Business Plan

A business plan is the base of your business.  Let us help you write a business plan.  It doesn’t take that long, let’s get started.

A business plan lays out a path for your business from the start of the business to managing your business.  It’s a road map of your business structure, how you’ll run, and your futures plans to grow your business.

A business plans can assist when getting funds or when you want to work with new business partners. Bankers and investors want to know they will see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the instrument to convince people working with you or investing in your company is a good choice.

How should you write your business plan?

Types of business plans:  traditional or lean startup.

Traditional startup business plans are the most common, use a standard structure, and detail each section. This will be some work upfront and may be dozens of pages long.

Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. It summarizes only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. It takes about an hour to write and is usually one page.

There is no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What is important is does this business plan meet your needs.

Traditional business plan

  1. Detailed
  2. Takes time to write
  3. Comprehensive

If you need to go to a bank or need inventors a traditional plan is required.

Lean startup plan

  1. High level focus
  2. Easy to write
  3. Key elements only

A lean startup plan can not be used if you need to go to a bank or investors to start your business.

 

Traditional business plan format

  1. Executive summary
  1. What is your company
  2. Why would it be successful
  3. Mission statement
  4. Describe product or service
  5. Basic information about your company’s leadership, employees, and location. 
  6. Financial information 
  7. Growth plans if you need financing.

 

  1. Company description
  1. Company description to provide detailed information about your company. You need to use details on how your business solves problems. You need specifics, consumers, organization, or businesses your company plans to serve.
  2. What are your competitive advantages? 
  3. Do you have experts on your team? 
  4. Location for your business, is it a good location? 
  5. Boast about your strengths.

 

  1. Market analysis (answer the following questions.
  1. Do you under your industry, it is outlook and target market. 
  2. You need to provide competitive research.  How other business are doing and what are your strengths are? Look for trends and themes. 
  3. How are competitors successful? Why does it work? Can you do it better? 

 

  1. Organization and management
  1. Company structure and who will run it.
  2. Legal structure of your business.  Give specifics if you intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you are a sole proprietor or LLC.
  3. Develop an organizational chart to lay out who oversees what in your company. Show how each person’s unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including resumes and CVs of key members of your team.

 

  1. Service or product line
  1. What are you selling or what services do offer? 
  2. What are the benefits to your customers and what the product lifecycle looks like? 
  3. Plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. 
  4. For research and development for your service or product, explain it in detail.

 

  1. Marketing and sales
  1. There is no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique needs.
  2. Lay out how you will attract and retain customers. Y
  3. How a sale will happen? You need for the financial projections, so make sure to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales strategies.

 

  1. Funding request
  1. When asking for funding, this is where you will lay out your funding requirements. 
  2. Explain how much funding you will need over the next five years and what you will use it for.
  3. Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you would like applied, and the length of time your request will cover. 
  4. Give a detailed description of how you will use your funds. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. 
  5. Future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business.

 

  1. Financial projections
  1. Have a funding request with financial projections. 
  2. Convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a financial success.
  3. When your business is already established, include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. 
  4. Collateral should be put against a loan, make sure to list it now.
  5. Provide a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly — or even monthly — projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections and match them to your funding requests.

**If you have any charts and graphs this is the place to put them.  Give a look at the financial story of your business.  

  1. Appendix
    1. Appendixes provide supporting documents or other materials were specially requested. Common items to include are credit histories, resumes, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, or patents, legal documents, permits, and other contracts.

 

Good luck

Bridge to Biz

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