How to Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is one important step of starting a business that many small business owners overlook. Thinking they know how they want the business to run, they figure there is no need for a real business plan.

But the truth is that sometimes, while you are running a business, you are too close to it to see that it may not be on the path it needs to be. A business plan will be a map of sorts to keep you on track.

Additionally, if you need to get a little financial help in the form of a loan to keep your business up and running, financial institutions will insist on seeing a business plan before they will consider your request.

Here are the basics of what should be in your business plan:

Description

A description of the business is important, as this is essentially your company's resume.

Your mission statement and company purpose should be clearly defined in this section.

Marketing

From naming your competition to how you will show you are a different entity, this section needs to explain the way you will market your company to succeed.

Finances

How much capital will it take to get your company started and keep it running?

A break-even analysis, as well as profit and loss projections, should be in this section of your business plan.

Management

How is your business going to run? All the details of what it takes to keep your business operational and the procedures that you will follow to be successful should be clearly described in this section.

If this seems like an overwhelming task, there are plenty of software programs that will walk you through the process of creating a business plan. Just make sure to do it, check it often, and update it as needed.