How to Create a Business Plan
- August 28th, 2014
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The first step to starting a business is when you create a business plan. What is a business plan? It’s a living document that details your plans for the next 3-5 years—where your company plans to go, how they plan on getting there, and the revenue growth that you anticipate seeing. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of the 9 steps you’ll need to follow in creating your business plan. Good luck!
How to Create a Business Plan
Step 1: Executive Summary
This is the section that will be presented first in your business plan. However, despite the fact that it appears first, it should be written last because it’s the most important part. The reason for this is that in order for it to be an accurate “snapshot” of your business plan, it’s best for you to hash out all of the other elements of your plan first. Once you’ve laid it all out, then you can write your summary to concisely highlight the strengths of your plan that are most likely to grab a potential investor’s interest if you’re looking to get financing.
Your executive summary should tell your reader where your company is now, where you plan on taking it, and why your idea will be successful. If your business is already established, it should include the following sections:
- Mission Statement – A few sentences to a paragraph illustrating the essence of your business.
- Company Information – The specifics of where your company started, its founding members and their roles, how many employees you currently have, and where your business is currently located.
- Growth Highlights – Provide examples of your company’s growth. This can be done with financial or market highlights, using graphs or charts as applicable.
- Products/Services – A brief description of the products and/or services that your company provides.
- Financial Information – If you’re seeking financing, you’ll need to include information about your current investors/bank.
- Future Plans – Where do you plan on taking your business? Explain that here.
Your executive should be direct and to-the-point. Aside from your mission statement, which should be approximately one paragraph, keep all other points as concise as possible. Remember, this is the first page that people will see, so make every word count!
If your business is a startup or otherwise new, you won’t be able to provide the same information as an established business, because you simply don’t have it. Use your executive summary to show your experience and background, and what drove you to starting this new company.
This is your opportunity to show the thorough market analysis that you’ve done, the gap you’ve found in your target market, and your plan to fill that gap. Convince your reader that your plan is the best solution to your target market’s problem and that you’ll succeed in your efforts.
Continue to Steps 2 & 3: Company Description and Market Analysis >
If you’re about to create a business plan and have questions about the process, don’t hesitate to call the tax professionals at JRH & Associates at (516) 794-5752! A solid business plan will set you up for success, and that includes handling your finances and tax obligations! Starting out well-organized makes everything much easier once you get going.