Creating a Winning Business Plan

A business plan is an essential part of developing your company and achieving your goals. If you want your business plan to set the stage for success, here’s what you should include.

Executive Summary

Generally, the executive summary should be written last. This provides an overview of what your business plan contains. Someone who reads the executive summary should have a good idea of what your business plan is without all the detail.

Business Description

The business description tells the reader your industry and what, specifically, you want to do. This should include a look at what you want to do now as well as how the business may grow and change in the future.

Market Strategies

The market strategies should begin with a detailed analysis of the industry and market. The market strategies outline how you will use that information to acquire and maintain customers in the industry.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis looks at what other, established companies are doing in the same market space. The competitive analysis can highlight trends in the industry as well as what is needed for your business to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Development Plan

The development plan tells the reader what products and services will be offered, including detailed descriptions of each. This section should also include a development budget so the reader knows what is needed to produce the goods and services for the business.

Management Plan

The management plan, which is also called the operations plan, explains the functioning of the business. This includes the leadership hierarchy, management roles and responsibilities, and other relevant information. This section tells the reader how the business will run on a day-to-day basis.

Financial Analysis

Finally, the financial analysis examines the current financial status of the business, what is needed to accomplish the goals of the business plan, and the outlook for the business if those goals are met. If your business is a start-up, this section should include an analysis of what is needed to get the business going.

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