Small Business Startup Tips - Business Plan

Once you have decided to start your own business, writing a business plan is a must.  Not only will it serve as your business’ compass, it is often necessary to secure financing from banks or investors. A business plan contains several elements:

  1. An introduction that describes your business and its goals, its ownership and legal structure, and the advantages your business has over any competitors.

  2. Marketing, which shows the products and services you will offer, identifies customer demand and the size and location of your market, and explains your advertising and pricing strategy.

  3. Financial management, which shows the expected return on investment, projected income statements and balance sheets for two years, your break-even point, your personal balance sheet, who will take care of the books, and provide alternative solutions to potential problems.

  4. Operations, which should explain how the business will operate day-to-day, your hiring plans and procedures, discuss insurance, lease agreements, any necessary equipment, and account for production and delivery.

  5. A conclusion summarizing your business goals.

The business plan should be continuously updated as your business grows and evolves, but when drafted at the entity formation stage, it lays the groundwork for your plans, and provides markers of success for you to follow.

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