Business Plans

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Business Plans FAQs

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a written document defining how a start-up or another business will be created or how it will operate. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners usually develop a business plan to create a roadmap pertaining to the financial, operational, and marketing elements of their operations. These components are important to business owners themselves as well as to investors and lending institutions.

While the operational and marketing components of a business plan can be completed by the owners of a business, the financial component often requires sign-off from a CPA to confirm the financial aspects of running the business are sound.

Why is a business plan important?

A business plan is important because it can act as the primary roadmap for the business owner in terms of how the operation will be launched and how it will operate. In addition, a business plan should include key objectives and goals as well as realistic timetables for reaching certain milestones.

With these components completed, a business plan can act as the primary tool to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners secure investors and business loans. Investors and lending institutions require specific plans regarding the financial and operational aspects of a start-up or small business in order to determine the validity of the proposal. With a sound and realistic business plan, investors and lenders are more likely to provide needed funding to entrepreneurs and small- business owners.

What are the key elements needed in a business plan?

The key elements required in business planning include the following:
  • Executive summary. The executive summary provides a comprehensive description of the business, why it’s being created, the market need for its products or services, and how management will deliver success.
  • Business description. The business description is an overview, in some detail, explaining how the business will operate and the key elements that set it apart from competitors or alternatives.
  • Market analysis. The market analysis component of the business plan includes market research and analysis of the existing market opportunity. Often this phase of the business plan explains the underserved area of the market and how the company will go about successfully addressing it.
  • Management overview. Information regarding who will run the company is included in the management overview section. This usually includes the CEO and/or president, key executives and at times, an advisory board.
  • Financial plan. The financial plan is perhaps the most important component of a business plan, as it details financial projections and how the company intends to generate revenue and cover expenses in order to generate a profit. A CPA or a financial advisor is often called upon to review and sign this section of the business plan, as it conveys to investors and lending institutions how management will generate enough revenue to provide an ROI for investors or to pay back the loan.
  • Marketing plan. The marketing plan component of a business plan highlights the strategies the company will use to promote and grow the business.

How do I write a business plan?

There are several ways to write a business plan. Using the services of a professional business plan writer can provide needed expertise in developing a business plan that meets financial lending and investor requirements. Finding a professional business plan writer for your start-up via Upwork and other platforms can be a good start to developing and launching your company.

Another excellent way to write a business plan includes leveraging templates that can be found online. A host of business plan templates exist online, enabling entrepreneurs and small-business owners to find industry-specific templates, complete with guides and examples, designed to make business plan writing easier.