Getting Started Startup Checklists

5 Elements of a New Business Plan

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A good business plan is key to getting funding and support when you are launching your own business. That’s why it’s important to get all the details right and to provide all the relevant information in an easy to use format. However, many budding entrepreneurs simply don’t know what needs to be included in a business plan, and this can prevent their ventures from achieving their desired success.

So, here are some of the essential elements that are key to this document.

1. A Summary

Many business plans are long and full of complex figures, so not everybody is going to want to read through the whole thing to decide whether they’re interested in your idea. That’s why it’s crucial to write an executive summary at the start of your document, which will essentially be a short, simplified version of your business plan. Make sure it’s well-written and draws people in, as this could mean the difference between your plan being picked up or rejected.

2. An Overview of What Your Business Will Do

Read through some business plans, and you’ll find that they are full of corporate buzzwords, yet it’s not until you’re several pages in that you find out what the business actually offers. Don’t make this mistake, and instead write a clear description of what your company will do, your customer base, and what you hope to achieve. It’s also important to write about what you hope to accomplish with your business, and what sets it apart from the main competition.

3. The Numbers

While a good business idea is valuable, investors are there to make cash, so they need to know that if they invest in the business, they will make a return. Financial projections are essential, and you need to include how much funding you’ll need to get things started, and how soon you think you can pay it back. If you’re applying for a loan via or will have other sources of income, such as family money or an inheritance, make sure this is included in your calculations.

4. Your Sales and Marketing Plans

No matter how great your idea is, without getting the product or service to the right people, you can’t make money. Creating a marketing strategy shows investors how you plan to approach this and create a sustainable customer base. You will also need to think about your sales strategy. Will you sell online or in stores? How will you get stores to stock your products, and will you use sales reps? Without these strategies, even the best business plans can fall apart.

5. What You’ll Create and Sell

Your business overview will provide a brief description of your products and services, but you should also spend a little more time going into detail about what you plan to sell, how you’ll make it, etc. If there are already businesses making similar products or offering the same service, how are you going to be different? Investors like to know exactly what you do, so they will be pleased to see details in your plan.

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