Business Plan Outline

For reference, a traditional business plan includes the following sections:

 1 Executive Summary  Write this LAST!
High level overview of all the other sections 
 2 Company Information 

Basic facts of the business like the company name, website name, location, who owns it, type of incorporation and purpose of the venture. This is the simplest section to write, but often hits a few snags, for example, when you discover someone else already has rights to the name you wanted to use. 

3 Product and Services Offered  You will rewrite this section frequently so do not spend time on details during the first attempt at it!
As you research competitors, customers and production costs, it is not unusual to add or delete offerings you originally thought would be profitable.
Come back to this section regularly to make sure the other plan sections still support selling the items listed here.
 4 Marketing and Sales Plan  Before figuring out the detailed logistics of producing and delivering products or services to customers, confirm your assumptions about your market and customers.
Know your competitors, know your customers and create a marketing and sales plan to establish AND SUSTAIN a profitable presence in your market.
Of all the sections of a business plan, this is the one most useful and likely to be kept updated regularly as you run your business.
Without sales, there is no business!
 5 Operations Plan You need to profitably and reliably deliver what you promise.
This section needs to explain the people, the process and production equipment/facilities used in your business.
Whether a barbershop or biotech company, thinking through and planning how your business operates avoids costly mistakes later on.
This section will also reveal the hidden costs or production challenges forcing you to rethink offerings, pricing and other business decisions made in earlier sections.
 6 Financial Plan  Begin this section right away. Like it or not, business always comes back to knowing the numbers. You cannot sell something for $5 if it costs $10 to produce. 
For most business owners, this is the section that after making a few passes at it may ask for help from an advisor such as a banker (free), SCORE counsoler (free), or if those do not work an accountant or business consultant (not free).
 7 Appendix Attachments  Inevitably, you will accumulate information along the way that is helpful for readers to review but not something that fits well inside any of the above sections.
This might be a marketing flyer you created for the business, a lengthy and detailed pricing list or menu, quotes and estimates from suppliers, or other item.
It is common to add and delete attachments depending on who you are giving the plan to for review. A website developer might benefit from your pricing list to include on the website, but does not need the full list of competitors and your competitive comparisons. 

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