Business Plan Preparation

A business plan is a written document that describes a business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts. A business plan has many functions, from securing external funding, to measuring success within your business.
Although the written business plan of a start-up venture must be tailored to the particular business and industry, the essential items in a written business plan include the following:

Cover Page

The cover page should include the following:

Company Name
Contact Person
Address and Phone Number
Date and the State of Incorporation
Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Statement

Table of Contents and Table of Appendices

The table of contents and table of appendices should refer the reader to the sections and subsections of the business plan.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first part of the business plan to be read by potential lenders and investors. In the case of a poorly written executive summary, the executive summary is often the only part of the business plan that gets read. Accordingly, you should take the time necessary to prepare a dynamic executive summary that describes the business, identifies the stage of the company and its strategic direction, describes the company's market and marketing plan, briefly discusses the background of management, and states the company's revenue and profit expectations. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

The body of a Business Plan

A business plan should include detailed discussions of the following subjects:

Background and Purpose
Market Analysis
Product or Service Development
Financial Data
Organization Structure and Management
Risk Factors