Start with an Executive Summary
Start your business plan with an executive summary that provides an overview of your goals, strategies, and plan for action. A summary can range from a few paragraphs to a full page, so draft it up first either by hand or in word processing software to perfect the grammar and spelling of your summary. Some specific topics might include your business’s identity or mission, a summary of your objectives, a brief introduction into your market and viability, and any pertinent financial details. Hook your readers with your summary so they become invested in the rest of your plan, and arm them with only the most important facts so they have direction as they move through your plan.
Offer Insight with a Company Description
Now that you’ve detailed your overview summary and mission, provide your readers with some specifics. This section entails details like company name, location, leaders and management team, employee organization structure, a brief on products or services, and target market, to name a few key points. Naturally, you can be flexible with what topics go in which sections as you cater this business plan template to suit your needs. That being said, aim for this section to be straightforward details that paint a clear picture of your business.
Showcase Your Products and/or Services
After briefing your readers on your company, take an opportunity to show off the goods your company has to offer! What are your products or services, and what makes them great? What are your price points, how are they structured, and how do they vary? Hit on topics like production, sourcing, overhead, and timelines. Really sell it to your readers! Explore Adobe Spark Post as a tool to create graphics or edit photos of your goods or services that you can feature in your business plan template.
Provide In-Depth Industry Analysis
The industry analysis portion should be maximized with strong, relevant research and data that give a clear understanding of your industry and peers. First, define your industry (or industries) with a historical background and current standing. Then, plug in some data! What are some quantifiable areas that describe your industry? Maybe manufacturing costs, profit margins, or size of the industry. Use market research and analysis to observe how politics, economics, social-demographics, or technology influence and impact your industry. You’re also welcome to tie in any data that offers projections for the future of your industry, so readers can start to visualize the path to your business’s success. Point out opportunities, and back up your statements with data, that demonstrate the advantages for your business. Using Adobe Spark Post’s Chart Maker, you can even visualize your data in a clean, easy-to-read design! Then, insert your charts to your business plan template.
Shine a Light on Business Opportunities
Hopefully, the information provided in your analysis will start to allude to where your business opportunities lie. Use this portion to really dive into those opportunities and your strategies for success. What’s your competitive edge? What about your product or service stands out above the rest? What areas can you improve on while other competitors fall behind? Feel free to use more data to backup your statements here, perhaps from target markets or satisfied clients.
Map Out Your Marketing Plan & Sales Strategies
When it comes to plans and strategies, be clear, concise, and compelling. Offer a full understanding of your strategies that instills confidence and excitement in your readers. For your marketing outline, be sure to touch on your method of entry into the target market, growth strategy, new methods for increasing sales, and a plan for communication and marketing to your audience. Following that, go into depth on your sales strategy, which will help you carry out your marketing plan. What are your financial goals and objectives? What are your sales teams’ responsibilities and goals? How do you set and monitor those goals? Provide details such as positioning, prospecting, goals, and budget to paint the full picture.
Outline Your Financial Analysis
For a business plan, your financial analysis section is more about the bigger picture than the exact numbers down to the cent. You can provide specifics, but best to do in the context of it supporting the overall business plan. Showcase reports such as a sales forecast, balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, expense budget and a break-even analysis. Don’t forget your ROI, or return on investment. This is a crucial data point for having conversations with investors. Since this section has so incredibly important details, make them as engaging to read about as possible! Use Adobe Spark Post to create graphics that highlight some of the key points from this section, or try out Spark’s Chart Maker to visualize the numbers. Double and triple check your math before wrapping up this section, and seek guidance from another set of eyes or a financial professional if you need it.