How to Write a Business Plan
Takeaway Tips 

a Tips for Writing a Winning Business Plan:

Click here to download a printable version of these business plan tips.

Executive Summary

a Demonstrate your understanding of the business and industry.

a Predict and address concerns that a potential investor might have.

a Include highlights of how and when the business will pay back investors.


Company and Product Overview

a Include a history of sales, profits, or other company financial information.

aa Be honest about challenges you've faced in the past and overcome.

a Demonstrate your understanding of the industry.

a Show that you've talked with distributors, competitors, or retailers.

a Articulate the features and benefits of your product or service.

a Clearly chart the path to product development.


Market Analysis

x Demonstrate your understanding of the industry.

x Identify and address business risks.

x Include a detailed description of your target customer.

x Identify all direct and indirect competitors.

x Discuss your market position relative to competitors.


Marketing and Sales Plan

x Consider the position of your product or service in the marketplace.

x Define a price based on the customer and the market.

x Complete a selling plan to offer the product.

x Describe the distribution channels you will use to sell the product or service.

x Include a complete budget for advertising and promotion.


Operations Plan

a Ensure that your product addresses customers' needs and wants.

a Fully describe how the product works or how the service is used.

a Allocate sufficient resources to research and development.

a Include highlights of how and when the business will pay back investors.

a Describe how and when services will be completed and delivered.

a Describe how your product or service will be improved on a regular basis.


Management Team

a Make sure your team has the skills required to run the business well.

a Select a board of directors with sufficient experience.

a Include a detailed action plan to meet staffing requirements.

a Make strategic alliances to compliment members' skill sets.



x Complete research required to support your revenue assumptions.

x Include all funds required to launch your business.

x Consider ongoing cash flow needs.

x Include an exit or payback plan for lenders or investors.

x Forecast financials for an appropriate time period.

x Explicitly indicate when the company will earn a profit.