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What Your Business Plan Should Include

Business Plan Outline

When you’re setting up a new business, it’s one thing to have a good elevator pitch or a convincing story to tell at a “speed-dating for business funders” event. Yet when people want to get serious about investing in your idea, they need something more concrete. Your business plan is what you prepare to explain what your business hopes to achieve and how you plan to accomplish your goals.

Business plans don’t need to be too long; back in the day, it was recommended to have a 20-40 page business plan, with lots of detail, but now, funders look for a more concise business plan – all mean, not fat. Here’s what your business plan should include.

What to Include in Your Business Plan

Executive Summary

Business Plan Executive Summary

You can even use a well-crafted Executive Summary as a stand-in for a full business plan when you meet with potential investors but don’t have time to discuss the full document.

Company Overview

Business Plan Company Overview

corporation, a partnership, or an LLC?), when and where it was formed, and any history the company has already had.

The company overview section explains how you do business – online, brick and mortar, or both – and you can talk about key hires and agreements for supply and distribution that you have already made.

Your Products or Services

Business Plan Products and Services

Your products or services section should answer these questions and help guide your business strategy.

Market Analysis

Business Plan Market Analysis

Within your market analysis, you should also give an overview of who your customer base is, target demographics, and how you plan to reach them.

Competitive Analysis

Business Plan Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should answer these questions, which will help you position your company in the competitive marketplace.

Sales and Marketing Plan

Business Plan Sales and Marketing

Answering these questions will help you identify how your company will communicate with your target audience, and explain the benefits of your product or service.