5 Key Components of a Business Plan

Back to blogPosted by Melissa SchumannPosted on Entrepreneurs & Start Ups

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A business plan can help you create direction for future growth of your company. It should be a tool that gets updated as you learn more about your industry, customers, what works for marketing and what doesn’t. We hope this helps you create direction and purpose for your company. And just remember that there is no right or wrong way to write a business plan as long as it meets your needs!

Keep it short and concise. I think we can be honest when we say we don’t read everything we are given, but rather skim over the important topics. A business plan should be detailed, but to the point that people WILL read it and use it to create the culture of your company.

Tip: Don’t use over the top language that no one will understand, yet feel like they should know and won’t ask for clarification.

Executive Summary. Including a brief overview of what your company does helps to keep readers focused and tells them ahead of time what you are going to tell them later in the plan with more details. Little tip, write this section last after you have done your research and writing!

SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a tool used to assess your business and the environment you do business in. If you aren’t sure what it is this article goes in depth on what a SWOT Analysis is. Remember, under opportunities you can get creative of how your company can grow in the future.

Product or service you offer. Describe what exactly you will be selling. It is beneficial to write this after doing your SWOT analysis so you can write specifically what need you are filling and in what market. Understanding yourself and the market you are working is the most crucial component to any business plan. Here you can put any future products/services you would like to offer and any other plans to show investors you have a long-term plan. Keep the long-term goals brief, a paragraph at most.

Management and Operations. This includes the logistics, technology, and people of your business. For those of you who buy products from vendors, make sure to include where they are coming from and how they will get to you. If you offer delivery to customers, describe how items will be shipped to them. Details about distribution should be included here.

Tip: Networking with others in your industry allows you to interview others to find the best distribution model.

Just thinking about starting a new business? Make sure to check out our post, 9 Step Process to Starting Your Business, to learn more about what to do before opening those doors.

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