Tag Archives: business plan outline

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).

Financials

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.

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 StartUpaSmallBiz.com 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.