The small business plan is a guide that helps business owners stay focused on their goals/objectives and serves as a tool to solicit investors and lending institutions to finance the business.
To write an effective small business plan, you need to complete several steps to ensure that the final plan includes the necessary elements.
Small Business Plan Outline: 6 Steps to Success
1.) Small Business Plan Outline – Setup
Use the outline format of any word processing program to create a small business plan. An outline format makes the plan easier to read and easier to fill in any details you need to add later.
2.) Small Business Plan Outline – Business Description
Describe your business in the first section. Explain the kinds of products or services your business will offer, how you plan to manufacture the product or administer the service and what materials you will need. Include details about the kind of facility you will need and the types of equipment required.
3.) Small Business Plan Outline – Budget
Create a business budget and break it down into three parts: start-up costs, ongoing operating costs and a breakdown of the overhead into sections such as manpower and materials.
Provide as many details as possible in the budget section. Forecast your budget needs for ongoing operating costs for at least three years. Break the budget down by department, including sales, marketing, production and support.
4.) Small Business Plan Outline – Profit Projection
Develop a profit projection that shows the percentage growth you expect for the next three years. Cite reasons for your forecast and give examples of how you intend to grow your company.
5.) Small Business Plan Outline – Sales and Marketing
Present a sales and marketing plan that includes detailed analysis of your competition, how you intend to address the competition and a detailed explanation of how you will bring your product or service to the marketplace.
6.) Small Business Plan Outline – Biographical
Create a biographical section that features information about all executives and partners who will be involved in the company. Include compensation plans, detailed job descriptions for each person and resumes that outline past experience within the industry.
Have a business lawyer and accountant review your small business plan outline before you consider it finished.