We wrote a 2 part series on business plans. Business plan outlines vary in their complexity. Depending on your situation you may just want to follow a very basic business plan outline. Regardless, the process of sitting down, creating a business plan outline, and writing a business plan is one of the most valuable exercises you will do.
List your business credentials – why are you qualified to start this business and sell your products and services?
List your staff: Is it going to be just yourself, or do you have a definite plan in terms of when you are going to hire sales, technical, or administrative staff?
Project revenue: Will you be selling services, products, or a combination of both?
How much revenue will come from products? How much profit will come from products?
How much revenue will come from services? How much profit will come from services?
Sales and marketing plan: outline your major sales and marketing activities – the things that you’re going to do to bring in key, sweet spot clients. Talk about what you’re doing on a month-by-month or week-by-week basis. How much time you think it’s going to take up and how much money you think it’s going to cost to execute.
Operations: Where will you be located? Home office or rented space? How will you get to your clients’ places of business? Personal car or leased vehicle? Will you need to rent facilities from time to time for meetings, seminars, etc…
Finance: What capital do you need to start? Where will you get this capital? Where will you get additional capital during your first year in business?
Salary and Payroll: What are your expectations for your personal salary or drawings. Do you have to pay staff as well?
Expertise of principals: What makes you and/or your partners qualified? What kind of skills and experience do you bring to the table that will be of valuable to this business venture and valuable to the clients you want to pursue?
The Bottom Line On Business Plan Outlines
Business plan outlines can be as detailed as you want. The most important aspect is that your business plan outline covers off the basics. Make sure the business plan outline you adopt allows you to answer the five W’s and provides you with a plan for how you will start and operate your business.
Stay tuned for our part two on business plans tomorrow! The 5 W’s.