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9 Key Elements of a Successful Business Plan

It is common for new businesses to fail. Ignoring important steps to forming a business is one of the biggest mistakes that these companies make. Creating a business plan is an essential part of starting a company. Business plans guide your business to success.

There are 9 components that you should include when you are creating a business plan.

Executive Summary

This is simply a summary of everything that is contained within the business plan. It is important to keep this section succinct while providing an overview of the goals of your business. Executive summaries should be designed to pique the interest of financial investors.

Business Evaluation

This component outlines the background of your business. You should also highlight the path that you envision for the business.

Industry Evaluation

The evaluation of the industry lets investors and other readers of your business plan know that you are knowledgeable about the field. It is essential to demonstrate a thorough understanding of your chosen industry by citing trends and outlining standards in this section.

Customer Evaluation

Successful businesses are able to define their target market. Your company will see better returns if you are able to fulfill the needs of your target market. Use this component to convince business plan readers that you have the skill needed to draw in new customers.

Competitive Evaluation

Understanding the competition gives you an edge by allowing you to create a plan for standing apart from the crowd. Investors want to see that you have evaluated your competition to come up with a way to get ahead.

Marketing Plan

This portion of your business plan outlines how you will let potential customers know about the products or services that you are offering. It should include details about how you will use advertising strategies, sales efforts and promotions to get the word out.

Operations Plan

Your business needs to have a day-to-day plan to determine how you will handle tasks that come up on a daily basis. This shows investors that you are prepared to run the business with the help of employees.

Management Plan

This component outlines the members of your management teams and explains the strategies that they plan to use to make your business successful.

Financial Statements

Current financial statements including an Income and Expense Statement and Balance Sheet should be included in your business plan.

Creating a business plan is an important step to securing the financing that your business needs to get ahead. A detailed business plan also allows you to plan for the challenges that arise when you are running a small business.