What to Include in Business Plan Examples and Templates

Business plans play a major role both upon starting a new business or maintaining an already existing one. So in ensuring you write up not only a presentable but efficient and workable one, it would be best to follow some good business plan examples.

Here’s probably what you’ll see in most of the better business plan examples you can find in the Web:

Executive summary – About a page or two of content including the mission / vision statement, the factors or keys to make the business a success, and the overall objectives of the business. It would probably be best to write this part last.

Company summary – Outline of everything about your company or business. It should include company history or start-up plans (depending of course if the company is already existent or just starting up), ownership, locations, and facilities. It’s basically the legal establishment, in its entirety, in a nutshell.

Goods and services – The rundown of your business’ goods and services offered. You may want to enumerate your product’s features, but in doing so focus on what the features are for-highlight customer benefits. You can include competition and comparison here, as well as sales literature, sourcing, fulfillment, and technology. This section not only details product descriptions of current goods and services, but future ones as well.

Market analysis – Don’t stress yourself too much by expanding this part into a full blown dissertation. A summary will do. Just be sure to include pertinent details to your market: needs, trends, growth, and segmentation. These details would then lead you to a summarized target market segmentation strategy. You may want to pitch in industry analysis as well, taking notes of participants, competition, distributors, and any notable patterns.

Strategy and implementation – Do not be vague about your strategies and how to implement them. For instance, upon citing management responsibilities, make sure to set realistic target dates and budgets to keep everything in track.

Web plan – Ah, don’t think that this is one aspect you can do without. The World Wide Web is a powerful tool to he who wields it properly. Include operational costs, web management responsibilities, development prerequisites, and web marketing strategies here.

Management – A summary of the paradigm of your organizational structure (if starting up a new business) and any changes needed to be made (if business is already existent). Note management teams and any gaps to be filled in. Personnel planning comes into play here as well.

Financial plan – The numbers. Note that while you will be including important assumptions here made upon the basis of hard facts, be sure to make assumptions that are realistic and not completely based on probability. Likelihood and reality can be direct opposites. The most important points to include in this section would be projected profit and loss as well as cash flow tables and predictions. Gauging and making charts, graphs, and tables for cash flow is very important, as it is quite difficult to follow. Do not confuse ‘Cash’ in this case for ‘Profits.’ You can make profits but still barely make even because of your cash flow. Oh, and on that note, you may want to include break even analysis in this section too.

And that’s about it. Most standard business plan examples follow a similar pattern, but experts don’t always agree upon the most important parts. The thing is, there is no perfect standard business plan, as the plan revolves around your business. So if anyone knows what is most important to add to your business plan, it should be you.