Business Plan Outline - 23 Point Checklist For Success

 

business plan outline format

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a business plan template. Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a business plan template. Dec 03,  · Your business plan outline is the first step in organizing your thoughts. And, when you follow the outline below, you ensure your business plan is in the format Author: Dave Lavinsky. BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE Use the following outline to summarize your business planning decisions. Title each section of your written plan as indicated in the outline. Write, in your own words. Answers to the questions listed. Each question can be the start of a new paragraph. If a question does not apply, explain why it does not apply.


How to Write a Business Plan


Your business plan gives lenders and investors the information they need to determine whether or not they should consider your company. Your business plan outline is the first step in organizing your thoughts. And, when you follow the outline below, you ensure your business plan outline format plan is in the format that prompts investors and lenders to take action.

In the business plan outline below, you will see the ten 10 sections common to business plans, and the twenty-three 23 sub-sections you must complete. Also, to help you out, here is my proven business plan templatethat allows you to quickly and easily complete all the sections of business plan outline format business plan. The Executive Summary is the most important part of your business plan.

Start your Executive Summary with a brief and concise explanation of what your company does. Next, explain why your company is uniquely qualified to succeed. For example, does your management team have unique competencies? Do you have any patents? Are you the first mover in your market? Does a huge, unmet market opportunity exist? Finally, business plan outline format, include a synopsis of your financial projections in your Executive Summary. Specifically, include your expected revenues, expenses and profits for each of the next five years, how much funding you are seeking, and the key uses of these funds.

Here you will answer questions such as when and how your organization was formed, what type of legal entity you are, and accomplishments to date. Importantly, your past accomplishments are perhaps the best indicator of potential future success, so be sure to identify and include all key milestones your company has achieved to date. The Market Overview section discusses the size and characteristics of your market. For example, if you are a restaurant, you would include the size of the restaurant market, a brief discussion of sectors e.

The relevant market size is a much more specific calculation of your market size. Include as much demographic data on your target customers as possible, such as their gender, age, salary, geography, marital status and education, business plan outline format. For example, do customers care most about speed, business plan outline format, quality, location, reliability, comfort, price, value, etc.?

Direct competitors are companies that fill the same customer need you fill with the same solution, business plan outline format. For example, if you operate an Italian restaurant, other Italian restaurants would be direct competitors.

In this section of your business plan, outline who your direct competitors are, and their strengths and weaknesses. Indirect competitors are companies that fill the same customer need you fill with a different business plan outline format. For example, if you operate an Italian restaurant, a French restaurant would be an indirect competitor.

In this section of your business plan, outline who your indirect competitors are, and business plan outline format strengths and weaknesses. Importantly, identify your Competitive Advantages in this section. Specifically, state what is it about your company that will allow you to effectively compete and win against both direct and indirect competitors.

Detail your pricing here, business plan outline format. In particular, discuss how your pricing relates to competition. For example, are you the premium brand? The low cost brand? Your promotions plan details the tactics you will use to attract new customers.

For example, you might choose radio advertising, or online pay-per-click ads, or press releases, and so on. In this section, detail each form of promotions you will use. Your Distribution Plan outlines the ways in which customers can buy from you, business plan outline format. In many cases, they can only buy directly from you, perhaps at your physical location or web address. In other cases, you might have distributors or partners who sell business plan outline format products or services.

In such a case, detail this structure. Your Key Operational Processes are the daily functions your business must conduct. In this section, you will detail these functions. For example, will you maintain a Customer Service department? If so, what specific role will it fill? In this section of your business plan, list the key milestones you hope to achieve in the future and business plan outline format target dates for achieving them.

Here is where you set goals for specific and critical undertakings, such as when a new product will be created and launched, by when you plan to execute new partnerships, etc. Identify such roles here, and the qualifications of the people you will seek later to fill them. If you maintain a Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, detail your Board members and their bios in this section. As simple as it seems, this section of your business plan gives clarity on how you generate revenues.

Do you sell products? Do you sell advertising space? Do you sell by-products, like data? Do you sell all of the above? For instance, include your revenues, key expenses, and projected net income for the next five years. If you are seeking funding for your company, detail the amount here, and importantly for what you will use the funds. Particularly if you are seeking equity funding, detail your expected exit strategy. The most likely exit strategy is to sell your company to a larger firm.

If so, detail the types of firms that might be interested in purchasing you and why. List the specific names of potential acquirers if applicable. As mentioned above, your full financial model income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement belong in your appendix.

Likewise, include any supporting documentation that will help convince readers your company will succeed. For example, include customer lists, awards, and patents received among others. I hope this business plan outline has helped you organize your thoughts and answer the key questions needed to start and grow a successful business.

While twenty-three sections seems like a lot, if you complete them one at a time, you can make progress and finish your entire plan quickly and effectively. Likewise, feel free to use my proven business plan template to complete your business plan. I am a serial entrepreneur having founded companies in multiple areas -- from consumer products, to services, to internet websites and technologies. SinceI have r Dave Lavinsky.

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business plan outline format

 

Dec 03,  · Your business plan outline is the first step in organizing your thoughts. And, when you follow the outline below, you ensure your business plan is in the format Author: Dave Lavinsky. Bplans offers more than free sample business plans in a wide variety of industries. If you're looking for a tool to walk you through writing your own business plan step by step, we recommend LivePlan, especially if you're seeking a bank loan or outside investment and need to use an SBA-approved. Jumpstart your business plan by downloading our free business plan template in Word format. Used by over , entrepreneurs, our investor-approved template will save you time and make the business planning process much easier.