Outlining a Business Plan

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 17, 2006

What is most important in a business plan? First, here is what a standard business plan should cover:

1. The company (its legal formation, history, and ownership)

2. What it sells (the product or service)

3. The market (including size of market, growth, and trends)

4. The plan (sales forecast, sales and marketing strategy, milestones, assumptions, and tasks)

5. The management team (organizational structure and managers’ backgrounds)

6. Financial analysis (cash flow, profitability, balance, and returns)

7. The most important part of the plan: specifically what is going to happen

The core of a business plan is the collection of detailed dates, deadlines, responsibilities, and commitments. I call them milestones, and I’ve also seen it called MAT, for milestones, assumptions, and tasks. Ironically, this kind of detail is frequently left out of business plans that are full of big ideas and strategy. What you want from a plan is results, and the way to get results is to build specifics you can track.

To read the full story at AllBusiness.com, click here.

Reader Comments

Kimberly Hagler

August 27, 2006 9:42 PM

Who can I get to write a business plan?

Post a comment

 

About

Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!