Why You Need a Business Plan + 10 Things to Include
Why You Need a Business Plan
The key to launching a successful business is to start with a business plan. We need to write a business plan that lays out our strategy and provides a roadmap to follow. Here you’ll learn some more reasons why you need a business plan and how to create one for your new or existing business.
1. To flesh out the business opportunity
Writing a business plan forces you to think through all the key aspects of running a business. For example, it makes sure you think about the customers you’re serving, your competitors, who you’ll have to hire, and so forth.
2. To understand the financial implications of your business
Developing your business plan helps you identify the revenue and cost drivers of your business and helps ensure you have a business model that financially supports your long-term success.
3. To attract outside funding
Many businesses never seek outside funding, but many do. And if you’d like outside funding, you absolutely need a business plan. Tell a bank or angel investor that you’re seeking funding, and the first thing they’ll request is to see your business plan.
What to Include in Your Business Plan
1. Executive Summary While listed first, your Executive Summary should be the last section you complete. That’s because this section summarizes each of your other sections. It is the most important part of your plan because it’s the first thing people read, and if they aren’t impressed or interested, they’ll stop reading.
2. Company Overview
Your company overview is not a very strategic section. It simply gives background on the company for readers of your plan. In this section, you’ll discuss the history of your company and the milestones you’ve achieved.
3. Industry Analysis
In your industry analysis section, you will discuss the market in which your company operates. You’ll identify the market size and key trends that are affecting it. Ideally, you can access third-party research on your industry as it will validate your findings.
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