Investors will want to know what advantages you have over the competition and how you plan on differentiating yourself. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. Executive Summary Your executive summary is the first chapter and first step in writing a business plan. Just use these tools to get your plan underway, and you'll be ready to start providing products or services to customers before you know it. In fact, it might be the most important part of your business plan.
Be sure the packaging section of your plan answers the following questions: Does your packaging match your positioning strategy? This is all about framing the problem and solution your business is after. For example, you may sell your product at, or even below, your cost, but require a much more profitable maintenance or support contract to go along with the purchase. Investors want to make sure that your business is going to make them money.
Remember, your business plan is a tool to help you build a better business, not just a homework assignment.
Who is your target market and competition? Infographic 5. They often have relationships with retailers and distributors and work to sell your products into the appropriate channel. Key customers The final section of your target market chapter should discuss key customers. But, you don't need an exact match for it to be helpful. How will you create customers and get them interested in your business?
A range of 30 to 50 pages is a good sweet spot to aim for. If you have previous data to show, include the following:. If you find that you're not meeting goals, you might need to adjust your budgets or your sales forecast. Company description This section provides a snapshot of your small business. Universities and state economic development agencies host these centers; you can find them using resources from the Small Business Administration. Your answers are used to develop a summary business plan, complete with revenue projections and full-color graphs and charts.
A key component to your advertising plan is your plan for measuring the success of your advertising. Target Market Characteristics: Who are the customers in your target market, and what are their needs? To prove this to them, your market analysis should include the following sections: Industry Description: Give the reader a look into your industry. If this is your first time writing a business plan, the easiest way to tackle the project is to walk through each section, one at a time. What is the need that your business is specifically serving, and how do you meet that need?
Options include: The Small Business Administration's tool to build a business plan: This will guide you step-by-step through the process of creating a plan to cover three to five years of business operations. Marketing and sales plan The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments also called target marketing , how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success. First, identify your market segments and determine how big each segment is. If you are offering a premium product, a premium price will quickly communicate that message to consumers.
Traction While milestones look forward, you will also want to take a look back at major accomplishments that you have already had.