- Executive Summary – written last – 1 page concise overview of everything in the plan.
- Description of your business: your mission and your vision
a. Description – what is your business?
b. Mission statement – Tells others what business you are in and why you are here. Tells them where you are going & how you will get there. Also explains the principles and beliefs that create the foundation of the way you do business; your values.
c. Vision statement – this is a description of your dream. It’s that business that doesn’t exist, but you can see it in your mind. It tells others what you want to be. Your vision provides direction, motivation, and helps determine your decisions.
- Product, Industry & Competition description
a. Clearly define your product or service.
b. How will your business operate daily?
c. Clearly define your target market.
d. Describe the industry you are in; what is trending now.
e. Research your competition and tell us what gives you a competitive advantage.
- Description of your organizational form
a. Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, or LLC (Limited Liability Company)
b. Answers the question of why this business structure is the best for you.
- Human Resources Plan
a. Describe what you bring to the business.
b. Describe whom you will need to fill the gaps that you can’t (you can’t be an expert in everything, so these are the people that are experts, such as your accountant).
- Business Requirements a. Required licenses, permits, & insurance. b. Cost and what is covered in the costs?
- Marketing & Communications Plan
a. Include a description of your location and statement of why that is the best location for you
b. How will you brand yourself; what will your logo look like and your colors; why is this the best color for you?
c. What marketing and communication strategies will you use?
- Financial Statements & Startup Expenses – Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, Balance Sheet
- Succession Plan – How will you exit the business (if necessary)?
- Conclusion – answers the questions of economic viability of your business; i.e.: Based on my research on this business, should I start this business? Will the business be profitable?
- Appendices – Any details not described in the plan; i.e.: marketing materials, research, and equipment lists, etc.
- References – At least four sources must be used and sources must be properly cited.