Writing a business plan is a vital and necessary step towards obtaining a loan. Aside from the requirement from lenders and investors a business plan serves as an assessment tool for you as a business owner and forces you to think through all aspects of your business. Here at the Small Business Development Center our consultants can help you with this process.
According to the SBA good business plans contain the following five sections:
Introduction– gives a detailed description of the business and its goals, discusses ownership of the business and its legal structure, lists the skills and experience you bring to the business, and discusses the advantages you and your business have over competitors
Marketing– discusses the products and services your company will offer, identifies customer demand for your products and services, identifies your market, its size and locations, explains how your products and services will be advertised and marketed, and explains your pricing strategy
Financial Management– explains your source and amount of initial equity capital, develops a monthly operating budget for the first year, develops an expected return on investment and monthly cash flow for the first year, provides projected income statement, balance sheet and method of compensation, discusses who will maintain your accounting records and how they will be kept, and provides “what if” statements addressing alternative approaches to problems that may develop
Operations– explains how the business will be managed day-to-day, discuss hiring, personnel procedures, discuss insurance, lease or rent agreements and issues pertinent to your business, accounts for equipment necessary to produce goods and services, and accounts for production and delivery of products and services
Conclusion– Summarizes your business goals and objectives and expresses your commitment for the success of your business.