Category Archives: Business Plan Outline

Learn how to create and use a business plan outline for your small business in this section.

Business Plan Outline

When you start a small business, one of the most important steps is to write a business plan outline. Once you have that outline prepared, all you have to do is fill in the blanks.

You may be surprised at how simple it is to fill in the outline once you have it in front of you. All of those thoughts that you’ve been having about the business that you want to start will start flowing out of your brain and onto the page.

A good business startup outline includes (but is not limited to) the following:

– executive summary

– summary of your proposed product or service

– marketing plan

– how you’ll implement this plan

– management summary (who will be running this company?)

– the financial plan (one of the most challenging parts to write)

Stay tuned to this section of for advice and guidance on how to use a business plan outline to start your small business.

Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

3 Tips to Win As a Real Estate Investor

Going into the real estate business as an investor definitely is no piece of cake—it takes an immense amount of patience and hard work to find success. You need three important skills to win as a real estate investor: a business plan, a bold attitude, and a reliable source of information that the general public doesn’t know about happenings in the real estate market.

Wooden house
© Josefuente | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Business Plan

Before you make any move that requires a financial investment or contractual commitment on your part, draw up a business plan that outlines all of your intentions. Start with your goals—what do you wish to accomplish in the next three to five years? How do you plan to achieve those goals? What kind of budget do you have and how do you plan to raise the needed funds to buy properties? Get it all down on paper before you start making decisions and signing agreements.

A Bold Attitude

When working as a real estate investor, you are going to have to deal with a number of different parties including contractors, agents and potential renters or buyers. You definitely can’t be afraid to boldly request what you need and want from them if you are to do business.

If you plan to pursue a career in real estate investing, you can’t be a person who is afraid to say “no” or who cares too much about what people will think of you if you challenge them. What matters first and foremost is that you get things accomplished in the most economical and efficient manner possible so that it’s consistent with your business plan. Contractors and carpenters will try to put you on the backburner and charge you for unexpected extras. Agents will try to convince you to agree to terms that may not vibe with your business plan. Potential renters will try to get away with not paying you rent if you let them. Be bold and set your foot down early on to let these different parties know that you mean business. When you find service providers who are reliable and efficient, value them and treat them right.

Inside Information

Many people jump into real estate investing without doing any research. Before you buy your first property, pick up a library of books on the subject. This will teach you what other first-timers have learned so that you can avoid making the same mistakes that they did. Next, invest in journals and subscriptions that will update you on what’s going on in the real estate market in your area before the average man on the street. For instance, you should know in advance if a new major business is planning to build in an area that might attract higher rents or home values in the future.

Also, find a mentor if you can (you might be able to find one using the SBA’s database). Find someone who has experience in real estate investing so that he can provide you with insight into the business. However, be sure that you pick a mentor that is respectable and has good character.

If you want to win as a real estate investor, you have to be willing to invest time and planning as well as money into your venture. Stay positive and on top of new developments in the real estate market if you want to find success buying and selling or renting properties.

Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

A Quick Business Plan Outline for Your Small Business Startup

Some people think that it’s pointless to create a business plan unless you’re asking someone for money, but I beg to differ. The main reason why the majority of small businesses fail within the first 5 years of operation is poor planning. At the very least, you should create a short-form document (a few pages long) containing this business plan outline to use for your own reference.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is an introduction to what this business plan is all about. It offers an overview of your goals as a new business owner, what you’re selling and why you believe this is an awesome business idea. If you have an interesting (but brief) story to tell about how you got the idea or inspiration to start the business, here is where you put it.

Company Description

Just write the basics about your company, including the location, what you do, your industry and what makes you better than the rest.

Market Analysis

99 percent of businesses have some type of competition (or will at some point in the future). In this section of the business plan outline provide information about your industry, competitors and the market where you plan to sell your goods.

Management Profile

The people who are running a business are crucial to its success. In this section provide a list and details about each key player who is involved in launching and managing your business. If there are a lot of people, you may want to create an organizational chart using Microsoft Word.

Product or Service Description

Here is where you get down to the “nitty gritty” of what your business is all about. What do you plan to sell, how do you plan to make it and what makes it different and better than what’s already out there on the market?

Marketing Plan

As a marketing major, I may be a bit biased but I really think that this is the most important part of your business plan. After everything has been established, products designed, store in place (online or brick and mortar) and items purchased, all you’re going to be doing is marketing.

In this section of your business plan outline, discuss the 4 Ps of marketing (promotion, place, price, product) and give a detailed profile of your target audience. Use demographic data where possible and any marketing research you’ve done (focus groups, surveys, etc).


In my experience writing business plans, the financials are usually the most time consuming to complete. That’s because you have to create several different financial statements that can be a bit complicated to generate if you aren’t familiar with accounting. Statements you’ll need include an income statement (profit and loss), balance sheet and cash flow statement. You’ll need to create financial projections for years 1-5 (possibly longer if you’re applying for loans or an investment) and past statements if you’ve already been in business for a while.

If applying for financing, you also need to create a funding request outlining how much money you’re asking for, how you’ll use it and how you plan to repay it (if applicable). If you’re not familiar with how to do your financial section properly, hire an accountant to help.

Use this simple business plan outline to create a short plan for your own reference or to present to lenders or investors.

Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.