What is a Business Plan?

A Business Plan is an essential road map for business success. When properly written, it serves as a guide on how to form your business, how it will be marketed, growth forecasts, as well as other key issues such as financial forecasts and the feasibility of the business.

What Terms Should I be Familiar with to Create my Business Plan?

Generally, you should be familiar with the terms Executive Summary, Organization & Management, Company Description, Product or Service Line, Financial Projections, Market Analysis, and Marketing.

What is an Executive Summary?

An Executive Summary is a snapshot of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals.

What is Organization & Management?

Every business is structured differently. Organization and Management refers to how your business will be structured from a Sole Proprietorship or simple Limited Liability Company (LLC) to a more complex Corporation or other structure.

What is a Company Description?

A Company Description provides information on what you do, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves or will serve.

What is a Product or Service Line?

Your Product or Service Line is what the business will sell. How will they benefit your customers? What is the product lifecycle?

What are Financial Projections?

Financial Projections are your estimates of the amount of money it will take to launch the business, the expected revenues for the business over time, and the break even point of when you expect the business to be profitable. If you plan on seeking funding from third parties providing realistic financial projections supported by research or other data to back up your request is critical.

What is Market Analysis?

Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market and competitors. Market Analysis refers to the summary of that research so that you know who will buy your Product or Service Line, why they will buy it, at what price they will buy it, and what the competition is for those purchasing dollars.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is how your Product or Service Line will be presented to the relevant consumer base to induce them to purchase your goods or services. Examples of traditional marketing methods include radio and television advertisements, Internet pay-per-click campaigns, as well as more recent methods such as viral marketing and product placement.



What Are the Advantages of Having a Business Plan?

The primary advantage to having a business plan is that it provides a road map for success for your business. In short, if properly constructed, not only will it make you think about the challenges and opportunities in creating your new business, but once formed it will keep you focused on the business’s core reason to be founded providing guidance as to where the business should be headed and how to get there.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Having a Business Plan?

Generally, no. However, it should be noted that markets for goods and services can change during the life a business. Different marketing strategies can be developed. New competitors will arise. Thus, a Business Plan must be subject to change to meet the ever shifting landscape of the business world. So while the core values may remain the same, a business plan should be flexible enough to change when conditions assumed in the original version change. A Business Plan that is not flexible enough to account for shifting market conditions could thus become a disadvantage where it once an advantage.



How do I Create a Business Plan?

To create a business plan you should list out the sections Executive Summary, Organization & Management, Company Description, Product or Service Line, Financial Projections, Market Analysis, Marketing and any other sections relevant to your business and then begin writing the same with an eye on creating the road map to success for your business.

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Can I Amend My Business Plan?

Yes. While a business always should stay true to its core values as set forth in its original Business Plan, failure to account for changes in the marketplace for a business’s Product or Service Line can detrimental to the long-term survival of the business. Thus, a Business Plan should be sufficiently defined to provide long-term guidance on the growth and management of the business but also be flexible enough to be amended should external shifts in the marketplace so require.



Do I Need to File My Business Plan with a State or Federal Agency?

No. A Business Plan is not required to be filed with any agency or government entity. It is simply your business’s private roadmap to success.

Do I Need a Business Plan to Attract Investors?

Generally, yes. Most investors will want to see your business’s concept, Market Analysis, and Financial Projections before considering an investment in the same. Of note, if your business concept is highly unique or could easily be copied by another prior to presenting a potential investor with your Business Plan an appropriate Non-Disclosure Agreement should be entered into between the parties.