What you need to have in your business plan

December 16, 2013

Planning is the first step to succeeding. Before you can start thinking about flowing champagne, six-figure bonuses and buying a yacht, the basics need to be in place. One of the most fundamental parts of starting your company is your business plan.  It is the road map for what you want to do, and how you’re going to do it. Here’s what needs to be included.

Executive Summary: Who are you as a company, and what are your goals? This part of the plan should serve as a high-level snapshot of what you’re looking to achieve as a a business.
Company Description: This section should touch on what defines you and sets you apart from competitors. You should also be writing about what kind of market you see your business being most viable in.
Market Analysis: Now that you’ve identified your targeted segment, how much do you know about it? Not only should you be researching your potential consumers, you should also be keenly aware of the tactics your competitors are employing.
Organizational Chart: Define the structure of your staff, and assign responsibility for particular tasks. Regardless of the hierarchy that ultimately develops, it’s a good idea to have a picture of how it all fits together.
Funding Information: Where is the money coming from? Whether it’s self-funded, venture capital supported or started with a bank loan, the financial background is valuable information to have up front.
Financial Predictions: Where do you project your revenue is going to come from, and how long will it take your company to become profitable? Before you start, you should have a concrete idea of what sort of cashflow you will have as your business begins to grow.

Starting a company is an exciting endeavor. Before you jump right in, however, make sure you’re fully prepared for what’s up ahead. Incorporating your business can help set you on a path to success.