Writing a business plan doesn`t have to be complicated. In this comprehensive guide, I`ll show you how to quickly and easily write a business plan that will get the results you want. Don`t worry, you don`t have to have a business or accounting degree to put together a great business plan. This guide will show you how to get your plan done step-by-step without any of the complexity or frustration.
There are four main chapters in a business plan—opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. The opportunity chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives—it includes information about the problem that you`re solving, your solution, who you plan to sell to, and how your product or service fits into the existing competitive landscape.
All business plans should establish strategy, tactics, milestones, tasks, assumptions, and essential numbers (projected sales, direct costs, expenses, and cash flow). All business plans should develop accountability and tracking.
There are tons of good outlines available, plus books, blogs. Down below I have some specific resources related to my work; but not now. There is no single best outline to use, but investors will want to know about the market, potential growth, competition, differentiation (or secret sauce) strategy, tactics, key milestones, important assumptions, the management team, and financial projections including use of funds, projected sales, income, balance, and cash flow. Use your common sense to put first things first and organize it all well.
In the beginning, one may have the urge to delve straight into specific strategies, such as evaluating production methods, studying market segments, and evaluating the competition—but do not do that, at least not yet.
Later, as the investment process proceeds (if it does), the latest regularly-revised plan will serve as a companion piece to the pitch and a key document for due diligence.