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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Pacheco

Writing a Business Plan: How and Why

What a Business Plan is

A business plan is a document that outlines a business's strategies, goals, and plans for some time, usually 3 to 5 years. It is generally used to show investors or lenders the vision and the organization of operations.


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Key Takeaways:


How to Write a Business Plan

When writing a business plan it is generally best to be as specific about your business as possible. Having your business plan reflects your business's unique point of view and highlights your knowledge about the market you are working in.


Common Elements of a Business Plan

These are the most common elements included in a business plan. Depending on who you’re asking for funding from and what their specific requirements are this may change.


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  • Executive Summary: An executive summary organizes and summarizes the main points of your business plan. In this section, you emphasize what you are asking for and reinforce the reason. This will also be where you introduce your company, its mission, vision, relevant leadership information, employees, operations, and location.  

  • Products and Services: In this section you describe the products and services your business offers or plans to introduce. This includes price, product lifespan, and unique benefits for your customers. You can also include information about patents, manufacturing processes, proprietary technology, and any research and development.

  • Market Analysis: This section explains where your business fits into the overall industry it works within, it shows knowledge of its competition, how it plans to gain market share, and what customers it plans to target.

  • Marketing Strategy: A marketing strategy describes how your company is planning on gaining and maintaining customers. This includes current and future marketing campaigns and the distribution channels that will be used to get the product to the customers.

  • Financial Plans and Projections- Businesses include their financial statements, balance sheets, financial targets, and any funding requests your company has made. Including any financial projections made based on data available from previous years.


What a Business Plan Does

Business plans are beneficial for both startups and established businesses. For startups, it helps gain the trust of potential investors or lenders. For established companies, a business plan provides a way to keep track of business milestones and not lose track of their goals.


Business plans are needed when applying for funding in multiple different instances such as when applying for an SBA loan. Writing one no matter if you are an established business or a startup may help to 



A woman presenting a business plan.

Free Business Plan Templates

Here are some free business plan templates to help get your business started:


Conclusion

A business plan is incredibly useful to small businesses in keeping track of goals, keeping the executive team on the same page, and applying for SBA loans. Business plans commonly have an executive summary, products and services, market analysis, marketing strategy, and financial plans and projections. When creating a business plan being as specific as possible is beneficial for your application. Connect with a financial advisor and see what options are available for your business!



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