BASIC BUSINESS PLAN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Writing a business plan is an important step in the startup process. It helps you and your partners decide if you will work well together, teaches you about the marketplace, and lets you brainstorm business and product goals. But because of all the effort and detail involved, many entrepreneurs dread the thought of sitting down and creating this critical but time-consuming document.
In its simplest form, a business plan is a document that outlines the basics about your business, products, and services; the market you are targeting; the goals you have for your business; and how you will achieve those goals.
Whether you want to call it a basic small business plan, or a one-page, it should contain the following:
- A description of the problem your customers have
- Your solution (your product or service)
- Business model (how you make money)
- Target market (who is your customer and how many of them are there)
- Competitive advantage
- Management team
- Financial summary
- Funding required
If you feel like you have writer’s block, or you don’t know where to start, I have a couple of suggestions.
You can get a detailed, read our step-by-step set of instructions for building your one-page business plan. You’ll be able to do it in under an hour.
The content of your plan (or pitch) is by far the most important thing – don’t stress about the design. Think carefully about what you are trying to communicate. Too many companies spend time focusing on presentation and graphical display of their plans when what they are saying and how they are saying it is really the most critical aspect of it all.
Don’t get me wrong—you don’t want to have an ugly presentation. But focus on the content, because it’s more important than anything else.
Remember: The executive summary (or pitch, or one-page business plan) is usually your introductory communication with investors, so it will be your first impression. Investors will use this document to get an understanding of your communication skills as well as your ability to think critically about your business. You should spend more time on this part of your plan than on any other section.
Your basic small business plan will be an extremely useful tool to help you refine your business strategy quickly and easily. It might even be all the business plan that you need.