• Ralph

Comprehensive Business Plan Writing In Eight Steps

Updated: May 14, 2020

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” — Warren Buffett, investor

If you’re launching a new business or greatly expanding an existing one, it’s essential that you put together a thorough business plan with a detailed financial plan.

Bank loan officers and investors will require one before they’ll consider funding your business growth endeavors. But even if you aren’t seeking outside investment, developing a rigorous plan is a crucial process. It will help ensure that you understand what your new business is going to require financially, and the operational efforts needed from your leadership and team members.

Here are eight steps you can follow to develop an excellent business plan.

Describe Your Company

You can think of this first section as a snapshot of your business, both as it is and as you envision it to be. It doesn’t need to be overly long as you’ll be going into more depth later. Provide your readers with a quality summary and a top-level understanding.

Start with what your company does. Provide surface level descriptions of your products and services, and who your target market is. Consider including your mission statement and value proposition. Demonstrate to your readers why you think your business is essential.

You also want to discuss your company in the context of the industry it serves. Talk about what distinguishes you from your competition and where you fit into the greater narrative of the marketplace.

Perform Market Research Analysis

In this section, you’re going to drill down into some of the details you briefly mentioned in the last part. You want this section to be rigorous, well-researched, and data-driven. It’s not enough to talk about where you fit into the competitive landscape. You need to support your statements with accurate, timely information.

As you flesh this section out, you want to touch on your industry, including information on its current state, its rates of growth, and where you see it i