Business Plan Information
A Business Plan, also referred to as a marketing plan, business strategy, or business proposal, is a mission statement that sets out your vision, structure, and methods, and helps you to plan for the future. It includes a business history, a marketing analysis, a financial statement, and operational details.
A Business Plan is a living document, meaning it should be periodically revised and updated as your company grows and changes.
Who Should Write a Business Plan?
Anyone who is starting a business should map out their vision for the future. Startups often require external funding, and entrepreneurs can show their Business Plan to potential business investors, who will want to know what makes the enterprise a good investment and when they will see a return.
Established businesses can also benefit from developing a Business Plan to attract further funding, manage rapid growth, or reevaluate the company's vision and goals.
Why is a Business Plan Important?
While many companies create a Business Plan to attract external funding, a Business Plan is also a vital internal document that can help you and your business partners to:
- Develop a course of action to achieve your objectives
- Establish benchmarks of success to measure your progress
- Better understand your competitors and target market
- Attract business partners and employees
- Anticipate problems in regards to competitors, cash flow, and long-term viability
- Manage cash flow with a detailed income statement
- Navigate the regulatory requirements of your industry
How to Write a Business Plan:
LawDepot's Business Plan template contains the following key sections:
Business Description: Your business name and address, as well as a brief history (how the business was started, how it has evolved, and any achievements to date).
Business Forecast: The measurable goals and objectives of your business, with a timeline for achieving them.
Business Structure: How the business is owned and managed (i.e. whether it is a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), or limited company), and how decisions are made.
Product/Service Details: The primary product or service your business will provide, in addition to potential future products or services.
Marketing Plan: Your business's target market, competitors, pricing strategy, and advertising strategy.
SWOT Analysis: A detailed description of your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to help predict your viability and focus your business strategy.
Operational Details: A description of the business's day-to-day operations, facility, outside suppliers, and staffing requirements.
Financial Information: Your business's target market, competitors, pricing strategy, and advertising strategy.
When to Review Your Business Plan:
Your Business Plan should be updated whenever something changes, such as introducing a new product, branching into a new market sector, or taking on a business partner.
It's also important to regularly take a critical look at your business. At least once per year, complete a comprehensive update of your plan in light of developments within your business and industry as a whole. If you are pivoting or changing your business altogether, it is essential to revise your Business Plan.