Management and Organization
  4. Products and Services/Operational Plan
  5. Market analysis/Marketing and sales plan
  6. Funding request
  7. Financial Projections
  8. Exit Strategy
  9. Appendix
business plan how to write a

CONGRATULATIONS: Let’s Learn How to Create a Business Plan

 

You’ve been running your business all on your own and now you’re ready to scale up and start expanding.

Maybe you’ve been working out of a spare room in your living space, maybe you’ve been running your company out of the trunk of your car, or maybe you’re starting a small business and don’t know where to begin.  In any case, making a start-up business plan can serve you no matter where you are in the journey.

You don’t need a creative business plan; You just need a plan. They help you stay on track, remember the objectives of why you do what you do, and keep you focused on your end goal.

Each section of your plan has its own objectives within the document, it’s own audience, and it’s own intentions toward your readers.  Here we’re going to cover all the necessary steps in how to make a business plan, and talk about how to construct each piece.

small business plan template

1. Executive Summary

Think of your executive summary as your table of contents: you want to explain the rest of your business plan on 1 page as precise and succinct as possible.

It is always best to stay direct and efficient.

For every other section of the plan, draft 1 sentence that can summarize that section, and use that in your executive summary.  The reason for this is, most people who look at your business plan may not ever read any of the rest of the document aside from the financials (which we’ll discuss later.)

The executive summary is your written elevator pitch: your readers will immediately be interested in wanting to learn more about the business based on how well you put together your executive summary.

Make sure to articulate the following:

  1. Company description/Objective statement
  2. Management and Organization
  3. Products and Services
  4. Market analysis/Marketing and sales plan/Operational Plan
  5. Funding request

After reading your executive summary, your audience should have a basic understanding of what problem you’re trying to solve, who your target market is, how you differentiate and what niche you fill, who you’ve partnered with (if anyone), and if necessary how much and what kind of funding you’re seeking. (If you’re not seeking any funding, then good for you!! But did you know that creating a business plan can also serve to create your exit strategy and other title changes and movements within the business?)

boutique business plan

2. Company Description

You can’t write a business plan without a company name, legal entity type, vision, mission statement, philosophy: it all goes here.

Have 1, 3, 5, and 10-year company goals: in terms of any changes to the businesses’ objectives, and financially.

The target market should also be described here so as to highlight the importance of knowing who you’re selling to.

Make sure to have done your research to be able to answer any questions that may come up, but stay short and sweet with the writing as we mentioned in the opening.  Each sentence should be to the point and able to fully articulate everything your readers will need to know.

business plan design

3. Management and Organizational Structure

Here is where you give official titles to everyone in your organization.

You’ll name people who will be on your board of advisors/directors.

Include CV’s, biographies, and any gaps in histories.

Make sure your legal team is listed here if you’re outsourcing law services.

(This part of the document can really be a bonus if you have prominent high profile people to be able to feature: they can add credibility to your organization, and their names can also serve as a speaking point when presenting.)

how to make a business plan

4. Products and Services/Operational Plan

Show off your personality here.

What are you selling?

What pain point are you addressing?

How are you pricing everything?

What differentiates you from the market?

Think of the excitement you have for wanting to get into business: most likely you feel you have some sort of competitive advantage – Write all about it.

What does your firm offer?

Do people want what you’re selling?

Do you have access to operate cheaper/faster, or charge a discount/premium?

How do you justify your prices?

How else are you differentiated from what is already available?

The answers to these questions will definitely show off your business planning acumen.

how to create a business plan

5. Market analysis/Marketing and sales plan

Show off your brains here.

Components to this section are your market research and marketing plans.

Charts, graphs, numbers, and pictures work great here.

You want to make note of all the research you’ve done on your market, and how your company will reach its buyers.

Include a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, barriers to entry, and point-out research you’ve done on your competitors.

Detail your niche, marketing channels, and budget.

Describe the sales process: how does someone go from prospect to paying customer, and what path does the payment follow.  Provide a projected 12-month forecast.

how to create a business plan

6. Funding Request When Creating A Business Plan!

How much and what kind of funding are you seeking?

What will the funds be used for?

What kind of collateral do you have?

What’s your credit score?

how to create a business plan

7. Financial Projections

Create your financial projections up to and including the year of the final payback date of any loans you’re seeking – use your sales forecast data (the projected 12-month forecast from section 5.)

If you’re not seeking any funding, then skip straight to drafting your financial projections that will include the year through your succession plan.

small business plan template

8. Exit Strategy

A succession plan can be a differentiator for you because it shows how you’re looking to move on from the business if and when the time comes.

From your organizational chart, you should have career path projections for each person listed in anticipation of your leaving the company.

making a business plan

9. Appendices

Here is where you can provide your supplemental data.

Resumes/CVs, previous and current contracts and legal documents, letters of reference, current and previous business orders, list of assets, plans, press releases, employee policy, and anything else you can think of.

CONGRATULATIONS, again

We’re glad you’ve made it this far and now you’ve learned how to create a business plan!!

It’s a passion of ours to help people start their businesses and as such we’re including a business plan template free for you here now. Just sign up for Canva, which is free, and use the design immediately. We also offer platform training and courses here. If you are looking to build your new site or how to integrate your marketing tools into your website, take a look at our prices here! Even if you haven’t started your business yet, no worries, this is still a great resource for you! The business plan will help you begin to ponder some business ideas. 

If you have any questions about the sample business plan, the template, or life in the universe, be sure to hit us up.

Share and share alike!!

Join The WaitList

Get exclusive access to signup for my new design membership at it’s founding member launch price in July! 

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.