So, you’ve taken the leap and have decided to open your own business. Now what? Becoming a business owner comes with a lot of responsibility. Before you even open your doors, market your wares online, or book appointments you should put fingers to keyboard and develop your business plan.
A business plan is essentially a written description of the direction that you want to take your business and how you plan to get it there. Business plans also help to let us, as business advisors, know what exactly it is that your company’s product or service will offer, the market for your product and any competitors that you have identified that could either help or hinder your business’ ability to grow.
Here is a list of sections your business plan should include. Many templates can be found online to help guide you through the development process. We provide some resources below.
Basic Business Plan Structure
- Executive Summary – A high-level snapshot of your business. This is the last section of the business plan that should be written
- Company Description – A description of what you do
- Market Research – An analysis of your industry and the market, including competition
- Products or Services – A description of the products and/or services you will offer
- Marketing & Sales – How you plan on marketing your businesses and making sales
- Business Financials – Financial information including balance sheets, an income statement and a statement of cash flows.
- Organization & Management – Staffing requirements, expertise etc.
- Funding Request – A brief pitch that outlines why an investor should provide you with the funds that are needed to start or grow your business.
- Appendix – If applicable, include resumes, permits, business registries etc.
A business plan is especially important if you are seeking funding, investments or loans. Keep in mind when you are developing your business plan that investors will initially read two sections of the plan – the financial statements and the executive summary. If they do not find these areas intriguing or feasible, they won’t continue reading.
Great business plan templates/guides for you to check out:
When it comes to business loans, Westoba Credit Union Small Business Advisors have the expertise to help you. Contact our Business Solutions team today, call 1-877-WESTOBA or book an appointment at HERE. We can support you turn your business dreams into a reality!