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There are many reasons to write a business plan—it’s not solely the domain of entrepreneurs who want to secure funding to start or grow their business.A business plan can help you clarify your strategy, identify potential roadblocks, decide what you’ll need in the way of resources, and evaluate the viability of your idea or your growth plans before you start a business.
Now that you’ve got an outline or a template in place, it’s time to fill it in.
We’ve broken it down by section to help you build your plan step-by-step.
Here are some of the components you should include in your company overview: Some of these points are statements of fact, but others will require a bit more thought to define, especially when it comes to your business’s vision, mission, and values.
This is where you start getting to the core of why your business exists, what you hope to accomplish, and what you stand for.
Clarifying these details is still a useful exercise even if you’re the only person who’s going to see them.
It's an opportunity to put to paper some of the more intangible facets of your business, like your principles, ideals, and cultural philosophies.
A good executive summary is one of the most crucial sections of your plan—it’s also the last section you should write.
The executive summary’s purpose is to distill everything that follows and give time-crunched reviewers (e.g., potential investors) a high-level overview of your business that persuades them to read further.
Since an outline is such an important step in the process of writing a business plan, we’ve put together a high-level overview you can copy into your blank document to get you started (and avoid the terror of facing a blank page).
Here’s a sample business plan outline: You can also start with a business plan template, and use it to inform the structure of your plan.