Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t just need a business plan if you’re looking for funding. Your business plan is just as much for YOU – and every business needs one. This document will keep you on track when you aren’t sure what step to take next.
Creating a business plan is incredibly important, but it can be intimidating too. So let’s talk about the 7 sections every business plan has to have.
The executive summary is a brief overview of your business and includes your brand’s mission, vision, and values.
The ideal use for a business plan is as a regular metric to check back in regularly. It’s critical to the health and growth of your business that your goals, products, services, and clients align with your mission and values. Otherwise, things start to fall apart!
Creating a values-driven business is not only the best way to share your values with the world but the best way to connect with your ideal clients and customers as well.
The company description is a high-level overview of the business.
This section includes where you’re coming from (or your history), who you are (biography), and where you’re going (goals). Make sure to include short-term and long-term goals, as well as highlights, success stories, and achievements.
Market Analysis is another excellent tool for gauging growth over time; this is another section you’ll revisit over and over.
This section describes every product, service, and offer in your suite. You’ll include everything a consumer or investor would need to know about your offerings – so be thorough!
Now is an excellent time to emphasize customer behaviors and needs as well. Share the features of your offers that answer these needs and the anticipated life cycle of customers/ clients.
Don’t forget to include copyrights and trademarks in the products and services section.
You’ll start by looking at historical financial data and use those numbers to make realistic projections for the future of the business. This is also where you will create budgets and financial goals.
You will include your organization’s branding and marketing plans – including the cost and ROI of intended marketing strategies. Details about sales goals and how to achieve them will also be included here.
A business plan is like the map for your business. Yes, it’s necessary when seeking out lenders or investors, but it’s also precious for your knowledge. It’s something to look back at every time you have questions about your business or need a reminder of what your business stands for and where it’s headed!
If you need a business plan (or your business plan needs an update) check out our Business Plan Template to help, you get started.
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