Essential Elements of a Business Plan

Creating a business plan may seem a hard thing to do, but if you establish what the most important elements and start building your strategy the job is half done. The use of a business plan is to attract potential investors or employees, get a new deal or help the owners have a better understanding of appropriate managing strategies. Each business is different, so before you start your first draft make sure you are aware of the products and services that you want to offer to clients.

  • The Length of a complete business plan can vary from about 15-20 pages to more that 100 in a complex organization. If you are using the plan only for internal purposes it doesn’t need to be very detailed but if you are seeking a substantial investment you need specific information.
  • The Executive Summary section is a short description of where your company is now, what are future plans and how you will reach your goals. The summary has to be presented in an attractive manner, especially if you are seeking new investment opportunities.
  • Description of your company. This should be a more ample description of your company, the market that your product serves, business competitors and the advantages you have, such as a better location, key employees and a hardcore strategy. The investors must acknowledge the unique opportunity that you presented them with.
  • Market analysis and research are one of the most important elements of a business plan. This section should provide information about previous research you have done, the annual numbers for the purchases in your specific industry and the forecast for future market share. Explain everything in percentage and double check the math behind it.
  • Structure and management can be easily covered by an organizational chart that contains the hierarchic representation of each position in your company, accompanied by a brief description.
  • Product information. Describe your product from the customer’s point of view, emphasizing its qualities and efficiency. Mention the developing state of your product, the copyright patent and nondisclosure agreement about any information you wish to remain a secret.
  • Marketing planning contains your strategies for expansion and growth as well as a market release strategy. How are you going to reach your desired target group? You can talk about advertising, PR, events and bring samples of flyers and brochures. Marketing planning is followed by a presentation of sales strategies and activities.
  • Financial aspects. Present evidence of your current financial aspect from the last 3 to 5 years. The request for funding and planning of future investments should be accompanied by numbers about the desired outcomes. Make sure your future projection are suitable to the funding request.

While writing your business plan try to put yourself in the readers shoes: what do they want to hear? Take your time to do more drafts, remember all the elements of a business plan and come up with a winning strategy.