Aspects to Include in the Business Plan
Obviously, every business is a bit different, thus every business plan will be different. However, there are certain aspects that do not change with business plans – certain steps that remain the same no matter what “type” of business you’re starting.
The first set-in-stone standard of a business plan is the “Executive Summary.” In this section, you will briefly illustrate what your plan entails in no more than two pages. This is the “jump of the page” part of the business plan that most investors find either the selling point of the turning away aspect of your plan.
There are four essential sections in the executive summary that investors are looking for:
- What makes your business idea unique and original and gives you a leg up over similar businesses.
- What level of experience do you and your team/staff bring to the table? Also, what sort of dealings have you had with your target audience, and how do you expect to make your business succeed.
- Have you illustrated how your business will do financially, and will or won’t your business be viable for investors involved.
- When and how will investors receive repayment, and/or when can the investor exit with a nice return on their initial investment.
The executive summary should also include: Details of the business/owners names and addresses; Product and service details, as well as customer (niche) details; Target market and competition summary; Amount of money invested by you; and the amount of money sought after by you from investors.
After the executive summary, you need to formulate a “Table of Contents.” This will list the main sections and page numbers in your business plan. Basically, this makes it easier to find the details investors seek throughout the text. This may seem trivial, but an accurate and well-written TOC is important in a business plan.
After the TOC, a business plan needs an “Objectives, Aims, and Vision” section to illustrate your reason for starting the business and where you expect your business to go in the future. You also need to illustrate what your goals will be if and when the business is successful.
It is important for investors to know whether you’re starting the business for an investment and then planning to flee with your earnings, or if you’re going to keep a business for a prolonged duration. Try to visualize where you want your business to go, and carefully implement your objectives, aims and vision into your business plan. Make it creative, exciting, and always as well-written as possible.
The next aspect your business plan needs to include is the “Business Description and Purpose” section. This will describe exactly what it is your business does. With this section, you need to be as descriptive as possible. Also, include how your products and/or services offered are better than what competitors are offering out there. Make sure you include reasons why customers would choose your business over another.
Approach this section as if you’re writing a mission statement, and carefully summarize the entire purpose of your business. Investors want to know everything about your business, so never be shy in telling them.