Business Plan Elements
Being an entrepreneur of a small or medium sized business means that you need to have a broad range of skills and the right people on your team to make a successful run at starting your own company. Part of the success in the first few years of any new business can be tied back to the details and pre-planning of the main elements of a business plan. Here are the critical main elements that every business plan should have as well as some tips to get you started on the right foot.
According to Entrepreneur Online, there are seven key parts to any business plan. Each part is fairly complex and needs to be planned and executed carefully.
- Executive Summary – In the words of the entrepreneur, what is this business all about and what is the main product/service that will be offered? Where does this business fit in to the industry? This should be short and to the point in very professional language. Within this summary should be: a description of the business concept and an overview of the financials that relate to the company. Include an outlook of major achievements and goals for the first year(s).
- Company Description – Start by describing the industry that you are joining and how your company will fit into or make its mark on that industry. Be sure to include in the description the structure of the company as well as the legal form that it will take. Give specifics of how your company will have the edge over its competitors.
- Products/Services– In this section, describe in detail your service or product. Emphasize how your product or service is unique. Show how your company will do or sell things in its own way and differentiate from competitors.
- Market Analysis-This section should illustrate your knowledge about the particular industry your business is in. Explain your target audience and how pricing, distribution and marketing strategies will make your company profitable within a competitive environment.
- Strategy and Implementation – Explain your marketing strategy from traditional print and store front strategies to the complex strategies that come with your website, social media and paid advertising.
- Organization and Management Team – Describe in detail how your company will be structured. Who are the key members of the team and who will be responsible for what? Allow for evolution of this section as things may change throughout the growth and success of the company.
- Financial Plan and Projections – Develop financial projections that look one year, three years and five years into the future. This section will probably need the most revision as the industry and market fluctuates.