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If you are planning to start a new business, you will need to create a business plan. Business plans can be extremely complex, but for most small businesses, this simplified business plan will be sufficient. Your business plan will answer many questions and besides yourself, lenders and investors will want to see your business plan.

The order in which you create your business plan, isn’t generally the order it will appear in the finished product. For example, your executive summary will be found at the beginning of your business plan but you should really write it after you’ve put everything else together. Let’s have a look at what summary of what your business plan needs to include:

1. Executive Summary – This is simply a couple of pages that highlight what your business is about and what your objectives are.

2. Company Description – Here you will include your legal name, address, a bit of history on your company, and any startup plans you have.

3. Product(s) or Service(s) – What are you selling, how will it benefit your customers, and what’s unique about what you are offering.

4. Market Analysis – You need to know your market segmentation, needs, trends, growth, and your strategies. You also need to have your industry analysis completed, understand distribution patterns, and your competition.

5. Strategy and Implementation – This needs to be specific and includes your pricing strategy, promotion strategy, sales strategy, positioning, management’s responsibility pertaining to budgets, etc.

6. Web Plan – If you are going to be operating an e-commerce site, you need to summarize who you will handle sales, marketing, etc.

7. Management Team – Describe who will be your key management team and the organization in general.

8. Financial Analysis – Include your projected cash flow tables, projected profit and loss, projected balance sheet, , break-even analysis, and long-term plan.

Your business plan is at the very heart of your business. It’s the plan that you are going to put into place to get your business off the ground. It’s the road map for yourself and potential investors or lenders. There are many free business plan samples online if you need a little bit more help than this simple outline.

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Keep in mind the more attention to detail the better your business plan will be and the more beneficial it will be. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and tweak along the way, and do give this plan the attention it deserves.

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