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How To Create a Business Plan

Before you take a leap of faith into your entrepreneurial journey. You want to make sure you have the perfect business plan to avoid the bumps in the road.

Writing a business plan doesn’t need to be complicated, however, it does need to be professional, comprehensive, and detailed. The first step to writing your business plan is to prepare it professionally. Writing a business plan is a must, particularly, if you want to apply for a small business loan.

A business plan will:

  • Summarize your business.
  • Provide lenders a financial blueprint for your business.
  • Demonstrate that you have a concrete plan for your money.
  • Give a flow chart of all aspects of your business from marketing to accounting.
  • Defines your target market and your marketing plan.
  • Document your goals and your plans to attain them.

How Do You Begin Writing a Business Plan?

Make it look as professional and organized as possible. Here is a basic list of what your business plan will need to contain:

1. Executive Summary

This is a page-long description of your business. It is common to write this summary after you’ve written the rest of your plan.

2. Business Description

Your business description defines what services or products you will provide. Who you will provide them to and how you will run the business in order to make a profit.

3. Employee/Management Plan

When many people start out in business, they’re a one-person operation. That’s perfectly acceptable. Write down exactly what your job responsibilities will be. If you have employees, what are their job responsibilities,

4. Legal Considerations

Here you will answer the following questions:

  • What legal structure will you have for your business? Sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or Limited Liability Company?
  • What type of business licenses do you need to legally operate your business?
  • What are your insurance needs?
  • How will you keep a record of your expenses for tax reporting?
  • Financial statements, such as income statements, budgets, balance sheets, and cash flow.

5. Products/Services

Here is where you will plan your initial products or service offerings. For example, if you are opening a business as a bookkeeper, then how will you charge? How will you receive payment? Will you offer multiple services like bookkeeping, payroll services, and collections?

6. Operations

How is your business going to function? Do you need a computer? A website? What will your hours of operation be? And what are your financial goals? What will be your expenses? List each aspect of your business operations, goals, needs, and then go into as much detail as possible.

7. Sales and Marketing

Start this section by detailing your target market. Next, describe how you plan on reaching this person and selling your products or services. Who is your competition, who is your target market, and how are you going to market your business?

8. Budget

How much money are you starting with, what do you need to buy, is a detailed budget essential for success? Your potential lender will want to know what you’re using the money for.

Final Thoughts

The better your business plan, the better your chances of getting your financing. Once your plan is written, there are many organizations including your local Small Business Association, who will be happy to help you tweak your plan for optimal results.

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