Business plan resources for the entrepreneur
If you're seeking partnerships or financing for an entrepreneurial venture, the importance of a well-written, concise and sensible business plan cannot be overstated. A good small business plan can open a lot of doors for you as you're trying to get your new company off the ground; a sloppy business plan will inhibit you from being taken seriously.
While it's recommended that you look at some sample business plans before writing your own to familiarize yourself with the format, there are some elements common to all good business plans. Having strong, thoroughly considered ideas will make the process of creating a business plan of your own much easier.
Elements of Good Business Plans
Experts agree that every complete business plan should include, at minimum, the following five sections:
- Executive Summary. In this section, you will provide an overview of the main points contained in the business plan as a whole. You will also introduce key personnel, highlight their achievements, and discuss the scope and potential of the proposed project.
- Company Analysis. Here, you will discuss the organization of your enterprise, highlight your strengths and qualifications for running it, and describe in detail the products or services you will offer.
- Industry Analysis. In the industry analysis section, you will provide an overview of the current state of the industry to which your company belongs and the projected position you will occupy within it.
- Customer Analysis. This information will discuss the profile of the average customer you plan to attract, how you plan to attract them and what it is about your business that will appeal to them, both now and in the future.
- Competitive Analysis. Your competitive analysis section will compare your proposed business to established competitors. In this section, you will discuss your strategy for overcoming the competition provided by similar businesses.
If you like, you can also give some indication of the projected return on the proposed business opportunity for investors.
Business Plan Resources for Self-Starters
To make the process of creating a business plan of your own easier, you can take advantage of specialized software products designed to help you. Business plan software not only helps you format your plan and prepare a professional presentation, it also offers suggestions, tips and tricks to improve your content. If you've never written a business plan before, professional software is highly recommended as it will ensure your final document is up to expected standards.