If you are in business, you need to have a business plan. Business plans are essential parts of a business – they help you organize the different aspects of your business as well as provide a roadmap for how your business should be run.
Often, the exercise of creating a business has been ignored by small business owners. If they aren’t going to be getting financing, they feel they don’t need one. Besides, it can be a little daunting going through all of the pieces of a business plan. They seem a bit scary – but so is going into business!
Business plans are needed for every business. They really help you hone in on what you are doing in business, why you are doing it, and who you are serving with your business. They also work through the essentials of your financial dealings in business, and call out all of the important people that are a part of your business. Knowing all of these things help you be more confident in your business, as well as help you stay on course when adding new products or services or when you want to depart from your core business.
Here are the essential parts of the 7 Part Business Plan – and what is included in each area:
- Executive summary:
Your Executive Summary contains three important pieces: Your Vision Statement (what your company would accomplish in a perfect world), your Mission Statement (what your company’s mission to do every day) and a basic overview of what you do (where you are located, and why you are in business). It should be a quick summary of your business objectives and is usually the last thing you complete in your business plan.
- Company description:
This part should encompass the legal aspects of your business (are you an LLC, sole proprietor?), and go more in depth about what you do as a company. It should discuss your products or services, who your clients are, and a brief history of your company. Tell the story of what you do and why!
This part discusses in detail your products or services, and all the different components of how you deliver to your clients what they are paying for, your pricing structure, and more!
- Market analysis:
Since you got into business, you should have spent some time doing market research, why what you do is important, and how you compare to others in your space. Talk about all that research, and why there is an opportunity for your business to thrive in your space.
- Strategy and implementation:
How do you plan to let your clients know about you? How do you plan to grow your business? How do you stand out? What do your ads look? Do you have branding picked out? A website? All of that goes in this section!
- Organization and management team:
Who runs your business? Who cares what your numbers look like? Do you have employees? Consultants? All of the people who help run your business and keep it successful go here. Make sure that the people you are putting in this section actually know what their stake is in the business!
- Financial plan and projections:
Did you borrow money? Did you buy a lot of equipment? What are the salaries you are expected to pay? These go here, along with your assets, and your financial statements for the last year. Update this consistently and show historical data. What are your short term and long term financial goals for the business? They all go here!
As you can see, there is a wealth of information contained within the 7 Part Business Plan, and it would be the handbook for your business – once it is complete.
If you don’t have a business plan, or feel like you need a better organized business plan, I have created a template for you! To get yours – just sign up here:
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