Business Plans Are Written Here
11 Dec 2023
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” December is National Write a Business Plan Month, the perfect time to plan for the success of your business. Harvard Business Review says, “Entrepreneurs who write formal business plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than otherwise identical non-planning entrepreneurs.”
What Is a Business Plan?
For new business owners, a business plan is an overview that explains:
- What the business is
- What the business sells
- Why the business exists
- The competition
- How the business is funded
For existing business owners, a business plan is a roadmap to success. It’s a guide that is adjusted and updated often as the business changes/grows. Business plans outline a business’ present and future journeys.
Whether you’re a new or existing business owner, a business plan is the best quick reference guide to have in place should any unexpected questions or situations arise from outsiders, prospective investors, and employees. If you are applying for a business loan, most banks require a copy of your business plan with the completed application.
Common elements of a business plan include:
- Executive Summary - An overview of operations, strategy, and goals
- Products and Services - What the business offers and how it helps consumers/customers
- Market Analysis - Profile of the Ideal Customer
- Competitive Analysis - Strengths and weaknesses against the competition
- Marketing and Sales Plan - The best market for the business to attract customers, generate revenue, and how
- Operational Plan - How the business will run daily, including inventory, equipment, employees/labor, etc.
- Organization and Management Structure (including one-person-run businesses) - Departments, staff, and staff requirements
- Key Milestones - Date or number projections for when each goal is attained
- Financial Plan - Accounting documentation, expenses, funding, salaries, liabilities, etc.
- Appendix - Data, charts, and other visual aspects, etc.
How to Write a Business Plan
There's no need to stress if you’ve never written a business plan. The Small Business Association (SBA) offers much information on their website:
- Business Plan Tool
- How to Write a Business Plan (self-paced course)
- Business Planning Guide
- Business Plan Formats
Once you’ve gathered all the information, are ready to write your business plan, and want more creativity than an MS Word document or plain PDF, visit B Plans, a website dedicated to writing business plans.
CEDC Is Here to Help
For in-person assistance, the Conroe Economic Development Council (CEDC) provides businesses with individual support and offers local business resources available to Conroe-only companies. Contact CEDC today to get your business plan started or updated here.