Monday, December 7, 2009

Marketing: Back to Basics for Small Business

Writing a business plan can be the most difficult element of business. Executing the business plan is also very difficult at times but writing it presents a myriad of challenges. It can take months to write a decent business plan, but don't loose patience. Then again, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you're struggling writing a business plan, perhaps it's time to consult an expert.

This article will walk you through the sections of a business plan. After reading this, you should have a pretty good idea of what you need to do in order to get started on your plan. Doing research on and including these sections in your business plan, will help you formulate better decisions about your business and how to lay it out.

There are several sections every business plan should contain. These sections include: executive summary, company description, product/service description, market analysis, operations, web plan, management summary, critical risks, financial plan, and the appendix.

Executive Summary

The executive summary should be a summary of everything that is in the document as a whole. One should be able to read your executive summary and understand what each section of your business plan will cover.

Company Description

Your company description will describe the legalities of the company. It will also tell about how the company got started and its history.

Product/Service Description

What exactly are you selling? Describe the product or service you are putting out on the market. Make sure you describe the benefits which it has and how it is going to benefit your target consumer.

Market Analysis

Who is your target market? What is the demographic and psychographic of your customers? What needs are you fulfilling with your product or service?


How is this whole thing going to operate? What kind of management plan are you going to have? Create a calendar of how your plan will be implemented; make this trackable and fulfillable

Web Plan

This section is included if your company or service is online. Discuss any and all aspects of your business which are online.

Management Summary

This will show how your company is going to be organized and also tells about the management team such as who is on it, etc.

Critical Risks

Describe any risks which are in the area such as competition and environmental risks.

Financial Plan

Include any accounting information such as cash flow tables and information on your predicted profit and loss on a profit and loss sheet.


Include any sheets such as the complete financial results in this appendix and then site that it is there in the actual document.

You don't have to start writing a business plan in this specific order, in fact, I believe it will be easier not to. Simply use common sense and complete it in an order which makes sense to you.

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