Tips for Writing a Business Plan
Now that you know why you need a business plan, we have summarized 7 key sections of the plan.
- Executive summary: your executive summary should be short, concise and no more than 2 pages. Even though it is the first section of the plan, you should write it last. This section should provide an overview of your business concept, your product or service offering, target market, competitive advantage, legal structure (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation[i]), marketing strategy and a summary of your financial projections.
- Business overview: begin with a short description of the industry, include vision and/or mission, objectives and your ownership structure.
- Products and services: provide brief explanation of your products and services, including features and benefits, as well as competitive advantages.
- Marketing strategy: describe activities you will use to promote and sell your product or service. This section should include your target market segments, your competition and your products’ or services’ unique selling proposition. It should also include information about your budget.
- Competitive analysis: conduct strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (“SWOT”) analysis. Well thought-out SWOT analysis indicate to investors/lenders that you understand the business and are able to deal with challenges if they arise.
- Operational plan: highlight the logistics of the organization such as your management team, your human resources requirements, your business location(s) and facilities, as well as an overview of day-to-day operations.
- Financial forecasts: you will need to provide three years’ worth of projected financial statements. Be sure to document the assumptions you used in forecasting your revenues and expenses. Your forecasts should cover various scenarios and should include the contingency plans.
For any inquiries or questions regarding a business plan, please contact us at 705.722.4272.
RBC – Planning Your Business
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TD – Business Planner