This is the place for your “origin story.” This section should be just as well-written as the Executive Summary, of course. What is your interest in the market? How’d you get to this point? As you can tell, the Business strategy amounts to backstory and that’s essential to any Business Plan. This is where you tell them where you’re coming from, before you get to “why” you’re in need of an investment, in a nutshell. This plan gives all the must-have details about your business. Here you are looking to answer questions like “when did you start?”; “Why?”; “By whom?”
The Executive Summary is where you explain the general idea behind your company; it’s where
you give the reader (most likely an investor, or someone else you need on board) a clear
indication of why you’ve sent this Business Plan to them. This is a souped-up “elevator pitch,” a
couple of pages that summarizes what your business is all about.
Note that, while the entire Business Plan should be well-written, this section must really
demonstrate excellent composition and grammar. This is the first part of your Business Plan
that anyone will read, so it’s important that it really “sing.”
The header section of the Executive Summary can benefit from flexible treatment, as well. You
can use a company logo, or any other design you’d like, but you want to be sure you include the
name of your business, right at the start of the Business Plan.
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Mission Statement
- Products and Services
- Marketing Plan
- Operations Plan
- Management Organization
- Financial Plan
- Conclusion/Call to Action
- Confidentiality Statement
In the Business Plan section, you will want to get the reader’s attention by letting them know
what you do. Try to answer some (or all) of the following questions:
What products or services do you offer?
What sector do you operate within?
Who is your target audience?
What is the future outlook of the marketplace?
What makes your offer unique?
Who’s the boss?
Why did your company start?
Do you need investment?
How much money do you need?
What is the money to be used for?
How will your business become profitable?
What’s in it for the recipient?
The last question is perhaps the most important. Already, only having read as far into your
business plan as the Executive Summary, your reader is wondering “what’s in it for me?” And
your challenge is to offer them a preview (remember this is a “summary”) of the benefits of
accepting your business plan, while not giving away the whole story
Business Plans to Help You Write Your Own
Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template
Panda Doc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each of its sections, so you don’t have to come up with everything from scratch.
Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to your business’ success.
BPlan’s Free Business Plan Template
One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates more than half of its pages to your business’ financial plan and financial statements.
After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.
Harvard Business Review’s “How to Write a Winning Business Plan”
Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan. You’ll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service and the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture, rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.
HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business. Fortunately, with HubSpot’s comprehensive guide to starting a business, you’ll learn how to map out all the details of your business by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you. If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot’s guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, fund your business, gives information about small business tax, and provides marketing, sales, and service tips.
HubSpot’s & General Assembly’s Business Plan Template
The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business, so you’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it. There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan. You need a game plan to win the game of business. Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a viable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.