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Here’s what a couple of entrepreneurs said when we asked them how useful writing a business plan was for their business.
Whatever your reason for writing a business plan, the task will probably still feel like a homework assignment.
When you’re starting a business, your to-do list is a mile long and filled with more immediately rewarding tasks, like taking product photos, creating ad campaigns, and opening social media accounts.
Now that you’ve got an outline or a template in place, it’s time to fill it in.
We’ve broken it down by section to help you build your plan step-by-step.
Here’s what your business plan’s executive summary should include: This section of your business plan should answer two fundamental questions: Who are you, and what do you plan to do?
Answering these questions provides an introduction to why you’re in business, why you’re different, what you have going for you, and why you’re a good investment bet.Your statement should explain, in a convincing manner, why your business exists, and should be no longer than a single sentence.As an example, Shopify’s mission statement is “Make commerce better for everyone.” It’s the “why” behind everything we do and clear enough that it needs no further explanation.To define your values, think about all the people your company is accountable to, including owners, employees, suppliers, customers, and investors.Now consider how you’d like to conduct business with each of them.But there are several compelling reasons to consider writing a business plan, even if you don’t need funding.If you’re looking for a structured way to lay out your thoughts and ideas, and to share those ideas with people who can have a big impact on your success, a business plan is an excellent starting point.Since an outline is such an important step in the process of writing a business plan, we’ve put together a high-level overview you can copy into your blank document to get you started (and avoid the terror of facing a blank page).Here’s a sample business plan outline: You can also start with a business plan template, and use it to inform the structure of your plan.Our business plan included an overview on why we were making the move, the issues with the current business, the benefits of moving to a new platform, the potential issues during the move, the main task, added costs, and a timeline.It really covered everything we felt was the most important.