How to Write a Business Plan – Step by Step Guide

how to write a business plan
Learning how to write a business plan is an important step to take before starting your own business.
Before you write a business plan you should first:

Why Business Plans Are Important

Business plans are important because they are essential to the launch and growth of any business.
Business plans help you:
  • Understand your business
  • Understand your competitors
  • Explain your business to others
  • Help you raise money
  • Help you have a plan for the years ahead

Parts of a Business Plan

Business plans contain the following items and more.

Steps to Writing a Business Plan

business plan outline
1.Outline
First place to start when writing a business plan is with an outline. The outline helps you get a sense of what you are going to put into the plan. This makes it easier for you to then write the business plan section by section.
  • Title – Company name and contact information
  • Problem/Opportunity – Describe the problem you are solving or the joy you will be creating for your customers
  • Market Value – Explain the potential money you can make. In the market for the problem you are solving
  • Your Difference & Value Prop – Show how your product is more valuable than the competitors and your solution the best. Give a demo of your product
  • Your Business Model – Explain how your business will run. i.e Ecommerce, Outsource staff etc
  • Your Go to Market Plan – How do you plan to bring your product to customers and sell it
  • Competitive Analysis – Show a complete view of your competitors and where you stand out against them
  • Management Team – Show off your management team. Investors prefer an A team with a B plan vs a B team with an A plan
  • Financial Projections – Provide a  3-5 year sales forecast including expenses so you can clearly see profit and loss projections.
  • Current Status – Let them know where you are with the business and any accomplishments.
2.Writing
The hard part of writing a business plan is getting started. I would advise you start writing a business plan as Power Point or Keynote slides. This will help you walk people through your plan so you can get feedback.
3.Revision
The first draft of a business plan will always need to be revised. Honestly you will probably have to update your plan more than once so get use to this process. Business plans will change as your business and target market evolves.

4.Full Business Plans
Now a days it’s rare to have a full 50+ page business plan. Usually detailed shorter Power Point presentations are what is used to raise money and share the vision of a business.

Take our free how to start a business course to learn what other steps you need to do and know in order to launch your business. It comes with a free Power Point and Keynote business plan template and icons.

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