Every business, large and small, needs a business plan to succeed. The Small Business Administration, along with offering loan guarantees, grants and mentors, can help business owners create a plan that displays a working “road map” to achieve their goals. Many business owners mistakenly believe that they need a business plan only when starting their company and looking for loans or investment dollars. While it is true that they need a well-written business plan to receive an SBA or other commercial loan, they also should have a plan for successful operations, as they grow and prosper.
After helping small companies succeed for over 60 years, the Small Business Administration understands the necessary components of an effective business plan. Sharing these tips–for free–is an important service of the SBA. Learning and incorporating these elements into a business plan assists company owners understand their business, goals and competition better. Use these components in all business plans.
Executive Summary. This feature offers readers a “snapshot” of your business plan. While it appears at the beginning of a business plan, many experts recommend that you write only after other components are complete. This summary of your company profile and goals, should be clear, focused and brief.
Market Analysis. Include information about your industry, market and primary competition. This section displays your understanding of your business and ways it will function in your market.
Company Description. Describe your specific business. What do you do and how do you do it? Present this information so all readers can learn more about your company and your plans for it.
Organization Structure. Organize and structure your company in any format that works. The Small Business Administration recommends that business owners clearly define the company structure for reader understanding.
Marketing Plan. State the way(s) you plan to market your business and its products or services. A written marketing strategy helps both you and the SBA evaluate your company’s potential success.
Describe Your Products/Services. What do you sell? What are the features and, more importantly, benefits of your products? How will customers enhance their lives by purchasing your products?
Financial Projections. Prepare estimates of income statements and balance sheets for the next 3 to 5 years. If your business is already operating, include historical financial statements for the most recent 2 to 5 years.
Ask for Funding. If you need dollars, clearly tell the SBA how much you need and what you are planning to do with these funds. Show the Small Business Administration how these funds will help you reach success.
Consider the lender matching service of UnsecuredBizLoan.com to help you find the money you need to create a highly successful small business.
To apply for funding for your small business, use the form on the right to begin the application process.