Business plans vary in content according to their intended purposes, but the basic format remains the same. It consists of three elements: First, discuss the business model and describe your products and services. Then place the business in its industry and discuss your intended marketplace, including your target customers and how you'll reach them, beating your competition. Last, relate these plans to the real world, discussing your contingency plans and finishing off with spreadsheets detailing your anticipated sales, costs of doing business and resulting profits. Vary the basic format only to more clearly present the idea.
Elements of a Business Plan
Basic Structure Of A Business Plan For Beginners
A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business—usually a startup —defines its objectives and how it is to go about achieving its goals. A business plan lays out a written roadmap for the firm from marketing , financial, and operational standpoints. Business plans are important documents used to attract investment before a company has established a proven track record. They are also a good way for companies to keep themselves on target going forward. Although they're especially useful for new businesses, every company should have a business plan. Ideally, the plan is reviewed and updated periodically to see if goals have been met or have changed and evolved.
What's the value of your business? That depends on whom you ask. Ask potential buyers, especially when they're being cautious in tough economic times, and it might not meet your expectations. Negotiating a sale of a privately-held business is never a breeze — and it's much less so in a down market in which there is little competition among buyers to drive up the multiple. When a seller's expectations aren't being met by potential buyers, including an earn-out provision in the acquisition contract can help narrow the price-expectation divide.
The following business plan for the fictional firm of "Acme Management Technology" AMT is an example of what a completed business plan might look like. This example is provided as part of the instructions and detailed descriptions included in the Components of a Business Plan. This business plan leads the way by renewing our vision and strategic focus of adding value to our target market segments—the small business and high-end home office users in our local market.