Guide to Writing a Business Plan

A lender of money will be impressed with a well-documented business plan. If the lender is unwilling to make a conventional loan, ask if the lending institution will consider making the loan with a guarantee from the Small Business Administration.

Contents of a Business Plan:

  1. Name of Firm or Business
  2. Owners or owners-to-be
  3. Information about the business
    • Type of business, product, or service
    • Goals and objectives
    • Target market
    • Selling techniques
    • Quality of product vs. competition
    • Average price of product vs. competition
  4. History
    • Ideas behind new direction
    • Present business (age, growth, profitability)
  5. Offices/plants
    • Addresses and physical description
    • Terms of occupancy (rent, lease, own)
    • Accessibility
  6. Personnel
    • Present
    • Future
    • Qualifications of staff
  7. Market analysis and strategy
    • Customers and competition
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Sales strategy and promotions
  8. Financial data
    • Sources of funds
    • Purposes for funds
    • Statements of historical and projected income
  9. Accounting
    • Method to be used for bookkeeping (traditional, computer-based spread sheets)
    • Qualifications of accountant or financial staff
  10. Inventory
    • Inventory and supplies available
    • List of suppliers or vendors
  11. Legal aspects
    • Business organization
    • Licensing requirements
    • Zoning requirements
    • Insurance requirements
  12. Financing
    • Statement of expected profit, return on investment, and salaries
    • Statement of assets
    • Statement of necessary start-up funds
    • Projections
      • Monthly profit and loss statement for one to two years
      • Monthly cash flow (SBA Form 1100) for one year
      • Estimate of break-even point based on sales, variable expense, and fixed expenses
    • Finance Plan
    • Opening Day balance sheet
  13. Appendices
    • Resumes of key managers
    • Market statistics
    • Other relevant documents
Business Plan Outline