How to write a Business Plan

Executive Summary

An executive summary is an introduction to your business. This section should be clear, concise and to the point. We recommend that you revisit this section to review your work after completing the other sections of the business plan to assure consistency and maintain accuracy. The key elements of an executive summary include descriptions of:BP Image 1

Your company

Products or services you sell
Your audience and ideal customer
Future of your business and your industry

Company Description

Provide a high-level review of your business that will help readers and potential investors understand your business model.

Elements include:
Key employees of your business, such as the CEO, President and Vice President
Mission statement
Details about the products or services your business will provide
Qualities that will make your business a success

Market Research

Provide detailed information to show that you have a solid understanding of the industry within which your business will operate. If you have any further questions it may be useful talking to a mentor who could offer you specific guidance.

We recommend including a description of the target customer for your business, a competitive analysis, and any legal requirements impacting your company and industry.

Market Research Image 1

Product or Service Offering

Describe in detail what your product or service is and how it will meet the needs of your customers. Explain the benefits of your product or service, the advantages it has over the competition, and its current development stage (e.g., idea, prototype).

Marketing and Sales Summary

Describe how your company will focus on its customers through its marketing and sales strategies. Then, show how your company will reach its customers and how it will sell its products. Elements include:

How your company plans to growChart
Primary customer groups and sales strategy
How your company is going to communicate with customers
How you will advertise your product or service

Financial Projections

This section is the most important for investors and lenders because it shows that your company is built on a solid foundation. It also illustrates how your business will be able to meet financial obligations, while maintaining a positive cash flow balance.

Profit & Loss Statement

This summarizes your revenues, costs and expenses incurred during a specific period of time. It shows the ability of your business to generate profits by increasing revenue and reducing costs. Some cells will automatically calculate as you enter financial information.

Cash Flow Statement

The Cash Flow spreadsheet shows how money will come in and go out of your business. This will indicate when your expenses are too high and help you determine if you should arrange short term investments to deal with cash flow surpluses. It will also highlight how much capital investment your business will need.

Balance Sheet

A projected balance sheet indicates the future financial health of your business. Using your profit and loss and cash flow spreadsheets, you can project what your balance sheet will look at the end of your first year.

Proforma Image1

Break-Even Analysis

A breakeven analysis indicates when your business will be able to cover all of its expenses and begin making a profit.  In order to correctly complete the Break-Even analysis, you should have an understanding of fixed and variable costs (Cost of Sales).  If you have no variable costs, your break-even is simply your fixed costs for the time period.  If you have variable costs, your break-even point is the revenue level that equals your fixed costs and variable costs for the given production level or level of effort.