How to Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is like creating a blueprint for your business. It helps you figure out how things will work, where your thinking is solid, and where trouble spots might be. To do that, 7 things should be considered when writing a business plan.
1. Business Name and Type of Business
The first part of your business plan describes the business you’re running. Don’t be tentative or generic. Instead, fully determine what you’re starting. Include the products and/or services you plan to offer along with their pricing.
Next, write a mission statement for your company that reduces all of the details into a simple statement of what the business is and what it offers.
If you haven’t done this already, choose a good name that customers can remember. If you have industry recognition, you may want to use your personal name. Otherwise create a name specifically for the business.
2. Clientele Served
Describe your target market(s). Where are potential customers located? What are their characteristics, behaviors, or activities that may present marketing opportunities for you?
3. Location of Principal Place of Business
Describe your location. Will it be home-based or a more traditional place of business? Consider things like auto and foot traffic. Are there neighborhoods or businesses nearby that can provide a source of customers? Is there competition nearby that may be an issue?
4. Legal Construction
When writing a business plan, consider your businesses legal structure. Will it be a sole proprietorship? LLC? Partnership? Corporation? Describe why that legal structure is important.
In this section, also discuss the principal officers and professional team members. At a minimum, you should identify your potential attorney, accountant, and insurer.
5. Analysis of Competition
When you write your business plan, consider the competition – who they are, what they offer, what they do well, and what they do poorly. That will help you determine how you will compete.
6. Marketing Strategies
This is a vital section when writing a business plan. Consider how to best reach your target market(s). Consider online and more traditional advertising options. Always gauge how each advertising choice will reach your potential customers. Finally, address the costs of each method you’ll use.
7. Financial Analysis
The financial portion of your plan needn’t intimidate you. Start with the following:
- Startup budget – add up the costs to get to opening day.
- Sales projection – project monthly sales for the first year
- A “profit or loss” statement that takes the income, subtracts the various expenses and projects what the profit or loss might be. Ideally, this should also be done monthly for the first year.
While this was a quick walk through how to write a business plan, following it will allow you to effectively blueprint the details for your business. For additional help with business planning, please contact us at Artemis Commercial Capital.