Many of today’s business owners first focus on the overall idea, then on funding, and finally, everything else. However, the foundation of a successful business is a well-crafted, attainable, and quantifiable business plan. Whether the owner is just getting started or they’ve been in business for many years, they should include these components when developing a business plan.
Company Description and Executive Summary
The description and summary section should, as one may expect, explain the company, its mission, and its significant accomplishments. It should also outline short-term goals and the resources needed to attain them.
The Solution Statement
Here, the owner shows how their company fulfills customers’ needs. Explain the client base’s problems, back them up with evidence, and outline a few solutions.
Services and Products
In this section, the plan gets more detailed. Here, the owner describes the services and products the company provides. Be sure to include distribution and production details, as well as plans for subsequent offerings.
A Competitive Audit
Are there other businesses in the same space? Include details such as the target market, location, and these companies’ unique offerings. In this section of the business plan, the owner can demonstrate how their offerings differentiate themselves from those of the competition.
Objectives and Goals
What does the company’s short-term future look like? In this section, the owner gets the chance to write down what they hope to do and how they’ll get there. Depending on the business model, such a plan may include R&D (research and development) goals, marketing and distribution plans, and revenue models.
A Financial Plan
If the business is just getting off the ground, this section should include the company’s monetary and non-monetary assets, as well as its liabilities such as outstanding loans and bills. For businesses in operation for a year or more, this section should include a profit and loss statement. Finally, be sure to have a financial planner like David Johnson Cane Bay review the plan.
Once the plan includes these components, among others, the work isn’t done. Be sure the company’s legal and financial advisers know the plan, and review it at regular intervals. With these steps, creating a business plan becomes easier.