It’s also smart to write a business plan when you’re: Start with a clear picture of who the audience your plan will address. Defining your audience helps you determine the language you’ll need to propose your ideas as well as the depth to which you need to go to help readers conduct due diligence. It’s a high-level look at everything and summarizes the other sections of your plan. Below, you’ll find an example from a fictional business, Landscapers Inc.
Even though it appears first in the plan, write your executive summary last so you can condense essential ideas from the other nine sections. (We’ll use that same company through this guide and within the downloadable template to make each step practical and easy to replicate.) Its executive summary majors on what’s often called the That framework isn’t meant to be rigid, but instead to serve as a jumping-off point.
Before you leave a nine-to-five income, your business plan can tell you if you’re ready.
Over the long term, it’ll keep you focused on what needs to be accomplished. Or, an internal document to guide you, your leaders, and your employees? The executive summary lays out all the vital information about your business within a relatively short space; typically, one page or less.
For example, if your product is perfect for people with money to hire landscape architects, listing “anyone with a garden” as your target market might not go over so well.
The same is true with your market analysis when you estimate its size and monetary value.If your business doesn’t have any direct competition, research other companies that provide a similar product or service.Next, create a table or spreadsheet listing your competitors to include in your plan.Market research indicates an increasing number of wealthy consumers in Cleveland are interested in landscape architecture based on sustainable design. Currently, only two exist—neither of which focuses on eco-friendly planning nor are certified by green organizations. provides a premium, sustainable service for customers with disposable incomes, large yards, and a love of nature.Within a business plan, your company description contains three elements: (1) mission statement, (2) history, and (3) objectives. Think about what motivates you, what causes and experiences led you to start the business, the problems you solve, the wider social issues you care about, and more.The next step is to outline your ideal customer as well as the actual and potential size of your market.Target markets—also known as personas—identify demographic information like: If your target market is too broad, it can be a red light for investors.A mission statement is your business’ reason for existing. it’s about They should be rallying cries around which the heart and soul of your business turn. Don’t worry about making your company history a dense narrative.Instead, write it like you would a profile: Then, translate that list into one or two paragraphs (see below). These goals must be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. When your objectives aren’t clearly defined, it’s hard for employees and team members to work towards a common purpose.Even better—if you’re pressed for time—we’ve compiled the 10 steps and examples into a downloadable (PDF) template: But, first things first …A business plan is a comprehensive roadmap for your small business’ growth and development.