While there are numerous different ways to go about writing and presenting your own business plan, there are some essential elements that need to be included as part of a solid structure:
- a detailed overview of your product or service (or products/services), a summary of your business structure,
- a detailed description of the product or services,
- an operational forecast for the coming year,
- a market study,
- a cash flow analysis, and
- a risk assessment (if applicable).
It is best to discuss each of these items at length with a business mentor or an experienced accountant before presenting your business plan to your investors.
One of the key elements to be aware of when working on a business plan is that most business owners do not actually read it before presenting it to a potential investor. This is a major oversight.
The purpose of this document is to create the outline of the kind of business that you have and what services or products you offer. Therefore, you need to make certain that it is well thought out and structured in an easy, understandable and concise way.
Make sure that your plan is formatted so that it is easy for you to read. In particular, the structure should make it easy for you to quickly zero in on any item or topic needs to be added or modified. Also, ensure that your plan’s font size that is easily read on a laptop. Be sure to include a table of contents.
Finally, be sure to include sufficient information on
- projected earnings,
- the structure of the company including key personnel, the management team and their responsibilities,
- key locations, and
- any other details that are critical for the reader to be able to grasp your overall plan.
As you can see, making sure that your business plan structure is well thought out is critical to your success. A poorly written plan will cost you both time and money.