Tips On Writing A Business
Prior to writing your business plan, you
should have the following in place:
Your business name (you should register it with your appropriate
Any licenses or permits. Check with your town or state to determine
what you may need.
Business Bank Account. It is always a god idea to separate your
business and personal checking accounts.
Once you have done these 3 things, you can begin to write up your
Why Should You Be Writing a Business Plan?
A good business plan maps out, in detail:
- What your goals are for your company.
- Research of your competition, industry and target market
- Estimate what your expenses will be.
- Your resources (financial, human and otherwise) available to reach
You will need a business plan for 2 main readers: yourself and
If you wish to seek outside funding, you will need to present a
comprehensive and detailed business plan that shows your product or
service has the potential to make money.
Your plan will also allow you to determine which direction to take
to make your goals a reality. It should enable you to foresee any
potential roadblocks and how to overcome them.
Keep in mind that your business plan is not written in stone. You
can (and probably will) alter it as your business grows and changes.
Writing Your Business Plan
The outline I have provided in this tutorial should give you a good
start on writing your business plan. Please note that I have listed
each section of a business plan in order of importance.
Your cover letter should include the following information:
Table of Contents
You should include a page that shows where readers can find
information. Be sure to add page numbers to all of your pages.
The executive summary (also called the business plan summary) is the
most important part of your business plan. View this as you would a
cover letter you would send with your resume if you were seeking a
job. You want to make sure it is exciting enough to keep a potential
readers’ attention while summarizing what you will later detail in
the body of your business plan. This section should be no more than
2 pages in length.
Although this is the first part of your business plan, don’t write
until your business plan is complete as it is summary of all the
important points of your business plan.
In your summary, you should answer the following 4 questions:
What is your Business?
What product or service are you selling? Be specific here but also
allow room for change. For example, if you are running a daycare,
will it be day time or overnight, what ages will you care for, etc.
You may need to alter your service later depending upon what the
Who are you potential customers and how will you research them?
Who will your product or service appeal to: other businesses,
parents, teens, etc.?
Where will you locate information about your market? Chamber of
commerce, internet, etc.?
How will promote your product or service?
Will you market online, offline or both? Will you offer incentives
to people who refer you?
Where will obtain the financial resources to start your business?
Will you seek out a loan from a bank, receive assistance from family
members or dip into your personal savings account?
What is the past, present and future of the company?
What is your mission statement?
What is your vision statement?
ObjectivesWhat are your objectives? Where can you see your business
in 1 month? 1 Year? Will you seek out a loan, make any large
purchases, hire employees? What milestones do you plan to reach and
within what time frame? Be specific with your answers. You may also
want to list your short term and long term objectives separately.
Your Target Market
Who is your target market and how will you find them?
Ask around to see if people would purchase your product or service
and what would they pay.
Research the future of your business. Is there an increase your
decrease in the need of your product or service?
Research your competitors. What do they charge? Who are their
Is there something unique you can offer to customers?
Ask their customers what they would like to see changed or added
Why will consumers choose you over your competition?
Your Product or Service
Describe in detail your product or service
What is the need for your product or service?
How much competition do you have?
Why will people use your product or service?
What equipment will you need?
What will you Charge
What are your competitors are charging.?
What costs and time are involved?
What percentage would you like to receive in profit?
How will you market your product or service?
What sales tactics will you use?
Will you offer promotions or incentives?
Will you ask for referrals?
How will you get repeat customers?
Who will handle tasks such as bookkeeping, marketing, and customer
service? Will you have employees? Will you outsource?
Where will your business be located?
Where will you obtain products you need?
What hours will your business be open?
Starting balance sheet
Cash flow statement
Any assumptions you have as to the future of your business (be
Include any documents, articles, statistics, etc. you find that will
support your research.
Letters of Reference: You may also attach letter of reference. These
can be personal and from business associates. Include information
about your business skills, character and credibility in the
This tutorial was written by Jacky Gamble. Jacky is a virtual
assistant providing bookkeeping and administrative services to small
and home-based businesses. She resides in Stowe, VT with her young
daughter, Sierra. You can visit her website at JackyGamble.com.