Starting a new business is a complex process with multiple moving parts. Turning a concept into a profitable venture takes much effort. Moreover, cohesively keeping track of the process proves challenging without a clear outline of what needs to be done.
A Business Plan is a way to keep all the parts of a business organized and lets you concisely communicate your business goals. Whether you're dealing with a new business or an established company, a Business Plan outlines your venture's goals and lays out a path to reach them. It's useful both as an internal document and as a way to give investors an overview of a business project quickly.
A Business Plan is an internal written document serving as a guide for a business or specific project that's part of a larger business venture. The structure and contents of a Business Plan vary according to the company's needs, goals, and methods to achieve those goals.
While a Business Plan serves as a comprehensive guide of a business's goals, it doesn't need to be very long and involved. As long as the plan includes the company's goals, strategies, and tactics, the business pursues to achieve those goals; it's sufficient for most purposes.
The purpose of a Business Plan is to keep everyone involved on track and prevent confusion about where a business is headed. It helps the participants of a business make decisions and act by an established strategy.
Depending on your state, a Business Plan may also be known as:
Internal Operating Plan
Lean Business Plan
Business Activity Summary
Anyone starting a business should consider drafting a Business Plan to ensure all the company goals are outlined with an actionable path to follow. Without it, any business venture runs the risk of wasting time and resources on low-priority items and failing to address critical issues in an organized way.
Potential Business Plan users include:
Limited liability company members
General partners in any business venture
Additionally, if you're applying for a business loan, the lender may require a comprehensive Business Plan to be submitted as a part of the loan application. When seeking investments of any kind for your business, a Business Plan is a valuable asset to justify your funding.
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An effective Business Plan communicates business goals and strategies clearly to its audience. With 360 Legal Forms, all you have to do is provide some necessary information about your business and objectives, and our proprietary form generator will put your information into an easy-to-read and accessible format.
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To create your document, please provide:
Company: Full name and address of your company and contact information and whether it is a new or existing company.
Company History: Describe your company's history if it's relevant to the business plan.
Company Details: The business structure, the year it was formed, and what state it's registered in (if applicable).
Purpose: The purpose of the Business Plan (e.g., expansion, founding, or the purchase of business entities.)
Competitors: Describe your main competitors, their market share, and how your offering is different from theirs.
Goals and Objectives: A paragraph explaining what the business hopes to achieve.
Key Persons: Person or persons in leadership roles and responsibilities, compensation, ownership interest, and relevant qualifications.
Products or Services: A general description of the products or services the business provides.
Intellectual Property: Any licenses, patents, trademarks, or other proprietary rights the company owns.
Marketing: Describe all the methods your business uses to market and advertise your products or services (if applicable).
Financial Goals and Data: How much funding the company needs to complete its current goals, any additional funding required for the future, and how it intends to secure the financing. Also, explain the business's recent and projected financials.
Date: The date when the Business Plan is created.
Accounts Payable: An accounting term referring to any bills needed to be paid in the ordinary business course.
Capital Assets: Significant properties owned by the business such as investment properties, heavy machinery, or vehicles.
Competitive Analysis: Analyzing and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the business concerning competitors in the industry.
SWOT Analysis: An analytical tool to look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) of your business.
As an internal document, a Business Plan doesn't need to be signed under most circumstances.
Once it's created, a Business Plan serves as a roadmap for a company's future actions and strategy. As such, it should be distributed to all the responsible parties in affecting those actions and plans. That includes business partners, managers, and other stakeholders.
If the Business Plan was drafted to address a specific purpose, such as meeting a funding partner's request, a copy of the plan should be delivered to the appropriate party. There is no need to file a Business Plan with any government agency.
A Business Plan has numerous benefits, regardless of the size of your business. A disciplined approach to the business creation sets a good precedent when the time comes to grow your business and helps you clearly define your goals and keep you on track. Moreover, it provides a structured analysis of the challenges you might face and how to deal with them.
Think of a mission statement as the answer to the question: what is the purpose of my business? It’s a way to simply and quickly articulate what your business is about to someone who hasn’t heard about you before. It can be an invaluable tool to entice investment partners as well as clients.
The capital requirements of your business refer to your business’s financial needs to purchase any necessary business components as well as to fund day-to-day operations. The capital requirements should explain how much money your business needs to function, a justification for why it needs the money, and how your business intends to pay back any financial commitments from investors.
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