Basic Outline For Business Plan

This is a basic outline of all the materials needed to create a business plan. The outline includes an executive summary, market/industry analysis, company and management team, plus financials and other details. If you’re looking for a concise but thorough document that serves as a blueprint for creating your own business plan, this downloadable outline is for you.

In this guide, we review the Basic Outline For Business Plan, How do I write a simple business plan, and What are the 3 C’s of a business plan?

Basic Outline For Business Plan

This is a basic outline of all the materials and topics needed to create a business plan. The outline includes an executive summary, market/industry analysis, company and management team, plus financials and other details.

This is a basic outline of all the materials and topics needed to create a business plan

A business plan is a written document that describes the nature of your business, its purpose, and its future direction. It’s used to help you make decisions about your venture. It’s also an important tool for investors who want to understand how you will run your company and what kind of return they can expect from their investment. Finally, banks usually require a formal business plan when applying for financing.

Business plans come in many shapes and sizes but there are some common elements shared by most successful ones:

  • Executive Summary – An overview of the entire plan. It’s meant to be quick read that gives an idea of what’s inside without having to read through everything first;
  • Company Background – Includes information on competitive advantage (if any), market analysis (who will buy this product or service?), financial statements (how much money did it cost? How much money have I made so far?), organizational structure (who does what?)

I. Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief, high-level overview of your business plan. It’s what you’ll want to share with investors and lenders so that they can quickly understand the main points of your plan. An executive summary should be no more than one page long and should include the following:

  • A short description of your business (how it will make money, its market position, etc.)
  • A statement about what makes your company stand out from competitors (if applicable)
  • The total number and type of employees in the company at present, as well as projections for future growth
Summary: A short statement, usually one page, that summarizes who you are, what your company is, your goals and where you see the company in 5 years. It should be clear, concise, and complete so that anyone can understand it without reading the rest of the plan.

This section is a short statement, usually one page, that summarizes who you are, what your company is and where you see the company in five years. The summary should be clear, concise, and complete so that anyone can understand it without reading the rest of the business plan.

It should be written in the first person tense (“I” or “we”) rather than using third-person pronouns like “he” or “she.” It should use active voice rather than passive voice to make your writing more inviting and engaging to read.

II. Market/Industry Analysis

The second section of your business plan is the market/industry analysis. This is where you describe the current market for your product or service. You should include information about the size of the market, how it is growing, who your competitors are, and how you plan to differentiate yourself from them. If there is no existing market for what you want to sell, then this section becomes especially important because it will help describe why people should buy your product or service in addition to describing its function.

Summary: This section is all about proving that there is a need for your product or service. You begin with an overview of the industry and then include research about how many people are already using similar products or services along with statistics about the market size and growth rate. Then you explain why there will continue to be demand for your product in the future. Here you give details about how your product will satisfy one or more needs of your customers better than any other similar product can.

This section is all about proving that there is a need for your product or service. You begin with an overview of the industry and then include research about how many people are already using similar products or services along with statistics about the market size and growth rate. Then you explain why there will continue to be demand for your product in the future. Here you give details about how your product will satisfy one or more needs of your customers better than any other similar product can.

III. Company and Management Team

In this section, you should include a brief history of the company, as well as key personnel and their special skills and experience. These are people who will be involved in operations, management and other areas of the business. If there are any partners or investors that you have started working with already, it’s also important to list them here.

Summary: this section gives information about who will be making things happen and how they will do it. It usually includes a brief description of the history of the company as well as bios of key personnel that include their special skills and experience.

Summary: this section gives information about who will be making things happen and how they will do it. It usually includes a brief description of the history of the company as well as bios of key personnel that include their special skills and experience.

You need to show that you have the skills and experience to run the business, which is one reason why you should use an accountant or lawyer for your plan. They can help make sure that your financial projections are realistic, based on real numbers from past businesses similar to yours or even from businesses in different industries altogether.

You also need to demonstrate that you have a good idea for a product or service, something unique enough so people will want to buy it from you rather than somewhere else online or offline (or both).

How do I write a simple business plan

While taking many forms and serving many purposes, they all have one thing in common: business plans help you establish your goals and define the means for achieving them. Our simple business plan template covers everything you need to consider when launching a side gig, solo operation or small business. By following this step-by-step process, you might even uncover a few alternate routes to success.

Why Business Plans Are Vital

Whether you’re a first-time solopreneur or a seasoned business owner, the planning process challenges you to examine the costs and tasks involved in bringing a product or service to market. The process can also help you spot new income opportunities and hone in on the most profitable business models.

Though vital, business planning doesn’t have to be a chore. Business plans for lean startups and solopreneurs can simply outline the business concept, sales proposition, target customers and sketch out a plan of action to bring the product or service to market. However, if you’re seeking startup funding or partnership opportunities, you’ll need a write a business plan that details market research, operating costs and revenue forecasting.

Whichever startup category you fall into, if you’re at square one, our simple business plan template will point you down the right path.

Get Your Free Simple Business Plan Template

Copy our free simple business plan template so you can fill in the blanks as we explore each element of your business plan. Need help getting your ideas flowing? You’ll also find several startup scenario examples below.

How To Write an Effective Business Plan in 6 Steps

Whether you need a quick-launch overview or an in-depth plan for investors, any business plan should cover the six key elements outlined in our free template and explained below. The main difference in starting a small business versus an investor-funded business is the market research and operational and financial details needed to support the concept.

1. Your Mission or Vision

Start by declaring a “dream statement” for your business. You can call this your executive summary, vision statement or mission. Whatever the name, the first part of your business plan summarizes your idea by answering five questions. Keep it brief, such as an elevator pitch. You’ll expand these answers in the following sections of the simple business plan template.

These answers come easily if you have a solid concept for your business, but don’t worry if you get stuck. Use the rest of your plan template to brainstorm ideas and tactics. You’ll quickly find these answers and possibly new directions as you explore your ideas and options.

2. Offer and Value Proposition

This is where you detail your offer, such as selling products, providing services or both, and why anyone would care. That’s the value proposition. Specifically, you’ll expand on your answers to the first and fourth bullets from your mission/vision.

As you complete this section, you might find that exploring value propositions uncovers marketable business opportunities that you hadn’t yet considered. So spend some time brainstorming the possibilities in this section.

For example, a cottage baker startup specializing in gluten-free or keto-friendly products might be a value proposition that certain audiences care deeply about. Plus, you could expand on that value proposition by offering wedding and other special-occasion cakes that incorporate gluten-free, keto-friendly and traditional cake elements that all guests can enjoy.

3. Audience and Ideal Customer

Here is where you explore bullet point number three, who your business will benefit. Identifying your ideal customer and exploring a broader audience for your goods or services is essential in defining your sales and marketing strategies, plus it helps fine-tune what you offer.

There are many ways to research potential audiences, but a shortcut is to simply identify a problem that people have that your product or service can solve. If you start from the position of being a problem solver, it’s easy to define your audience and describe the wants and needs of your ideal customer for marketing efforts.

Using the cottage baker startup example, a problem people might have is finding fresh-baked gluten-free or keto-friendly sweets. Examining the wants and needs of these people might reveal a target audience that is health-conscious or possibly dealing with health issues and willing to spend more for hard-to-find items.

However, it’s essential to have a customer base that can support your business. You can be too specialized. For example, our baker startup can attract a broader audience and boost revenue by offering a wider selection of traditional baked goods alongside its gluten-free and keto-focused specialties.

4. Revenue Streams, Sales Channels and Marketing

Thanks to our internet-driven economy, startups have many revenue opportunities and can connect with target audiences through various channels. Revenue streams and sales channels also serve as marketing vehicles, so you can cover all three in this section.

Revenue streams are the many ways you can make money in your business. In your plan template, list how you’ll make money upon launch, plus include ideas for future expansion. The income possibilities just might surprise you.

Sales channels put your revenue streams into action. This section also answers the “where will this happen” question in the second bullet of your vision.

Nowadays, the line between marketing and sales channels is blurred. Social media outlets, e-books, websites, blogs and videos serve as both marketing tools and income opportunities. Since most are free and those with advertising options are extremely economical, these are ideal marketing outlets for lean startups.

However, many businesses still find value in traditional advertising such as local radio, television, direct mail, newspapers and magazines. You can include these advertising costs in your simple business plan template to help build a marketing plan and budget.

5. Structure, Suppliers and Operations

This section of your simple business plan template explores how to structure and operate your business. Details include the type of business organization your startup will take, roles and responsibilities, supplier logistics and day-to-day operations. Also, include any certifications or permits needed to launch your enterprise in this section.

6. Financial Forecasts

Your final task is to list forecasted business startup and ongoing costs and profit projections in your simple business plan template. Thanks to free business tools such as Square and free marketing on social media, lean startups can launch with few upfront costs. In many cases, cost of goods, shipping and packaging, business permits and printing for business cards are your only out-of-pocket expenses.

What are the 3 C’s of a business plan

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