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Developing a Business Plan

The following outline of a typical business plan can serve as a guide:

Introduction

  • Give a detailed description of your business and its goals.
  • Discuss the ownership of your business and the legal structure.
  • List the skills and experience you bring to the business.
  • Discuss the advantages you and your business have over your competitors.

Marketing

  • Discuss the product(s)/service(s) your business will offer.
  • Identify the customer demand for your product(s)/service(s).
  • Identify your market - its size and locations.
  • Explain how your product(s)/service(s) will be advertised and marketed.
  • Explain your pricing strategy.

Financial Management

  • Explain your source(s) and the amount of initial equity capital.
  • Develop a monthly operating budget for the first year.
  • Develop an expected return on investment and monthly cash flow for the first year.
  • Provide projected income statements and balance sheets for a two-year period.
  • Determine and discuss your break-even point.
  • Explain your personal balance sheet.
  • Explain your personal income needs from your business.
  • Discuss who will maintain your accounting records and how they will be kept.
  • Provide "what if" statements that address alternative approaches to any problem(s) that may develop.

Operations

  • Explain how your business will be managed on a day-to-day basis.
  • Discuss hiring and personnel needs and procedures.
  • Discuss insurance, lease or rent agreements, and other such issues pertinent to your business.
  • Account for the equipment necessary to produce your product(s) or service(s).
  • Account for production and delivery of the product(s) or service(s)