Writing a Business Plan is an important road map for entrepreneurs
For most people, starting a road trip requires a map, an itinerary and a destination; the same principles apply when starting a small business.
February 17, 2012 - Author: Mary Robb, Michigan State University Extension
A business plan is the road map to success. A complete business plan will describe the business well enough that anyone reading the plan will understand what it is that will be accomplished, how it will be accomplished, and by whom. In addition, the act of writing the business plan will help the entrepreneur map out the expectations for the business in an organized fashion, developing a framework for how the business will operate. This is used as a tool in the decision-making needed to reach the business goals and helps to manage change that will undoubtedly impact the business over time.
A business plan should be precise and descriptive and may be anywhere from just a few pages for a fairly simple business to a larger, more in-depth volume describing a more complicated business. A potential investor will want to review a business plan to determine the viability of the business based on the clearness of the concept and probability of the business to turn a profit that will allow the entrepreneur to repay the loan or return the investment.
A completed business plan will include: an Executive Summary, a Business Description, an Operations Plan, a Marketing Plan, a plan for the Management and Organization of the Business, and a Financial Plan as well as supporting documents that outline the experience and business knowledge of the entrepreneur.
Beginning with a detailed description of the history and organization of the business, the product or service provided, and how this will be managed in a way to earn a profit may be the easiest place for an entrepreneur to start. Once the original concept is thought through and written down, the other sections of the plan will follow. The last section of the business plan to be written is the Executive Summary, an encapsulated version of the overall business plan.