Elements of a Business Plan: What to Include to Turn Heads

June 26, 2019

by Mary Clare Novak

ten elements of business plan

Good things come to those who wait.

No matter the business size , industry, or location, planning is necessary for any company. The standard business plan can seem mundane and unexciting, but those that choose to skip this step when starting a business can count on being disorganized, frazzled, and wishing they had made one in the first place.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that contains the goals of a business and a timeline stating when they need to be achieved. Business plans also include details like the background of the business, financial projections, and strategies that will be used to achieve the goals.

Think of a business plan as a road map. They both show direction and need to include certain things to be considered valid. When laid out properly, a business plan can be used to create relationships with investors, employees, vendors, and interested partners.

While maps must show rivers, cities, and countries, a business plan has other requirements.

Elements of a business plan

  • Executive summary 

Company description

Market analysis, organization and management, product or service description.

  • Sales and marketing strategies

Funding requirements

Financial projections.

The length of your business plan doesn’t matter. As long as it includes those eight items, you should be good to go.

Business plan elements

Let’s take a closer look at what each of these business plan elements mean, and why they are important to the overall plan.

Executive summary

An executive summary is a brief summary of your plan. It gives readers a general idea of the most important parts of the business plan so they know what to expect.

While you want to keep it concise, as most summaries are, there are certain things you will need to include. Provide a brief history of the start of the business, describe the mission you wish to achieve, and briefly state a few goals you need to reach to get there.

It is usually best to write this last so you have time to get to know the business plan, which will help you properly summarize it.

The company description is self-explanatory: you describe your company. It is a good time to ask yourself some who, what, when, where, and why questions.

This background shows readers how you view your business and what you will choose to focus on.

Next, you will prove to your readers that you have properly analyzed your market before starting this business venture.

Conducting market research is a necessary step when starting a new business or restructuring an existing one. It gives you an idea of who your audience and competitors are so you can craft a product or service that is superior to others in the same market.

What is currently being offered? Where do you fit in the market? A good way to do this is with G2 Reports , which can show readers where you stand against your competitors based on un-biased, third party reviews. 

Beat Your Competition with G2 Reports →

This section of the business plan will show readers how you plan to organize business leadership, and who those leaders actually are.

workplace organization

Not only does nobody want to invest in or work for a company that has poor management and organization, but you need it to be successful in the first place. Highlight the qualifications of each team member and mention how they will contribute to the success of a business.

Show them what your team is made of and give them a reason to get involved.

The product or service description is where take a closer look at what it is you are selling. This is your opportunity to get people on board with your business. If they don’t like what is being offered themselves, they won’t have a reason to get involved.

Thoroughly describe what you are offering, the associated benefits, and why your product or service is, for lack of a better word, better than that of your competitors.

While you are probably convinced that your product or service is the best in the market, those reading your business plan will want proof. Data. Numbers. They don’t need to be exact, but providing some estimates will only help you prove your case further.

Marketing and sales strategies

After you give a thorough description of the product or service, which is the heart and soul of the business, it’s time to talk about sales and marketing. Think of sales and marketing as the voice of reason for your business. It explains why people should become involved with your business, in one way or another.

This section includes the nitty-gritty details of your business’ function. And the only way for a business to function is to make money. How do you plan on making a profit? Talk about how much your product or service costs to produce, and then how much you plan on selling it for. This is also known as your gross profit , which proves that your company is capable of making money.

It is also helpful to show readers that your business uses a software management tool, like G2 Track , to stay organized and avoid wasted Saas spending. 

Learn more →

In the competitive world that is the American economy, you not only need a product or service that stands out, but you also need some solid marketing to prove that to your audiences.

Include your marketing plan in this section. Describe your marketing strategies, tactics that will be used to carry them out, and what company goals you will achieve with marketing.

Now that you’ve shown readers the hypothetical money, it is time for you to ask for the real deal: funding .

Outline how much money you need to make your business a reality. Be realistic and honest. Don’t be afraid to throw out a big number if that is what it will take to get your business off the ground. Think of certain situations that will help or hinder your business and create a range of funding requirements based on their aftermaths.

Wrap up your plan with some financial projections. Put simply, financial projections are predictions of revenue and expenses.

You will want to include financial projections for both short, mid, and long term time periods. Break it down by month, quarter, and year.

Here are a couple of basics you should include to make sure your financial projections are thorough enough:

You will also want to include cash flow and a balance sheet .

Keeping your finances organized will help if you are looking to gain investors or receive a loan.

Prioritize planning

Whether you are just starting a small business or reworking your company, any new venture requires a strong business plan. Not only do they help keep you organized as the owner, but they give others a behind-the-scenes look at what the business is and why it matters, opening the doors for growth.

Want to start a business but don’t know where to begin? Check out the most profitable small businesses to get those ideas flowing. 

Mary Clare Novak photo

Mary Clare Novak is a Content Marketing Specialist at G2 based in Burlington, Vermont, where she is currently exploring topics related to sales and customer relationship management. In her free time, you can find her doing a crossword puzzle, listening to cover bands, or eating fish tacos. (she/her/hers)

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What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, business plan: what it is, what's included, and how to write one.

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

ten elements of business plan

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should aim to entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its uniqueness and potential for success.

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

Sections can include: a value proposition ; the company's major activities and advantages; resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital; a list of partnerships; customer segments; and revenue sources.

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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10 Essential Components of a Business Plan and How to Write Them

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Ayush Jalan

  • January 4, 2024

12 Min Read

10 Essential Business plan components and How to Write Them

A business plan is an essential document for any business, whether it’s a startup or an established enterprise. It’s the first thing any interested investor will ask for if they like your business idea and want to partner with you. 

That’s why it’s important to pay attention when writing your business plan and the components inside it. An incomplete business plan can give the impression that you’re unqualified—discouraging investors and lenders. 

A good business plan reduces ambiguity and communicates all essential details such as your financials, market analysis, competitive analysis, and a timeline for implementation of the plan. In this article, we’ll discuss the 10 important business plan components. 

10 Important Business Plan Components

A comprehensive and well-thought-out business plan acts as a roadmap that guides you in making sound decisions and taking the right actions at the right times. Here are its key components and what to include in them.

1. Executive summary

The executive summary is one of the most important parts of a business plan. It’s the first thing potential investors will read and should therefore provide a clear overview of your business and its goals.

In other words, it helps the reader get a better idea of what to expect from your company. So, when writing an executive summary of your business, don’t forget to mention your mission and vision statement.

Mission statement

A mission statement is a brief statement that outlines your objectives and what you want to achieve. It acts as a guiding principle that informs decisions and provides a clear direction for the organization to follow.

For instance, Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It’s short, inspiring, and immediately communicates what the company does.

A mission statement should be realistic, and hint towards a goal that is achievable in a reasonable amount of time with the resources you currently have or are going to acquire in the near future.

Vision statement

While a mission statement is more actionable and has an immediate effect on the daily activities of the company, a vision statement is more aspirational and has a much broader scope.

In other words, it highlights where the company aims to go in the future and the positive change it hopes to make in the world within its lifetime.

2. Company description

Company description Steps: 1) Overview 2) Products & Services 3) Company history

The second component of your business plan is the company description. Here, you provide a brief overview of your company, its products or services, and its history. You can also add any notable achievements if they are significant enough for an investor to know.

A company overview offers a quick bird’s-eye view of things such as your business model, operational capabilities, financials, business philosophy, size of the team, code of conduct, and short-term and long-term objectives.

Products and services

The products and services part of your company description explains what your business offers to its customers, how it’s delivered, and the costs involved in acquiring new customers and executing a sale.

Company History

Company history is the timeline of events that took place in your business from its origin to the present day. It includes a brief profile of the founder(s) and their background, the date the company was founded, any notable achievements and milestones, and other similar facts and details.

If you’re a startup, you’ll probably not have much of a history to write about. In that case, you can share stories of the challenges your startup faced during its inception and how your team overcame them.

3. Market analysis

Market analysis

The market analysis section of your business plan provides an in-depth analysis of the industry, target market, and competition. It should underline the risks and opportunities associated with your industry, and also comment on the attributes of your target customer.

Demographics and segmentation

Understanding the demographics of your customers plays a big role in how well you’re able to identify their traits and serve them.

By dividing your target audience into smaller and more manageable groups, you can tailor your services and products to better meet their needs.

You can use demographics such as age, gender, income, location, ethnicity, and education level to better understand the preferences and behaviors of each segment, and use that data to create more effective marketing strategies.     

Target market and size

Understanding your target market lies at the core of all your marketing endeavors. After all, if you don’t have a clear idea of who you’re serving, you won’t be able to serve well no matter how big your budget is.

For instance, Starbucks’ primary target market includes working professionals and office workers. The company has positioned itself such that many of its customers start their day with its coffee.

Estimating the market size helps you know how much scope there is to scale your business in the future. In other words, you’re trying to determine how much potential revenue exists in this market and if it’s worth the investment.

Market need

The next step is to figure out the market need, i.e., the prevalent pain points that people in that market experience. The easiest way to find these pain points is to read the negative reviews people leave on Amazon for products that are similar to yours.

The better your product solves those pain points, the better your chances of capturing that market. In addition, since your product is solving a problem that your rivals can’t, you can also charge a premium price.

To better identify the needs of your target customers, it helps to take into account things such as local cultural values, industry trends, buying habits, tastes and preferences, price elasticity, and more.

4. Product Summary

The product summary section of your business plan goes into detail about the features and benefits that your products and services offer, and how they differ from your competitors. It also outlines the manufacturing process, pricing, cost of production, inventory, packaging, and capital requirements.

5. Competitive analysis

Unless you’ve discovered an untapped market, you’re probably going to face serious competition and it’s only going to increase as you scale your business later down the line.

This is where the competitive analysis section helps; it gives an overview of the competitive landscape, introduces your immediate rivals, and highlights the current dominant companies and their market share.

In such an environment, it helps to have certain competitive advantages against your rivals so you can stand out in the market. Simply put, a competitive advantage is the additional value you can provide to your customers that your rivals can’t—perhaps via unique product features, excellent customer service, or more.

ten elements of business plan

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6. Marketing and sales plan

ten elements of business plan

The marketing and sales plan is one of the most important business plan components. It explains how you plan to penetrate the market, position your brand in the minds of the buyers, build brand loyalty, increase sales, and remain competitive in an ever-changing business environment.

Unique selling proposition

A unique selling proposition (USP) conveys how your products and services differ from those of your competitors, and the added value those differences provide.

A strong USP will stand out in a competitive market and make potential customers more likely to switch to your brand—essentially capturing the market share of your rivals.

Marketing Plan

Your product might be unique, but if people don’t even know that it exists, it won’t sell. That’s where marketing comes in.

A marketing plan outlines strategies for reaching your target market and achieving sales goals. It also outlines the budget required for advertising and promotion.

You may also include data on the target market, target demographics, objectives, strategies, a timeline, budget, and the metrics considered for evaluating success.

Sales and distribution plan

Once people are made aware of your product, the next step is to ensure it reaches them. This means having a competent sales and distribution plan and a strong supply chain.

Lay out strategies for reaching potential customers, such as online marketing, lead generation, retail distribution channels, or direct sales.

Your goal here is to minimize sales costs and address the risks involved with the distribution of your product. If you’re selling ice cream, for example, you would have to account for the costs of refrigeration and cold storage.

Pricing strategy

Pricing is a very sensitive yet important part of any business. When creating a pricing strategy , you need to consider factors such as market demand, cost of production, competitor prices, disposable income of target customers, and profitability goals.

Some businesses have a small profit margin but sell large volumes of their product, while others sell fewer units but with a massive markup. You will have to decide for yourself which approach you want to follow.

Before setting your marketing plans into action, you need a budget for them. This means writing down how much money you’ll need, how it will be used, and the potential return you are estimating on this investment.

A budget should be flexible, meaning that it should be open to changes as the market shifts and customer behavior evolves. The goal here is to make sure that the company is making the best use of its resources by minimizing the wastage of funds.

7. Operations plan

The operations plan section of your business plan provides an overview of how the business is run and its day-to-day operations. This section is especially important for manufacturing businesses.

It includes a description of your business structure, the roles and responsibilities of each team member, the resources needed, and the procedures you will use to ensure the smooth functioning of your business. The goal here is to maximize output whilst minimizing the wastage of raw material or human labor.

8. Management team

At the core of any successful business lies a dedicated, qualified, and experienced management team overlooking key business activities. 

This section provides an overview of the key members of your management team including their credentials, professional background, role and responsibilities, experience, and qualifications.

A lot of investors give special attention to this section as it helps them ascertain the competence and work ethic of the members involved.

Organizational structure

An organizational structure defines the roles, responsibilities, decision-making processes, and authority of each individual or department in an organization.

Having a clear organizational structure improves communication, increases efficiency, promotes collaboration, and makes it easier to delegate tasks. Startups usually have a flatter organizational hierarchy whereas established businesses have a more traditional structure of power and authority.

9. Financial Plan

Financials are usually the least fun thing to talk about, but they are important nonetheless as they provide an overview of your current financial position, capital requirements, projections, and plans for repayment of any loans. 

Your financial plan should also include an analysis of your startup costs, operating costs, administration costs, and sources of revenue.

Funding requirements

Once an investor has read through your business plan, it’s time to request funding. Investors will want to see an accurate and detailed breakdown of the funds required and an explanation of why the requested funds are necessary for the operation and expansion of your business.

10. Appendix

The appendix is the last section of your business plan and it includes additional supporting documents such as resumes of key team members, market research documents, financial statements, and legal documents. 

In other words, anything important or relevant that couldn’t fit in any of the former sections of your business plan goes in the appendix.

Write a Business Plan Worth Reading

Starting a business is never easy, but it’s a little less overwhelming if you have a well-made business plan. It helps you better navigate the industry, reduce risk, stay competitive, and make the best use of your time and money.

Remember, since every business is unique, every business plan is unique too, and must be regularly updated to keep up with changing industry trends. Also, it’s very likely that interested investors will give you feedback, so make sure to implement their recommendations as well.

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About the Author

ten elements of business plan

Ayush is a writer with an academic background in business and marketing. Being a tech-enthusiast, he likes to keep a sharp eye on the latest tech gadgets and innovations. When he's not working, you can find him writing poetry, gaming, playing the ukulele, catching up with friends, and indulging in creative philosophies.

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Everybody plans before doing something big. don’t you think so?  So, why not consider a business plan ? Just like on a road trip, a map is needed. Likewise, every start-up business or a full fledged running business needs a direction. This way you don’t have to sit back and let the waves rock your boat. We will discuss some key elements to pay attention to that we might miss when we are in planning mode no matter what stage your business is at. Find here the key elements of a business plan to consider when creating a business plan .

Also you can use this business plan and financial plan template to start writing your business plan

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary of your business plan should always be the last topic written in your plan, and it appears at the beginning of the paper. As the word summary implies, it should cover everything important to the one who is reading it; be they a lender, investor or financier. An executive summary is mainly highlighting the points that need to be discussed or known in order to make the favorable decision the reader is being asked to make.

A compellingly good summary is a summary that reveals the mission statement of the company, with a brief discussion of its services and products. The WHY question can be answered in the summary for the start-up business or the relevant experience of the entrepreneur can be added.

2. Company Description

The next thing that interests the reader in the business plan is the introduction of your company. It should have complete information about what the company provides or will be providing, its products and services, its targets or goals and the audience, prospects and customers it serves already or plans to serve. This description will also help the reader to find out why your business is different or differs from the competition that will help you cater the target audience.

3. Market Analysis

Your market analysis should be based on logical research or findings. Ideally, the market analysis shows if you know what are the trending ins and outs in that certain industry and the particular market you intend to enter. In this section when you discuss the data and the statistics, make sure you have coloured graphs, spreadsheets, and histograms to demonstrate your insights and the future goals of where the company will be and where it stands in the market. In addition, the details about the customers you will be marketing to need to also be shown, provided with the details of their income levels.

4. Competitive Analysis

To make your business plan a good one try to add as much clear and honest information you can in comparison with your direct and indirect competitors . Give the reader a clear picture to show how you can stack up against the competition, even when you know the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors. In addition, if at any point you think there could be possibilities, for example, of high outspoken costs that may prevent you from leaping into the market then it is better you say so in your business plan but this information will be revealed when you complete the competitive market analysis .

5. Management Positions and Business Structure

Create a clear outline of factors that influence your corporate culture. Show the management positions, who reports to whom, who holds each position and the job descriptions.  Moreover, do not forget to mention how your business will operate legally. Will it be a partnership, a sole proprietorship or a different ownership business structure?

6. Products and Services Breakdown

Give an overview of what products and services your business provides, incorporate facts and extra information as available.

By this time, the reader should have a pretty decent knowledge of what you are planning to make and sell, the life of your products and their need.

Another good idea is to mention suppliers too. List the cost of production and how much financial backing you hope to secure and a list of related copyrights and patents can come in handy as well.

7. Marketing Plan

What is your main aim for this business plan? Outline your plan for marketing and promotions. You could use this marketing plan template . Describe how your audience will hear about, learn about and decide to take the next step to buy your product or service. Also outline the budget required for these strategies.

8. Sales Strategy

The most important question is to ask yourself: How will I sell my products? This answer is discussed with the sales strategy you plan. Be as precise as possible. Add numbers. How many agents will you hire? How?  Add specific sales targets. Will you sell online, will you use sales reps?

If you are interested in getting funds devote an entire section to explain the amount of money you will need, and how you plan to put to use that capital. Even if there is need of extra money in the future in order to complete a particular project be explicit in explaining that as well. Here you can find a financial business plan .

10. Financial Projections

The last final section, you will reveal your financial goals and potentials based on the market research you completed. This section will have a report of your expected revenue for the coming year, also the annual anticipated earnings for the next five years.

Moreover, if there’s a need to apply for any loan, even a personal loan, you can add an additional section or an appendix that delivers additional fiscal information.

Download a business plan template

Download a financial plan template for your business

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  • 11.4 The Business Plan
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 Entrepreneurship Today
  • 1.2 Entrepreneurial Vision and Goals
  • 1.3 The Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Review Questions
  • Discussion Questions
  • Case Questions
  • Suggested Resources
  • 2.1 Overview of the Entrepreneurial Journey
  • 2.2 The Process of Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • 2.3 Entrepreneurial Pathways
  • 2.4 Frameworks to Inform Your Entrepreneurial Path
  • 3.1 Ethical and Legal Issues in Entrepreneurship
  • 3.2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship
  • 3.3 Developing a Workplace Culture of Ethical Excellence and Accountability
  • 4.1 Tools for Creativity and Innovation
  • 4.2 Creativity, Innovation, and Invention: How They Differ
  • 4.3 Developing Ideas, Innovations, and Inventions
  • 5.1 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
  • 5.2 Researching Potential Business Opportunities
  • 5.3 Competitive Analysis
  • 6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions
  • 6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process
  • 6.3 Design Thinking
  • 6.4 Lean Processes
  • 7.1 Clarifying Your Vision, Mission, and Goals
  • 7.2 Sharing Your Entrepreneurial Story
  • 7.3 Developing Pitches for Various Audiences and Goals
  • 7.4 Protecting Your Idea and Polishing the Pitch through Feedback
  • 7.5 Reality Check: Contests and Competitions
  • 8.1 Entrepreneurial Marketing and the Marketing Mix
  • 8.2 Market Research, Market Opportunity Recognition, and Target Market
  • 8.3 Marketing Techniques and Tools for Entrepreneurs
  • 8.4 Entrepreneurial Branding
  • 8.5 Marketing Strategy and the Marketing Plan
  • 8.6 Sales and Customer Service
  • 9.1 Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting Strategies
  • 9.2 Special Funding Strategies
  • 9.3 Accounting Basics for Entrepreneurs
  • 9.4 Developing Startup Financial Statements and Projections
  • 10.1 Launching the Imperfect Business: Lean Startup
  • 10.2 Why Early Failure Can Lead to Success Later
  • 10.3 The Challenging Truth about Business Ownership
  • 10.4 Managing, Following, and Adjusting the Initial Plan
  • 10.5 Growth: Signs, Pains, and Cautions
  • 11.1 Avoiding the “Field of Dreams” Approach
  • 11.2 Designing the Business Model
  • 11.3 Conducting a Feasibility Analysis
  • 12.1 Building and Connecting to Networks
  • 12.2 Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team
  • 12.3 Designing a Startup Operational Plan
  • 13.1 Business Structures: Overview of Legal and Tax Considerations
  • 13.2 Corporations
  • 13.3 Partnerships and Joint Ventures
  • 13.4 Limited Liability Companies
  • 13.5 Sole Proprietorships
  • 13.6 Additional Considerations: Capital Acquisition, Business Domicile, and Technology
  • 13.7 Mitigating and Managing Risks
  • 14.1 Types of Resources
  • 14.2 Using the PEST Framework to Assess Resource Needs
  • 14.3 Managing Resources over the Venture Life Cycle
  • 15.1 Launching Your Venture
  • 15.2 Making Difficult Business Decisions in Response to Challenges
  • 15.3 Seeking Help or Support
  • 15.4 Now What? Serving as a Mentor, Consultant, or Champion
  • 15.5 Reflections: Documenting the Journey
  • A | Suggested Resources

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different purposes of a business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a full business plan

Unlike the brief or lean formats introduced so far, the business plan is a formal document used for the long-range planning of a company’s operation. It typically includes background information, financial information, and a summary of the business. Investors nearly always request a formal business plan because it is an integral part of their evaluation of whether to invest in a company. Although nothing in business is permanent, a business plan typically has components that are more “set in stone” than a business model canvas , which is more commonly used as a first step in the planning process and throughout the early stages of a nascent business. A business plan is likely to describe the business and industry, market strategies, sales potential, and competitive analysis, as well as the company’s long-term goals and objectives. An in-depth formal business plan would follow at later stages after various iterations to business model canvases. The business plan usually projects financial data over a three-year period and is typically required by banks or other investors to secure funding. The business plan is a roadmap for the company to follow over multiple years.

Some entrepreneurs prefer to use the canvas process instead of the business plan, whereas others use a shorter version of the business plan, submitting it to investors after several iterations. There are also entrepreneurs who use the business plan earlier in the entrepreneurial process, either preceding or concurrently with a canvas. For instance, Chris Guillebeau has a one-page business plan template in his book The $100 Startup . 48 His version is basically an extension of a napkin sketch without the detail of a full business plan. As you progress, you can also consider a brief business plan (about two pages)—if you want to support a rapid business launch—and/or a standard business plan.

As with many aspects of entrepreneurship, there are no clear hard and fast rules to achieving entrepreneurial success. You may encounter different people who want different things (canvas, summary, full business plan), and you also have flexibility in following whatever tool works best for you. Like the canvas, the various versions of the business plan are tools that will aid you in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

Business Plan Overview

Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we’ll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan. If you are able to successfully design a business model canvas, then you will have the structure for developing a clear business plan that you can submit for financial consideration.

Both types of business plans aim at providing a picture and roadmap to follow from conception to creation. If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept.

The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, dealing with the proverbial devil in the details. Developing a full business plan will assist those of you who need a more detailed and structured roadmap, or those of you with little to no background in business. The business planning process includes the business model, a feasibility analysis, and a full business plan, which we will discuss later in this section. Next, we explore how a business plan can meet several different needs.

Purposes of a Business Plan

A business plan can serve many different purposes—some internal, others external. As we discussed previously, you can use a business plan as an internal early planning device, an extension of a napkin sketch, and as a follow-up to one of the canvas tools. A business plan can be an organizational roadmap , that is, an internal planning tool and working plan that you can apply to your business in order to reach your desired goals over the course of several years. The business plan should be written by the owners of the venture, since it forces a firsthand examination of the business operations and allows them to focus on areas that need improvement.

Refer to the business venture throughout the document. Generally speaking, a business plan should not be written in the first person.

A major external purpose for the business plan is as an investment tool that outlines financial projections, becoming a document designed to attract investors. In many instances, a business plan can complement a formal investor’s pitch. In this context, the business plan is a presentation plan, intended for an outside audience that may or may not be familiar with your industry, your business, and your competitors.

You can also use your business plan as a contingency plan by outlining some “what-if” scenarios and exploring how you might respond if these scenarios unfold. Pretty Young Professional launched in November 2010 as an online resource to guide an emerging generation of female leaders. The site focused on recent female college graduates and current students searching for professional roles and those in their first professional roles. It was founded by four friends who were coworkers at the global consultancy firm McKinsey. But after positions and equity were decided among them, fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of the business emerged between two factions, according to the cofounder and former CEO Kathryn Minshew . “I think, naively, we assumed that if we kicked the can down the road on some of those things, we’d be able to sort them out,” Minshew said. Minshew went on to found a different professional site, The Muse , and took much of the editorial team of Pretty Young Professional with her. 49 Whereas greater planning potentially could have prevented the early demise of Pretty Young Professional, a change in planning led to overnight success for Joshua Esnard and The Cut Buddy team. Esnard invented and patented the plastic hair template that he was selling online out of his Fort Lauderdale garage while working a full-time job at Broward College and running a side business. Esnard had hundreds of boxes of Cut Buddies sitting in his home when he changed his marketing plan to enlist companies specializing in making videos go viral. It worked so well that a promotional video for the product garnered 8 million views in hours. The Cut Buddy sold over 4,000 products in a few hours when Esnard only had hundreds remaining. Demand greatly exceeded his supply, so Esnard had to scramble to increase manufacturing and offered customers two-for-one deals to make up for delays. This led to selling 55,000 units, generating $700,000 in sales in 2017. 50 After appearing on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Daymond John that gave the “shark” a 20-percent equity stake in return for $300,000, The Cut Buddy has added new distribution channels to include retail sales along with online commerce. Changing one aspect of a business plan—the marketing plan—yielded success for The Cut Buddy.

Link to Learning

Watch this video of Cut Buddy’s founder, Joshua Esnard, telling his company’s story to learn more.

If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept. This version is used to interest potential investors, employees, and other stakeholders, and will include a financial summary “box,” but it must have a disclaimer, and the founder/entrepreneur may need to have the people who receive it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) . The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, providing supporting details, and would be required by financial institutions and others as they formally become stakeholders in the venture. Both are aimed at providing a picture and roadmap to go from conception to creation.

Types of Business Plans

The brief business plan is similar to an extended executive summary from the full business plan. This concise document provides a broad overview of your entrepreneurial concept, your team members, how and why you will execute on your plans, and why you are the ones to do so. You can think of a brief business plan as a scene setter or—since we began this chapter with a film reference—as a trailer to the full movie. The brief business plan is the commercial equivalent to a trailer for Field of Dreams , whereas the full plan is the full-length movie equivalent.

Brief Business Plan or Executive Summary

As the name implies, the brief business plan or executive summary summarizes key elements of the entire business plan, such as the business concept, financial features, and current business position. The executive summary version of the business plan is your opportunity to broadly articulate the overall concept and vision of the company for yourself, for prospective investors, and for current and future employees.

A typical executive summary is generally no longer than a page, but because the brief business plan is essentially an extended executive summary, the executive summary section is vital. This is the “ask” to an investor. You should begin by clearly stating what you are asking for in the summary.

In the business concept phase, you’ll describe the business, its product, and its markets. Describe the customer segment it serves and why your company will hold a competitive advantage. This section may align roughly with the customer segments and value-proposition segments of a canvas.

Next, highlight the important financial features, including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment. Like the financial portion of a feasibility analysis, the financial analysis component of a business plan may typically include items like a twelve-month profit and loss projection, a three- or four-year profit and loss projection, a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a breakeven calculation. You can explore a feasibility study and financial projections in more depth in the formal business plan. Here, you want to focus on the big picture of your numbers and what they mean.

The current business position section can furnish relevant information about you and your team members and the company at large. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how you formed the company, to describe its legal status (form of operation), and to list the principal players. In one part of the extended executive summary, you can cover your reasons for starting the business: Here is an opportunity to clearly define the needs you think you can meet and perhaps get into the pains and gains of customers. You also can provide a summary of the overall strategic direction in which you intend to take the company. Describe the company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives, overall business model, and value proposition.

Rice University’s Student Business Plan Competition, one of the largest and overall best-regarded graduate school business-plan competitions (see Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea ), requires an executive summary of up to five pages to apply. 51 , 52 Its suggested sections are shown in Table 11.2 .

Are You Ready?

Create a brief business plan.

Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. Then create a brief business plan for that business. See if you can find a version of the company’s actual executive summary, business plan, or canvas. Compare and contrast your vision with what the company has articulated.

  • These companies are well established but is there a component of what you charted that you would advise the company to change to ensure future viability?
  • Map out a contingency plan for a “what-if” scenario if one key aspect of the company or the environment it operates in were drastically is altered?

Full Business Plan

Even full business plans can vary in length, scale, and scope. Rice University sets a ten-page cap on business plans submitted for the full competition. The IndUS Entrepreneurs , one of the largest global networks of entrepreneurs, also holds business plan competitions for students through its Tie Young Entrepreneurs program. In contrast, business plans submitted for that competition can usually be up to twenty-five pages. These are just two examples. Some components may differ slightly; common elements are typically found in a formal business plan outline. The next section will provide sample components of a full business plan for a fictional business.

Executive Summary

The executive summary should provide an overview of your business with key points and issues. Because the summary is intended to summarize the entire document, it is most helpful to write this section last, even though it comes first in sequence. The writing in this section should be especially concise. Readers should be able to understand your needs and capabilities at first glance. The section should tell the reader what you want and your “ask” should be explicitly stated in the summary.

Describe your business, its product or service, and the intended customers. Explain what will be sold, who it will be sold to, and what competitive advantages the business has. Table 11.3 shows a sample executive summary for the fictional company La Vida Lola.

Business Description

This section describes the industry, your product, and the business and success factors. It should provide a current outlook as well as future trends and developments. You also should address your company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Summarize your overall strategic direction, your reasons for starting the business, a description of your products and services, your business model, and your company’s value proposition. Consider including the Standard Industrial Classification/North American Industry Classification System (SIC/NAICS) code to specify the industry and insure correct identification. The industry extends beyond where the business is located and operates, and should include national and global dynamics. Table 11.4 shows a sample business description for La Vida Lola.

Industry Analysis and Market Strategies

Here you should define your market in terms of size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential. You’ll want to include your TAM and forecast the SAM . (Both these terms are discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis .) This is a place to address market segmentation strategies by geography, customer attributes, or product orientation. Describe your positioning relative to your competitors’ in terms of pricing, distribution, promotion plan, and sales potential. Table 11.5 shows an example industry analysis and market strategy for La Vida Lola.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy as it relates to the competition. You want to be able to identify who are your major competitors and assess what are their market shares, markets served, strategies employed, and expected response to entry? You likely want to conduct a classic SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) and complete a competitive-strength grid or competitive matrix. Outline your company’s competitive strengths relative to those of the competition in regard to product, distribution, pricing, promotion, and advertising. What are your company’s competitive advantages and their likely impacts on its success? The key is to construct it properly for the relevant features/benefits (by weight, according to customers) and how the startup compares to incumbents. The competitive matrix should show clearly how and why the startup has a clear (if not currently measurable) competitive advantage. Some common features in the example include price, benefits, quality, type of features, locations, and distribution/sales. Sample templates are shown in Figure 11.17 and Figure 11.18 . A competitive analysis helps you create a marketing strategy that will identify assets or skills that your competitors are lacking so you can plan to fill those gaps, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. When creating a competitor analysis, it is important to focus on the key features and elements that matter to customers, rather than focusing too heavily on the entrepreneur’s idea and desires.

Operations and Management Plan

In this section, outline how you will manage your company. Describe its organizational structure. Here you can address the form of ownership and, if warranted, include an organizational chart/structure. Highlight the backgrounds, experiences, qualifications, areas of expertise, and roles of members of the management team. This is also the place to mention any other stakeholders, such as a board of directors or advisory board(s), and their relevant relationship to the founder, experience and value to help make the venture successful, and professional service firms providing management support, such as accounting services and legal counsel.

Table 11.6 shows a sample operations and management plan for La Vida Lola.

Marketing Plan

Here you should outline and describe an effective overall marketing strategy for your venture, providing details regarding pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, media usage, public relations, and a digital presence. Fully describe your sales management plan and the composition of your sales force, along with a comprehensive and detailed budget for the marketing plan. Table 11.7 shows a sample marketing plan for La Vida Lola.

Financial Plan

A financial plan seeks to forecast revenue and expenses; project a financial narrative; and estimate project costs, valuations, and cash flow projections. This section should present an accurate, realistic, and achievable financial plan for your venture (see Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for detailed discussions about conducting these projections). Include sales forecasts and income projections, pro forma financial statements ( Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team , a breakeven analysis, and a capital budget. Identify your possible sources of financing (discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis ). Figure 11.19 shows a template of cash-flow needs for La Vida Lola.

Entrepreneur In Action

Laughing man coffee.

Hugh Jackman ( Figure 11.20 ) may best be known for portraying a comic-book superhero who used his mutant abilities to protect the world from villains. But the Wolverine actor is also working to make the planet a better place for real, not through adamantium claws but through social entrepreneurship.

A love of java jolted Jackman into action in 2009, when he traveled to Ethiopia with a Christian humanitarian group to shoot a documentary about the impact of fair-trade certification on coffee growers there. He decided to launch a business and follow in the footsteps of the late Paul Newman, another famous actor turned philanthropist via food ventures.

Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee two years later; he sold the line to Keurig in 2015. One Laughing Man Coffee café in New York continues to operate independently, investing its proceeds into charitable programs that support better housing, health, and educational initiatives within fair-trade farming communities. 55 Although the New York location is the only café, the coffee brand is still distributed, with Keurig donating an undisclosed portion of Laughing Man proceeds to those causes (whereas Jackman donates all his profits). The company initially donated its profits to World Vision, the Christian humanitarian group Jackman accompanied in 2009. In 2017, it created the Laughing Man Foundation to be more active with its money management and distribution.

  • You be the entrepreneur. If you were Jackman, would you have sold the company to Keurig? Why or why not?
  • Would you have started the Laughing Man Foundation?
  • What else can Jackman do to aid fair-trade practices for coffee growers?

What Can You Do?

Textbooks for change.

Founded in 2014, Textbooks for Change uses a cross-compensation model, in which one customer segment pays for a product or service, and the profit from that revenue is used to provide the same product or service to another, underserved segment. Textbooks for Change partners with student organizations to collect used college textbooks, some of which are re-sold while others are donated to students in need at underserved universities across the globe. The organization has reused or recycled 250,000 textbooks, providing 220,000 students with access through seven campus partners in East Africa. This B-corp social enterprise tackles a problem and offers a solution that is directly relevant to college students like yourself. Have you observed a problem on your college campus or other campuses that is not being served properly? Could it result in a social enterprise?

Work It Out

Franchisee set out.

A franchisee of East Coast Wings, a chain with dozens of restaurants in the United States, has decided to part ways with the chain. The new store will feature the same basic sports-bar-and-restaurant concept and serve the same basic foods: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. The new restaurant can’t rely on the same distributors and suppliers. A new business plan is needed.

  • What steps should the new restaurant take to create a new business plan?
  • Should it attempt to serve the same customers? Why or why not?

This New York Times video, “An Unlikely Business Plan,” describes entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, Michigan.

  • 48 Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future . New York: Crown Business/Random House, 2012.
  • 49 Jonathan Chan. “What These 4 Startup Case Studies Can Teach You about Failure.” Foundr.com . July 12, 2015. https://foundr.com/4-startup-case-studies-failure/
  • 50 Amy Feldman. “Inventor of the Cut Buddy Paid YouTubers to Spark Sales. He Wasn’t Ready for a Video to Go Viral.” Forbes. February 15, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestreptalks/2017/02/15/inventor-of-the-cut-buddy-paid-youtubers-to-spark-sales-he-wasnt-ready-for-a-video-to-go-viral/#3eb540ce798a
  • 51 Jennifer Post. “National Business Plan Competitions for Entrepreneurs.” Business News Daily . August 30, 2018. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6902-business-plan-competitions-entrepreneurs.html
  • 52 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition . March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf
  • 53 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition. March 2020. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2020%20RBPC%20Eligibility%20Criteria%20and%20How%20to%20Apply_23Oct19.pdf; Based on 2019 RBPC Competition Rules and Format April 4–6, 2019. https://rbpc.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs806/f/2019-RBPC-Competition-Rules%20-Format.pdf
  • 54 Foodstart. http://foodstart.com
  • 55 “Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company.” Giving Compass. April 8, 2018. https://givingcompass.org/article/hugh-jackman-journey-to-starting-a-social-enterprise-coffee-company/

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ten elements of business plan


A business plan is essential for the company’s inception, growth, and overall success. The key elements of business plans provide the vision and the strategy for a business. Your business plan will clarify how you want to build your business, set timelines to reach your goals, show the critical members of your team, and explain how you will manage your finances.

An effective business plan has several key components, including a description of your product, leadership, market analysis, marketing plan, SWOT, operations, and financial projections.

Is the Executive Summary a key element of a business plan?

The Executive Summary is a key part of a business plan because it provides a short description of your business and the market it serves. You don’t need to dedicate more than a couple of paragraphs to the Executive Summary. Make sure it includes the name and location of the business, a brief description of your products or services, your mission and vision statements.

Why include your strategy in your business plan?

Strategy is a key element of a business plan. Start by replacing the old textbook business plan with your own success strategy. Place a strong emphasis on your business strategy and you develop a business plan. When you start a business or want to grow your business strategically, you must have a plan. The best business strategy starts with answering a long list of questions.

Use your business plan to describe the ideal business

You have to be very specific here. Nobody else can really answer this question for you. You know who you are. You know your own personality. You know what’s important to you. I have started a business in the past that was successful, yet I hated the business. It took me a year and a half to get out of it. I ended up selling the business not because it fails, but because I hated it.

Describing the business you want to start is a key element of your business plan:

  • What does the perfect day look like to you? Let me give you an example. If you have a hard time showing up on time for meetings and being at a certain place at a certain time, you probably don’t want to build a business that requires a lot of face-to-face interactions. I know that in my business I don’t want to be sitting in meetings with clients. I prefer to take care of business online through email, chat, text, and social media. I understand this about myself, and it helps me build a business that supports that.
  • Will your business enable you to live the life you want to live? If you desire to travel, you should create a location independent business  instead of a brick-and-mortar business. I interviewed several successful location independent entrepreneurs who dread the idea of running a location dependent business.
  • Do you want to build a company with employees or would you rather have a virtual team? There is no generic right or wrong answer here. My wife and I once owned a business where we had ten employees, and we didn’t enjoy it very much. With employees, it is difficult to scale up or scale down. It is tough to lay off people when business slows down, and it is even harder to hire the right employees. For us, a virtual team is a dream come true. We like the flexibility it provides us and the members of our team.
  • How much money do you need? This has to be an exact amount. Be honest with yourself and calculate the exact dollar amount your business has to make to support your lifestyle.

After you honestly answered the above questions, it’s time to move on to developing the strategy that will get you there.

Originality is a key part of a business plan

Your business is unique, and the road to success will be unique too. Each entrepreneur is different, and each business is different too. It is true that there are similarities in business, but you must be able to develop your own unique business strategy. Avoid using business plan templates.

Describing the customer is a key element of business plans

You can’t finalize your product, set your pricing, define your marketing strategy without understanding your customer. One of your first tasks as an entrepreneur is to create an accurate customer profile. Understand who you want your customer to be. It will influence everything about your business from product development to packaging to pricing and sales.

The following will help you understand your customer and create your customer profile:

  • B2C – (demographics and psychographics) age, gender, location, income, education, occupation, buying patterns, values, beliefs, perceptions, lifestyle choices, etc.
  • B2B – vertical, industry, business size, the number of employees, total revenue, location, maturity, the number of years in business, products or services offered, etc.
  • How big is the market? Again, this must be a number.
  • Lifetime Value (LTV) – This is an actual dollar amount or a range. Understanding this number is necessary so you can determine how much money you can afford to spend acquiring a new customer.
  • Understand customer pain points.
  • What is their buying process?
  • What website(s) do they visit most?
  • How does your product would improve their lives or businesses?

Keep in mind that your customer profile will change over time. Your customers’ interests, needs, and pain points will also change. Constantly monitor your industry and its relationship to its customers. It will help your business stay on track.

Describing your product is a key element of a business plan

Successful entrepreneurs build products with the customer. Entrepreneurs who fail to create products without the customer. They have an idea for a product roll up their sleeves. They are doers. They want to take action. Taking action without the appropriate thought process is a waste of time.

To answer the question “ What is your product? “, you need to start with asking some questions:

  • What problems does your product solve?
  • What makes your product unique? Do you have any patents?
  • In what ways is your product superior to your competition?
  • How much does it cost to manufacture your product?

What makes competitor analysis a key element of business plans?

Entrepreneurs can learn more from the competition than any consultant, book, or advisor. Your competition has already figured out many of the questions the keep you up at night. Understanding your competition is one of the most important parts of building a successful business.

Describe how and what you will be offering:

  • Cheaper or more expensively
  • Faster or slower
  • Larger or smaller

List your competitive advantages.

How to create a comprehensive competitor analysis:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • How many of them are there?
  • What do they do well?
  • What do they do poorly?
  • What do their customers think about them?
  • What can you do better than your competition?
  • What is the likelihood of getting customers to switch from a competitor to your business? What are the costs involved? How long would it take to get customers to switch?

Sales and marketing are key elements of business plans

You can’t build a business without figuring out a way to profitably get more customers.

To build a sales and marketing strategy, you must answer questions like:

  • How will you reach your customers?
  • What marketing/promotional channels will you utilize?
  • How will you determine the price of your product/service?
  • What brand positioning do you desire?
  • Are you going to develop strategic partnerships?

How much money will you need to start a business?

You need money to develop your product, sell it, and support your customers.

The business plan should answer important funding questions like:

  • How much money do you need to build your business?
  • How will you and on what will you spend?
  • What are the projected revenues for the next 6-months, 1-year, and 24-months?
  • What assets must you acquire and how much will they cost?

Financial projections are a key element of a business plan

Complete this essential element of your business plan after conducting a market analysis and setting goals for your company. It’s best to work on this part of your business plan with the help of a business accountant .

If you own an established business, include historical financial data such as cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements for the past three years.

Make sure that realistic prospective financial information is part of your business plan. This part of your business plan should include cash flow statements, capital expenditure budgets, balance sheets, and forecasted income statements for the next three to five years.

Also, provide a brief analysis of your financial data, featuring a ratio and trend analysis for all financial statements in the business plan.

Final thoughts on the key elements of a business plan

You can start a successful business that runs like a smooth money-making machine, dominating the market with a business plan. But, for a business plan to work, it needs to include essential elements.

The critical parts of a business plan will help you set goals around things like strategy, leadership, financial predictions, marketing, sales and beyond. In order to reach these business goals, your business needs an effective business plan.

Starting a business without a business plan can quickly become an unmanageable mess instead of a carefully planned process. It reduces the complexities of the tasks required to make your venture a success. Your business plan maps out all of the details surrounding your concept and strategy.

Ensuring that all of the important elements are included in a business plan can help you avoid crisis situations.

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10 elements of a business plan and how to write the right business plan

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ten elements of business plan

Running a business is not easy. Because if running a business without a clear goal Lack of travel maps It will make the business not meet the target. I don’t know what to do to get to the point called “successful”

So plan your business carefully from the beginning. therefore it is important to both the business and used to persuade investors to see opportunities for success

This article opens up 10 elements of a business plan. with the correct way of writing that help your business have goals There is a path to success.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document specifying various details. about the business what the business will do for what purpose And what must be done in order to achieve the goal? The business plan will be used as a map (Roadmap) in the business, which is a framework for marketing planning. financial planning and management. It can be considered that the business plan is the first step in doing business and success.

The purpose of writing a business plan

We write a business plan to use as a map for business operations. However, another purpose of writing a business plan is to use it to present the possibility of success for investments, fundraising or business loans. If we have a detailed and prudent plan, our sponsors will see the value of the investment.

Benefits and Importance of Writing a Good Business Plan

1. Help to see the business overview

The first factor of any successful business is that we must know ourselves well. whether it is a product/service customer demand Data that indicates factors of past results. Operation method revenue-expense structure, etc., to be used in the next strategy

2. Help in business strategy Through a good business plan we will see all goals and to-dos. Strategy is based on how we prioritize what to do first. see the relationship of goals Understand what to do in order to get something

3. It helps to measure results. Let businesses know where they are on the map. Have the information to understand problems and find new opportunities, as well as to adjust plans to create new strategies to get closer to success.

4. Used for financing sources whether fundraising solicitation from investors or requesting a loan, etc., which is very important For new businesses and startups

from the above purposes and benefits We therefore need to understand how to write the correct business plan. understand the elements in order to create a practical business plan

10 elements of a business plan and how to write an accurate and practical business plan:

Writing an accurate business plan that can be used as an action plan and for funding proposals consists of 10 elements or steps in writing:

  • Write an executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management details (Organization and management)
  • Service and product descriptions (Service or product line)
  • Marketing and sales plans
  • Investment details (Funding request)
  • Financial projections
  • Emergency plan

1. Write an Executive Summary Executive Summary or Executive Summary is a brief overview of the business and business plan. This will give the reader a basic understanding of the business and all plans. They are generally only 1-3 pages long, and should be the most concise. but can visualize

The content in this section will tell you what the company is, what it does, and what it will do to be successful. The main components of the Executive Summary consist of:

  • business introduction section Goals or missions, what to sell, to whom, and general business information.
  • Financial information such as projected revenue, profit, payback period, etc.
  • Basic Funding Information how much capital is required Where does the funding come from?
  • Information about the market and competitors Identify where the business is in the market position and which business it is competing with.
  • Actually, this section can be written later. Because we need information from other parts. to some extent before But this part can be considered as a trigger point for investors. If able to show him a clear picture of how successful the business will be.

2. Company Description

The business description is the part that describes what our business does.

  • Sell ​​or provide any type of service.
  • What problems are you solving or meeting people’s needs?
  • who is the customer
  • Who are the stakeholders? (Stakeholder) that the company will sell / solve problems for
  • In addition, advantages should be specified. Business selling points that will make your business successful Channels and methods for approaching and selling products

3. Market Analysis

Market research is the part that must identify the information that we have studied and analyzed the market.

  • How big is the market size that we will play? (Market Size)
  • Who is the target group? (Target Customer) What does the customer need?
  • currents or trends in that period
  • Forecasting the growth of business products/services in the market (Market Growth)
  • Including Competitive Analysis that competitors are doing well. What customer groups does he capture? How are his sales, etc., in order to analyze how to overcome further.

4. Organization and management details (Organization and Management)

Organization and management details (Organization and management) refers to the details that tell the structure of the company who works what. Both the management and employees Including details of other organizations that the company works with

The content in this section should tell the order of work. or more so called “Organization Chart” that shows each position How does each department work together? And what positions and responsibilities does each person have?

However, if more detailed May specify additional details of the job in each position. and expected indicators from various sectors To visualize the work and the results from different units that combines into the image of the company’s goals

5. Service or Product Line Description

content in this section It describes the products and services our business sells. Describe what the product/service is like. What are the benefits to the buyer/user, including the value and profit that will be generated from the product?

For companies with limited inventory, they can only provide detailed descriptions of each item. but if a large company has a large number of products Details may be specified in categories.

In addition, another thing that should be noted is Forecast or provide information that has been made about which products are selling well. and very profitable What is the market trending? Including the cost and source (Supplier) of the acquisition of the product. to further improve production plans and marketing strategies.

6. Marketing and sales plans

Marketing plans and sales plans are the most difficult and critical areas. because it is considered the front in approaching customers and identifying strategies that must be followed in order for the business to achieve its goals

The goal of marketing and sales planning is Identify how we will approach customers. how to nurture him and maintain it to continue to be a customer of the business

Another thing that should be mentioned in this section is Setting up marketing and sales budgets and forecasting how much sales or ROI (Return of Investment) will be generated from the budget by specifying the budget at intervals, such as per month, per quarter, etc.

The marketing and sales plans of each business are different. and in each situation Businesses also need to change their strategies accordingly. It is recommended to study how to write a marketing plan in detail in this article.

7. Details of investment funds (Funding request)

content in this section If your business already has a reserve fund may provide only rough details Who owns the capital and how much capital is there to operate? But what if you have to write a business plan for funding? for fundraising or apply for a business loan It may be necessary to specify the source of funding and the amount in detail, including:

The amount of funds required

Sources of funds such as capitalists, loans from fundraising. and the amount of funding from each source.

Funding information should be consistent with the business plan and goals. Including the budget will go down with what expenses, such as needing capital of $US 50,000 in the first year to do this. to get this profit And in the following year, how much capital is needed to achieve the target profit? or to expand the business, etc.

8. Financial Projections

A financial plan consists of two parts:

  • Financial situations such as capital, income, profits, revolving funds, expenses, etc. clearly indicate the current or predictable financial situation.
  • Financial analysis means forecasting profit – loss (Income Statement), cash flow statement (Cashflow) and balance sheet (Balance Sheet) to be used to analyze and forecast the direction of the business in the future.

This section is difficult and requires great attention to detail. So it may take several days to do. and requires a large amount of supporting information, including forecasting knowledge. Therefore, should find tools to help calculate This may be Excel / Google Sheet or other specialized programs. That helps to see the company’s finances, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), etc.

However, you should study finance. How to write a budget, balance sheet and various financial documents more too

9. Appendix 

Appendix or Appendix is ​​an extension of the business plan. which collects and references various sources of information We are unable to specify in the sections, but this section is necessary for an in-depth understanding of the origin of the business plan.

For offering grants or loans by the information and conclusions used as reference in the business plan It should be listed in the appendix to build credibility. and show the origin of the business plan to investors or banks

10. Emergency plan

No matter how careful and concise we try to write a business plan, But in business, there are often events that make the plan go smoothly. Especially with external situations that we cannot control, such as the Tom Yum Kung Crisis in 1940 or the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis. severely affecting the business has made us aware of uncertainty

  • We might write down a few worst-case scenarios and outline how to cope with any new marketing strategy. downsizing the business Issuing products to stimulate sales, etc., make a rough plan to deal with. both financial and marketing plans From the information in the 9 business plans mentioned above. This will help us get to know our business better and be able to find the best way to deal with the situation.

Finally, for business planning

A complete business plan probably doesn’t exist in a world where business is highly volatile. Business owners must constantly monitor the situation, measure results, and assess the situation to improve their plans. The business plan may be contemplated to set quarterly or semi-annual goals continuously. changeable But what you should stick to is the ‘goal’ so that the business doesn’t get lost.

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How to Write an HVAC Business Plan + Free Sample Plan PDF

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Elon Glucklich

8 min. read

Updated February 16, 2024

Download: Free one-page HVAC sample business plan

No one wants to spend hours living or working in sweltering heat or bitter cold.

Over 3 million heating and air conditioning systems are replaced in the United States each year. As a result, the HVAC industry employs 1.5 million people and generates over $150 billion in annual revenue.

There are plenty of opportunities for skilled technicians looking to start or grow an HVAC installation and maintenance business. But just because demand is high, it doesn’t mean that anyone who knows how to install equipment can successfully enter the market.

Writing a business plan will help you align your services with the opportunity in your area. It also matches your vision for the business with your financial resources. And you’ll need to write a plan if you’re seeking a bank loan or investment for your business.

This article will help ensure that your plan includes the right information and supporting data to highlight your HVAC business, and convince investors that you’ll run an efficient operation that’s profitable over the long term.

  • What should you include in an HVAC business plan?

Don’t get too hung up on trying to hit a certain number of pages in your business plan. Just focus on the aspects of your plan that are most important based on what you want your plan to accomplish. If you’re looking for in-depth guidance, Bplans can guide you through writing your full business plan in detail .

In this article, we’ll cover a few of the business plan components you’ll likely include in your HVAC business plan:

  • Executive Summary
  • Market Analysis
  • HVAC Services and Pricing
  • Operations Plan
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy
  • Company Summary and Funding Needs
  • Financial Plan and Forecasts

As you write your plan, be sure to consider the full range of services you might be able to offer customers. For instance, you might not only provide installation, maintenance, and repair services but also sell HVAC units, smart thermostats and related products. 

Including all these possibilities in your plan will help you determine the feasibility of adding revenue streams and opportunities to enhance customer value through product sales alongside your services. Just make sure your plan details strategies for providing whichever services you decide to offer.

Here’s an example of an HVAC business plan outline.

A sample HVAC business plan outline.

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  • The 7 elements of an effective HVAC business plan

1. Executive summary

The executive summary outlines the broad vision and opportunity for your HVAC business. It provides readers with a brief, high-level overview of your plan, one that emphasizes your unique value proposition and competitive advantages.

Write a mission statement , which describes the purpose of your business. Maybe you aim to provide energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable HVAC systems. Or perhaps you provide top-notch customer service for both residential and commercial customers.

Touch on key factors for the success of your business, like your location, service offerings and staff.

2. Market analysis

Without understanding the needs of customers in your target area, you won’t know which products or services will generate the most sales.

That’s why conducting a thorough market analysis is crucial. What do homeowners and commercial landlords in your area need? If you’re in a warm climate, air conditioning systems will be in high demand. But a cold-weather market will drive demand for heating systems. Other factors to consider include the age and condition of buildings in your service area. 

Researching the market helps identify your target customer segments and understand their specific needs and preferences. This analysis should cover demographic details, purchasing behaviors, and the size of your target market . Additionally, provide an overview of the competitive landscape , identifying key players and their market positioning. Highlight industry trends, such as the growing demand for energy-efficient systems that support the potential success and relevance of your HVAC business.

3.  HVAC services and pricing

List the full range of HVAC services your business plans to provide, such as installation, maintenance, and repair services for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

You should also outline your pricing strategy . Detail how you intend to offer competitive rates while ensuring profitability. Whether you adopt a value-based pricing model or a cost-plus approach, this section should explain how your pricing aligns with market expectations and customers’ willingness to pay.

4. Operations plan

Finding customers is one challenge. Once you have them, you’ll need a solid operations plan to ensure you can meet their needs. This section of your plan details the day-to-day operational aspects of your business.

You’ll need to account for delivering your HVAC services and all of the related logistics of service delivery, the equipment required, and any business policies or standards you intend to implement. If you have employees, spend time in this section covering how you will coordinate with them to ensure they have the right equipment and information when they head to a job site.

5. Marketing and sales strategy

Your marketing and sales strategy expands on your market research. This section outlines the methods you’ll use to attract and retain customers.

You should start by identifying the most effective marketing channels for reaching your target market. Take a look at how other HVAC companies are promoting their services. Are they advertising online , or on TV and radio? Do they have active social media presences, or are they relying on more traditional methods like printed flyers or partnerships with real estate agencies?

Once you understand where your target audience gets information about HVAC services, write down your strategies for investing in these marketing and sales channels. Try to include estimated costs and projected return on investment for each channel.

Remember, different product and service offerings might require different marketing tactics. For instance, you might want to promote the energy efficiency aspects of your service online. But customers seeing your ads on television might be more interested in your pricing versus competitors.

6. Company summary

In the business overview section, detail your business model , including the legal structure and geographical location of your operation. 

Briefly list the range of HVAC services you offer. You’ve already provided details on these in the services and pricing section, but the company overview is where you explain how these services address specific customer needs or market gaps. This part of the plan should clearly articulate the problems your business solves, emphasizing the value and reliability your company brings to the HVAC market.

You can also include a bit about your management team, highlighting the key roles and the expertise each member brings to the HVAC industry. And if you’re seeking bank or investor funding for your business, you can lay out the funding request and explain how you intend to use the funds here.

7. Financial Plan

The financial plan should present detailed financial projections for your HVAC business, giving a reader an understanding of how you expect the business to perform in the short and long term.

Include revenue , costs , and profitability , as well as a cash flow statement , income statement , and balance sheet .

If you’re starting a new business, provide details on startup costs , revenue streams, and funding requirements.

Remember, forecasts are just educated guesses. At the same time, the goal of your financial plan is to demonstrate your cleaning service’s ability to generate a profit. If your numbers don’t show a pathway to profitability, you may need to rethink your service offerings or marketing strategy.

  • Key considerations for writing an HVAC business plan

Building supplier relationships and managing how cash moves in and out of your business is essential. So is understanding what your customers want. To write an HVAC business plan that helps you streamline operations, reduce wasteful spending, or get a bank loan, consider addressing these points.

1. Go deep with your market research

Utilize data from public sources like the U.S. Census Bureau to drill down on the number of households in your area. You can also use Google to research commercial properties in your area that might need HVAC services, like office buildings or retirement homes.

2. Make your credentials clear

Highlight your team’s expertise, certifications, and accreditations. They serve as proof of your credibility to clients, lenders and investors.

3. Professional training and standards

Document your plans for committing to ongoing training on the latest HVAC technologies and safety standards.

4. Supplier relationships and inventory

Detail your plans for sourcing your HVAC systems, and how you’ll store the systems before delivering them. Also, describe your logistical arrangements for job site deliveries, including transportation needs, such as whether you will need a company van.

5. Accounts receivable and accounts payable

It’s likely you won’t immediately be paid in full for your services. Make sure you account for this in your forecasts. Incorporate realistic financial projections considering delayed payments for services and the gradual settlement of equipment expenses.

  • Download your free HVAC one page sample business plan

Download your HVAC business plan sample now for free, or explore the Bplans gallery of over 550 sample business plans if you want to see plans for other industries.

Writing a business plan for your HVAC business boosts your chance of success for a variety of reasons . We’ve mentioned its importance if you’re seeking a loan or investment. But just going through the process of thinking through each aspect of your operation will help make sure you don’t leave any stone unturned as you build a successful business.

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

Check out LivePlan

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​10 Important Elements of a Business Partnership Agreement

E ntering into a business partnership should not be taken lightly. Even if your new partner is your best friend, you'll want to make sure you plan ahead for all possible contingencies.

To help mitigate any future problems, business leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council recommend that these 10 elements be part of a partnership contract.

Before committing to any business partnership, what's something you should include in the partnership contract, and why?

1. a voting rights structure.

As you get into a business partnership, you should clearly define the voting rights structure for any management decision. If each of you has a dedicated function, then you can decide that one person will have 100% voting rights for their functions. If you both share certain functions, you can define voting rights to be 50% each. — Piyush Jain , Simpalm

2. Clear roles, responsibilities, and contributions

Ensure the partnership contract clearly outlines each partner's roles, responsibilities and contributions before committing to a business partnership. Doing so avoids miscommunications and conflicts, leading to a more seamless and responsible working relationship. — Jared Weitz , United Capital Source Inc.

3. A dispute resolution clause

A critical element to include in a partnership contract is a dispute resolution clause. This should specify how conflicts will be managed, whether that’s through mediation, arbitration, legal action, or something else. By agreeing on a dispute resolution mechanism up front, partners can save time and prevent costly court proceedings. — Jack Perkins , CFO Hub

4. A crisis management plan

It is important to include a crisis management plan in your partnership contract. For example, when the pandemic happened, my partners and I immediately rushed to assess our challenges and set up fail-safe measures. These things should not be left until a crisis emerges. Include crisis management details in your contract so you know exactly what to do. — Syed Balkhi , WPBeginner

5. An explanation of how profits will be split

Make sure the partnership contract specifies how each party will split profits. Whether the profits distributed to each party are proportional to their revenue contribution or whether the profits are split evenly regardless of each party's effort, it's important to clearly state how each party will benefit financially from the business activities. — Nanxi Liu , Blaze.tech

6. A list of shared resources

Before committing to any business partnership, you should add a list of resources that will be shared by the concerned parties. Whether it's information, equipment, or human resources, what will be shared should be discussed beforehand and agreed upon by the partners. This way, they will be on the same page and there won't be any confusion down the road or room for potential conflicts. — Jared Atchison , WPForms

7. A non-compete clause

One thing you should always include in a partnership contract is a non-compete clause. This clause means your partners can't take company secrets or other relevant information you uncovered together and use it to create a product that competes with what you've already built. I think this is a wise choice because it protects your work, even if someone decides to move on to a new venture. — John Turner , SeedProd LLC

8. The metrics you'll use to measure goals

You need to know what is expected of each of you and the metrics you'll use to measure goals. If I'm responsible for revenue, I want to know how much I'm expected to bring in and within what time frame. If it can't be measured, it can't be improved, and running a business by the numbers is a good foundation for a healthy business partnership that won't go haywire because of a lack of mutual understanding. — Givelle Lamano , Oakland DUI Attorneys

9. A succession plan

Succession is an important topic to cover in a business partnership, and every partnership contract should include what will occur and who takes the reins when something happens. For example, who takes over if one partner has a serious family issue or fails to meet their commitments? Addressing this will create peace of mind and clarity in your partnership. — Blair Williams , MemberPress

10. An exit strategy

When setting up a business partnership, make sure there's an exit strategy in the contract—and be firm about it. You have to be clear on how you'll split the assets and handle the debts if things go wrong. This isn't just being smart; it's a must do to ensure you and your partner aren't left in a tough spot if the partnership hits a rough patch. — Idan Waller , BlueThrone

​10 Important Elements of a Business Partnership Agreement

Target launches a new dollar-store-style budget brand

  • Target is launching a new budget brand for clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home items.
  • The range includes undergarments, toothbrushes, and dish soap. Most of the items will be under $10.
  • Target execs said in November that shoppers were having to make trade-offs and cut back on discretionary spending.

Insider Today

Target has launched a new budget brand that will offer shoppers low-cost clothes, electronics, beauty products, and home items.

Target said on Thursday that the brand, Dealworthy, will feature nearly 400 "everyday basics," with most items under $10 and some costing less than $1.

The range will include items such as undergarments, socks, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, and dish soap.

Target will also sell Dealworthy electronics, including phone cases and power cords, as well as kitchen and home items like paper plates, paper towels, and food containers.

Beauty products and toiletries on offer will include shampoo, dental floss, and cotton balls and swabs.

The retailer said that the first products would be available in stores and on its website on Sunday, February 18, with more being rolled out throughout 2024 and in early 2025.

The new brand could see Target competing more closely with dollar stores, many of which have scrapped the $1 price point in recent years amid soaring inflation. Dollar Tree , the last of the big three dollar store chains to stick to price tags of $1 and under, put its price up to $1.25 in late 2021.

Inflation has been cooling in recent months. But prices soared in the wake of the pandemic, forcing some shoppers to trade down by turning to cheaper brands, including retailers' own-branded products. Aldi , whose range is mostly made up of private-label brands, said that US sales soared in 2022.

"Consumers are still spending, but pressures like higher interest rates, the resumption of student loan repayments, increased credit card debt, and reduced savings rates, have left them with less discretionary income, forcing them to make trade-offs in their family budgets," Target CEO Brian Cornell told investors at the company's most recent earnings call in November.

Executives said that food and beverage prices were up by 25% on average compared to pre-pandemic and that customers had been "delaying their spending until the last moment" to stretch their budgets until the next paycheck, like waiting for the weather to turn cold before getting winter clothing.

Target makes $30 billion a year from own-brand products

Target told Business Insider that it would be selling a 200-pack of jumbo cotton balls for $1.99, a two-pack of toothbrushes for $0.99, and tablet stands and phone cases for $5.99 each.

"In each category they will be the lowest-priced item at the shelf," Rick Gomez, Target's chief food, essentials, and beauty officer, told Axios . The phone cases will cost half the price of the cheapest cases it sells by other brands, Target said in its press release.

"With Dealworthy, Target is offering more options at lower prices, starting at less than $1, while strengthening its portfolio of owned brands," the retailer said in a press release .

Target said that it makes more than $30 billion in annual sales from its owned brands. Target brought in revenues of $109 billion in 2022.

ten elements of business plan

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  • Main content


  1. Ten Components of Business Plan Stock Photo

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  3. How to Create a Business Plan in 1 Day [Updated 2022]

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  5. 12 Key Elements of a Business Plan (Top Components Explained)

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  6. Ten Point Infographic Elements Of A Business Plan

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  1. Vital Elements

  2. 1.2 Why create a business plan?

  3. Lesson plan on Elements #teachingofscience #youtubeshorts


  1. 12 Key Elements of a Business Plan (Top Components Explained)

    1. Proves Your Business Viability A business plan gives companies an idea of how viable they are and what actions they need to take to grow and reach their financial targets. With a well-written and clearly defined business plan, your business is better positioned to meet its goals. 2. Guides You Throughout the Business Cycle

  2. Top 10 Components of a Business Plan

    5. Description of Management and Organization Your business must also outline how your organization is set up. Introduce your company managers here and summarize their skills and primary job responsibilities. An effective way could be to create a diagram that maps out your chain of command.

  3. 10 Important Components of an Effective Business Plan

    1. Executive summary The executive summary is the first and one of the most critical parts of a business plan. This summary provides an overview of the business plan as a whole and highlights what the business plan will cover.

  4. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products Conduct Market Research Create Financial Plans Bottom Line Frequently Asked Questions Show more Every business starts with a vision, which is distilled and...

  5. The 12 Key Components of a Business Plan (2023)

    It might include your company's mission statement, details about your products or services, how you plan to bring them to market, and how much time and money you need to execute the plan. For a thorough explanation of how to write a business plan, refer to Shopify's guide.

  6. How to Write a Business Plan: Guide + Examples

    Download a free one-page plan template to write a useful business plan in as little as 30-minutes. Explore over 500 real-world business plan examples from a wide variety of industries. Try the business planning and growth tool trusted by over 1-million business owners.

  7. Write your business plan

    A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You'll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It's a way to think through the key elements of your business. Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners.

  8. Elements of a Business Plan: What to Include to Turn Heads

    Funding requirements Financial projections The length of your business plan doesn't matter. As long as it includes those eight items, you should be good to go. Business plan elements Let's take a closer look at what each of these business plan elements mean, and why they are important to the overall plan. Executive summary

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    1. Executive summary The executive summary is one of the most important parts of a business plan. It's the first thing potential investors will read and should therefore provide a clear overview of your business and its goals. In other words, it helps the reader get a better idea of what to expect from your company.

  13. 10 Important elements of a good business plan

    1. Executive Summary The executive summary of your business plan should always be the last topic written in your plan, and it appears at the beginning of the paper. As the word summary implies, it should cover everything important to the one who is reading it; be they a lender, investor or financier.

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  17. How To Write a Business Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide

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    Providing a comprehensive assessment of each of these components is critical in attracting lenders, angel investors, venture capitalists or other equity investors. The 10 components of a business plan that you must include are as follows: 1. Executive Summary. 2. Company Analysis. 3. Industry or Market Analysis. 4.

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    9. 9.1The business plan should answer important funding questions like: 9.2. 10. A business plan is essential for the company's inception, growth, and overall success. The key elements of business plans provide the vision and the strategy for a business. Your business plan will clarify how you want to build your business, set timelines to ...

  21. Simple Business Plan Template (2024)

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  24. How to Write a Cleaning Service Business Plan

    Whether you're setting up a boutique eco-friendly cleaning service or a broad-scale commercial cleaning operation, the core elements of your business plan will largely be consistent. There are plenty of reasons cleaning service business owners can benefit from writing a business plan — you'll need one if you're seeking a loan or investment.

  25. How to Write an HVAC Business Plan + Free Sample Plan PDF

    The 7 elements of an effective HVAC business plan 1. Executive summary. The executive summary outlines the broad vision and opportunity for your HVAC business. It provides readers with a brief, high-level overview of your plan, one that emphasizes your unique value proposition and competitive advantages.. Write a mission statement, which describes the purpose of your business.

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