Step-by-Step Business Plan Examples

Your business plan is a roadmap that helps you navigate the road to success. It describes all aspects of your business in detail, from its history to products/services, marketing, and financial projections. Whether you’re using your business plan to secure funding or entice investors, or you’re using it as a guide to lay out your thoughts about where you want your business to go, it communicates the pertinent information about your company that anyone would want to know.

All business plans include the same information:

  • An executive summary
  • A company description
  • A market analysis of your industry, market, and competitors
  • Your business and management structure
  • Your products or services
  • Marketing and sales plans
  • Funding request (if you’re seeking funding or investors)
  • Financial projections
  • Appendix (optional)

Now that you know the basic structure, you’re probably wondering how to get started. Here is a step-by-step business plan example to give you a structure to follow.

Research

This is the bulk of your effort in creating a business plan, an almost 2:1 ratio. Consequently, you need to thoroughly research your product or service, including your industry, the marketplace, your competition, and most importantly, your potential customers.

What do you need to accomplish with your business plan? Are you trying to attract investors? If so, your business plan will be written purposefully to that end. If you’re self-funding, your business plan will likely provide the direction you want to go so you can plan your future and mitigate the risks along the way.

Create your About Us page

This is the profile of your company and includes its history, your products or services, your target market, who your resources are, how you’re solving your customers’ problems, and your unique selling proposition (USP). Consequently, if you don’t have a USP, answer this question:

This is the only business that ______________.

Document the nuts and bolts

If you’re looking for investors, you need to let them know how your business is going to make money for them. As such, document everything about your company, from your cash flow and expenses to your industry projections. In addition, drill down to the nuts and bolts like your location strategy if you have a brick-and-mortar store and any licensing agreements you have.

Devise a strategic marketing plan

If you’re just starting out, you’ll want an aggressive, yet highly strategic marketing plan to introduce your products or services. You want your plan to be comprehensive. For example, include where your business will come from and how you’ll cross-sell products or services. Also add how you can optimize your manufacturing and product delivery services, and how you can raise prices and boost sales. Any good strategic marketing plan also includes a content marketing strategy.

Make sure to identify the budget for these marketing objectives. As a result, include separate items for internal staff time and external, out-of-pocket expenses for marketing.

Explain your passion

Hopefully, you’re passionate about what you do or the products you make. You want others like investors, customers, or even team members to understand why you care, why you’re dedicated to your business and your plan. Consequently, talk about the problems you’re trying to solve, your core values that drive everything you do, and what makes you different from anyone else out there.

Final thoughts

These steps form the foundation for your business plan. At this point, you have all the information you need to write your plan.

One caution: adapt your business plan to your audience. If you’re using your plan to seek funding, make sure to highlights your financial statements like cash-flow and balance sheets. To entice investors, focus more on your business concept and your amazing management team.

 

The Hutwork difference

Hutwork is the only business plan roadmapping platform that lets you plan and create with a handy template. Then you can collaborate, communicate, share, and track your progress easily. Use our fun timeline creator to customize your layouts with filters, milestone types, and so much more.
Check out www.hutwork.com today to see the difference a comprehensive roadmapping and planning tool can make in your next project.

Danny Ball

Co-founder & CEO at Hutwork. I’m working hard every day to ensure visual planning is at the forefront of today’s fascinating ideas. Click here to check us out on twitter.

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