A business plan is an essential step to properly planning for the future success of any business enterprise. Yet there are many reasons why new business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and even established business executives will put off writing or revising their business plan proposal. Since a business plan proposal is often required for such necessary business activities as attracting investors, obtaining a business loan, or building new partnerships, this task can often be delayed until such time as these endeavors become a necessary or desired part of the business objectives.
There are many excellent free templates available online that can guide you through writing a business plan, so select the one you resonate with and use it as a starting point. You may wish to try out the outline available on the E-Commerce website, or the easy format available at MyOwnBusiness. The Small Business Association also has excellent resources for building a business plan proposal.
What to Include
When you are writing a business plan, there are certain sections you will want to include. The most important section is the Executive Summary since this will be the most widely read and most often referred to by others who may wish to participate in your business enterprise either as a funder or a collaborator. You may also wish to include a Market Analysis to analyze what kinds of competition you will be facing, a Company Description that gives readers an overview of what your business does, information on how marketing will be conducted, the types of services or products you will produce, and any financial information that is relevant to your plan. Within each of these elements is the opportunity to expand on your vision, mission, and objectives, and to outline the mechanics by which your overarching purpose for starting a new business will be achieved.