There are many reasons to write a business plan—it’s not solely the domain of entrepreneurs who want to secure funding to start or grow their business.
A business plan can help you clarify your strategy, identify potential roadblocks, decide what you’ll need in the way of resources, and evaluate the viability of your idea or your growth plans before you start a business.
Here’s what a couple of entrepreneurs said when we asked them how useful writing a business plan was for their business.
“We had a marketing background, but not much experience in the other functions needed to run a fashion ecommerce business, like operations, finance, production, and tech.
Again, it’s a summary, so highlight the key points you’ve uncovered while writing your plan.
If you’re writing for your own planning purposes, you can skip the summary altogether—although you might want to give it a try anyways, just for practice. Admittedly, that space constraint can make squeezing in all of the salient information a bit stressful—but it’s not impossible.Whatever your reason for writing a business plan, the task will probably still feel like a homework assignment.When you’re starting a business, your to-do list is a mile long and filled with more immediately rewarding tasks, like taking product photos, creating ad campaigns, and opening social media accounts.Since an outline is such an important step in the process of writing a business plan, we’ve put together a high-level overview you can copy into your blank document to get you started (and avoid the terror of facing a blank page).Here’s a sample business plan outline: You can also start with a business plan template, and use it to inform the structure of your plan.Here are some of the components you should include in your company overview: Some of these points are statements of fact, but others will require a bit more thought to define, especially when it comes to your business’s vision, mission, and values.This is where you start getting to the core of why your business exists, what you hope to accomplish, and what you stand for.There are many resources to help finance your business.You may also choose to seek advice from a finance professional such as an accountant or bookkeeper.Now that you’ve got an outline or a template in place, it’s time to fill it in.We’ve broken it down by section to help you build your plan step-by-step.