How to Write a Business Plan for a Small Business: 14 Steps


writing a small business plan

A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope. How To Create An Effective Business Plan? BizCentral USA is a Business Plan Service Services: Business Plan, Business Certifications, Business Development and more. Get Instant Access to All Templates You Need to Start, Run & Grow Your Business! has been visited by 10K+ users in the past monthBusiness Center · Most Trusted · Convenience Store · Human Resources.

Create a Business Plan | The U.S. Small Business Administration |

This article is part of both our Business Startup Guide and our Business Planning Guide —curated lists of our articles that will get you up and running in no time! Writing a small business plan, if you just want to see what a completed business plan looks like, check out our library of over free sample business plans. Write your plan using language that your audience will understand. When attached to a bCPAP setup, our product provides non-invasive dual pressure ventilation.

Accommodate your investors, and keep explanations of your product simple and direct, using terms that everyone can understand. You can always use the appendix of your plan to provide the full specs if needed.

In fact, it can be much easier to start with a simple, one-page business plan —what we call a Lean Plan—and then come back and build a slightly longer, more detailed business plan later. The rest of this article will delve into the specifics of what you writing a small business plan include in your business plan, what you should skip, writing a small business plan, the critical financial projections, and links to additional resources that can help jump-start your plan.

Remember, your business plan is a tool to help you build a better business, not just a homework assignment. This is an overview of your business and your plans.

It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. Most people write it last, though. Who is your target market and competition? How are you going to take your opportunity and turn it into a business? This section will cover writing a small business plan marketing and sales plan, operations, and your milestones and metrics for success, writing a small business plan.

Investors look for great teams in addition to great ideas. Use this chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire. Writing a small business plan you writing a small business plan more space for product images or additional information, use the appendix for those details. Structurally, it is the first chapter of your business plan. Because once you know the details of your business inside and out, you will be better prepared to write your executive summary.

Ideally, the executive summary can act as a stand-alone document that covers the highlights of your detailed plan. Ideally, your executive summary will be one to two pages at most, designed to be a quick read that sparks interest and makes your investors feel eager to hear more.

At the top of the page, right under your business name, include a one-sentence overview of your business that sums up the essence of what you are doing. This can be a tagline, but is often more effective if the sentence describes what your company actually does. This is also known as your value proposition. In one or two sentences, summarize the problem you are solving in the market. Every business is solving a problem for its customers and filling a need in the market.

This is your product or service. How are you addressing the problem you have identified in the market? Who is your target marketor your ideal customer? How many of them are there? How is your target market solving their problem today? Are there alternatives or writing a small business plan in the market?

Provide a brief overview of your team and a short explanation of why you and your team are the right people to take your idea to market. Investors put an enormous amount of weight on the team—even more than on the idea—because even a great idea needs great execution in order to become a reality. Highlight the key aspects of your financial plan, ideally with a chart that shows your planned sales, expenses, writing a small business plan, and profitability. If your business model i.

Instead, just include a short statement indicating how much money you need to raise. If you can show that your potential customers are already interested in—or perhaps already buying—your product or service, this is great to highlight. In that case, you can dispense with writing a small business plan about the management team, funding requirements, and traction, and instead treat the executive summary as an overview of the strategic direction of the company, to ensure that all team members are on the same page.

There are four main chapters in a business plan—opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan, writing a small business plan. People who read your business plan will already know a little bit about your business because they read your executive summary. Start the opportunity chapter by describing the problem that you are solving for your customers. What is the primary pain point for them?

How are they solving their problems today? Defining the problem you are solving for your customers is far and away the most critical element of your business plan and crucial for your business success. To ensure that you are solving a real problem for your potential customers, a great step in the business planning process is to get away from your computer and actually go out and talk to potential customers. Validate that they have the problem you assume they have, writing a small business plan, and then take the next step and pitch your potential solution to their problem.

Is it a good fit for them? Your solution is the product or service that you plan on offering to your customers. What is it and how is it offered? How exactly does it solve the problem that your customers have?

For some products and services, you might want to describe use cases or tell a story about a real user who will benefit from and be willing to pay for your solution. Depending on the type of business you are starting and the type of plan you are writing, you may not need to go into too much detail here.

No matter what, you need to know who your customer is and have a rough estimate of how many of them there are. If you are going to do a market analysisstart writing a small business plan some research. First, identify your market segments and determine how big each segment is. A market segment is a group of people or other businesses that you could potentially sell to, writing a small business plan.

While it would be tempting for a shoe company to say that their target market is everyone who has feet, realistically they need to target a specific segment of the market in order to be successful. Perhaps they need to target athletes or business people who need formal shoes for work, or perhaps they are targeting children and their families.

Learn more about target marketing in this article. A good business plan will identify the target market segments and then provide some data to indicate how fast each segment is growing. When identifying target markets, a classic method is to use the TAM, SAM, and SOM breakdown to look at market sizes from a top-down approach as well as a bottom-up approach.

Once you have identified your key market segments, you should discuss the trends for these markets. Are they growing or shrinking? The final section of your target market chapter should discuss key customers. This section is really only required for enterprise large companies that have very few customers. Most small writing a small business plan and typical startups can skip this and move on. But if you selling to other businesses B2Byou may have a few key customers that are critical to the success of your business, or a handful of important customers that are trend leaders in your space.

Immediately following your target market section, you should describe your competition. What are your competitive advantages over the competition? The most important thing to illustrate in this section of your business plan is how your solution is different or better than other offerings that a potential customer might consider. Investors will want to know what advantages you have over the competition and how you plan on differentiating yourself. The simple fact is that all businesses have competition.

Instead, Ford was competing against other modes of transportation—horses, bikes, trains, and walking. On the surface, none of these things look like real direct competition, but they were how people were to solving their transportation problems at that time. All entrepreneurs have a vision of where they want to take the business in the future if they are successful. The focus should be on bringing your first products and services to market. The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments also called target marketinghow you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, writing a small business plan, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success.

Before you even think about writing your marketing plan, you must have your target market well-defined and have your buyer persona s fleshed out. Without truly understanding who you are marketing to, a marketing plan will have little value. The first part of your marketing and sales plan is your positioning statement. Positioning is how you will try and present your company to your customers.

Are you the low-price solution, or are you the premium, luxury brand in your market? Before you start working on your positioning statement, you should take a little time to evaluate the current market and answer the following questions:.

You just need to explain where your company sits within the competitive landscape and what your core value proposition is that differentiates your company from the alternatives that a customer might consider. For [target market description] who [target market need], [this product] [how it meets the need]. Unlike [key competition], it [most important distinguishing feature].

Unlike [name omitted], LivePlan creates a real business plan, writing a small business plan, with real insights—not just cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank templates, writing a small business plan. Once you know what your overall positioning strategy writing a small business plan, you can move on to pricing. Your positioning strategy will often be a major driver of how you price your offerings. Price sends a very strong message to consumers and can be an important tool to communicate your positioning to consumers, writing a small business plan.

If you are offering a premium product, a premium price will quickly communicate that message to consumers. Deciding on your price can feel more like an art than a science, but there are some basic rules that you should follow:. A promotion plan details how you plan on communicating with your prospects and customers, writing a small business plan.

Here are a few areas that you might consider as part of your promotional plan:. If you are selling a product, the packaging of that product is critical. If you have images of your packaging, writing a small business plan, including those in your business plan is always a good idea. Your business plan should include an overview of the kinds of advertising you plan to spend money on.



writing a small business plan


Professionally Made Business Plan Templates. Easily Download, Customize/ Edit in Royalty Free Images · Promise % Satisfaction · Easily Editable Templates · Value for Money. How To Create An Effective Business Plan? BizCentral USA is a Business Plan Service Services: Business Plan, Business Certifications, Business Development and more. Get Instant Access to All Templates You Need to Start, Run & Grow Your Business! has been visited by 10K+ users in the past monthBusiness Center · Most Trusted · Convenience Store · Human Resources.