How to Write a Business Plan
A business plan should include the following, in chronological order:
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- Management Team
- Industry Analysis
- Marketing Plan
- Operations Plan
- Sample Business Plans
We also offer resources that we hope will be helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.
If you would like to skip the outline overview and just see a sample business plan, I have provided a plan used in an Entrepreneurship course in school.
We did very well on it and feel confident you will find value.
Or you may view the following sample business plan. I wrote this my senior year (my major was Business Entrepreneurship).
What goes into a business plan?
There is no single formula for developing a business plan, but some elements are consistent throughout all business plans. Your plan should include an executive summary, a description of the business, a plan for how you will market and manage your business, financial projections and the appropriate supporting documents.
To help you get started in writing your business plan, we have summarized the essential elements in the following outline.
Elements of a Business Plan
1. Cover sheet
2. Executive summary (statement of the business purpose)
3. Table of contents
4. Body of the document
1. Description of business
4. Operating procedures
6. Business insurance
B. Financial data
1. Loan applications
2. Capital equipment and supply list
3. Balance sheet
4. Breakeven analysis
5. Profit and loss statements
6. Three-year summary
7. Detail by month, first year
8. Detail by quarters, second and third year
9. Assumptions upon which projections were based
10. Pro-forma cash flow
C. Supporting documents
1. Tax returns of principals (partners in the business) for last three years, personal financial statements (all banks have these forms)
2. Copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor (for franchise businesses)
3. Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
4. Copy of licenses and other legal documents
5. Copy of resumes of all principals
6. Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc.
Below is a solid video on how to write a business plan with overview of each area of the business plan explained.
Below is a very good video on business planing