The Small Business Administration is a non-profit organization that works hard to ensure that small business owners – especially those who are at a disadvantage due to minority or gender – have access to the same tools and resources as other business owners do. That is why the SBA has compiled some tips for writing a business plan. If you plan to start a business, you will need a properly written business plan – especially if you plan to apply for funding from a lender or investor.
SBA Tips for Writing a Business Plan
Description – The first and foremost information in your business plan should be a detailed outline of your business description. What type of business are you running, when will it open and how will you differentiate yourself from the competition?
Time Span – Make sure your business plan provides detail for the revenues, expenses and decisions your business plans to make for the first 36 to 60 months after opening your doors.
Marketing – Detail who your target market is, as well as how you plan to reach your market in the first few weeks of business. The marketing aspects of your business plan should include how much you plan to spend and the avenues you will take to get new customers to your business, as well as what type of marketing you will use to keep those customers and continue to grow and expand your business long after your doors first open for business.
Structure – How do you plan to structure your business? Include information about tax structure, as well as management. You should also provide information about the number of employees your business will need.
Revenue – Revenue is the most important detail, as it helps project how much profit you will make. Your revenue section will outline your outgoing expenses, including payroll and overhead costs, as well as how much you plan to gross.
Keep in mind that good content in your business plan means very little if it is not understandable. The Small Business Administration recommends organizing your plan in a professional, yet easy-to-read way.