If you’ve got a great startup business idea, you’re off to a wonderful start. Now, as entrepreneur Corey Shader says, it’s time to sit down to write a great business plan to match.
The business plan is an essential document you’ll use to serve as a guiding blueprint for your, and as an example of why your startup is worthy of outside capital, if it needs it.
So, sit down and start writing your business plan. Not sure how to do it? Follow the steps below to write a killer business plan for your startup.
Your business plan will start with the executive summary, which is essentially your elevator pitch. The executive summary will comprise the first page of the plan. It should include your company’s mission statement along with a short explanation of all the services and/or products you intend to offer as well as a general projection on plans for financial growth.
Think of the executive summary as your thesis statement. Investors and financial institutions will read this first, but it may be best for you to wait until the end to write it.
This section should include all of your company’s basic information, such as its official registered name, business address and the names of all the key people who are involved.
Along with a description of the business structure of your startup and the ownership breakdown, provide a brief description of the skills and expertise your key team members possess.
This section of the business plan will show that you’ve done your research. It will help explain the market you’re entering and your place in it. Competitor analysis will detail who else is in the market, as well as what their strengths and weaknesses are.
You’ll use this part to not only break down the current market you’re entering, but also how you plan to set yourself apart from the competition to carve out a niche.
Sales and Marketing
How do you plan to market your business and its products/services? How will that turn into sales? What other sales efforts are you going to employ to create and grow revenue?
This section of the business plan will detail all of these ultra-important factors. There are many different approaches you can take to marketing, so make sure to detail what approaches you’re taking along with a description of why.
It’s important to point out, too, that you fully understand that your marketing strategy needs to be flexible to respond to market changes.
Corey Shader points out that most business plans will end with financial projections for the company, especially those that are being written specifically for funding requests. The goal in this section is to convince whoever is reading your business plan that your startup is going to be successful.
If you already have begun to generate revenue, you’ll want to include references to major financial statements such as your balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement for as far back as you can.
If your startup hasn’t started generating revenue yet, that’s OK. You’ll still want to conduct financial projections and include details on what those projections are based on.
About Corey Shader
Corey Shader is a self-made entrepreneur, consultant, investor, real estate developer, and founder of several companies, notably Insurance Pipeline. Operating primarily out of Ft. Lauderdale, Corey’s endeavors span across the nation, consulting for start-ups, and sitting on the board of digital media and senior healthcare agencies. As a consultant, Corey helps young businesses develop sales funnels and maximize profitability. Shader takes pride in challenging others to push themselves to be their very best — he believes in constant self-improvement, inspiring others through sharing his own life experiences.