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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.
Here’s what your business plan’s executive summary should include: This section of your business plan should answer two fundamental questions: Who are you, and what do you plan to do?
Answering these questions provides an introduction to why you’re in business, why you’re different, what you have going for you, and why you’re a good investment bet.
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.
As you make a list, your core values should start to emerge.
Once you know your values, you can pen a mission statement.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.Not every business launches with a formal business plan, but many founders find value in taking time to step back, research their idea and the market they’re looking to enter, and understand the scope and the strategy behind their tactics. A business plan is a document describing a business, its products or services, how it earns (or will earn) money, its leadership and staffing, its financing, its operations model, and many other details essential to its success.Investors rely on business plans to evaluate the feasibility of a business before funding it, which is why business plans commonly are associated with getting a loan.Laying out a business plan helped us identify the ‘unknowns,’ and made it easier to spot the gaps where we’d need help or, at the very least, to skill up ourselves.”“We own a bricks-and-mortar and ecommerce jewellery business that moved from Magento over to Shopify.We created a business plan for the move, just as we did with our original website and ecommerce business.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.Again, it’s a summary, so highlight the key points you’ve uncovered while writing your plan.If you’re writing for your own planning purposes, you can skip the summary altogether—although you might want to give it a try anyways, just for practice. Admittedly, that space constraint can make squeezing in all of the salient information a bit stressful—but it’s not impossible.