[The Lowdown] How to Write a Solid Business Plan

E. Miller
E. Miller
Sep 19, 2019 · 5 min read
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Company Overview

Sometimes referred to as an executive summary, the company overview is basically an introduction. It tells readers what the business will offer, and lays out the basics of how it will function from an operational (manufacturer vs. wholesale distributor), legal (partnership vs. corporation), and philosophical (company values, vision, and mission) perspective.


Industry Analysis

In many ways, the industry analysis tells the reader whether you really know what you’re getting yourself into. A good industry analysis explains how certain competitive, regulatory, political, and economic forces tend to affect the businesses that operate within a particular segment of the market.


Competitive Analysis

Odds are, whatever product/service you plan to offer, your company won’t be the only one selling it. Customers will always be able to get something similar from someone else.


Customer Analysis

Who will buy your product/service? Describe your customer base and then provide more detailed information in regard to demographics, purchasing power, brand loyalty, etc.


Marketing Plan

How will your business distinguish itself from the competition? Will you offer customers the lowest price, the highest quality, or the absolute best customer service?


Management Team

Who is on your team? In what ways is each person qualified to perform their role? If your Chief Financial Officer’s career experience includes managing and directing the finances of multinational corporations, you need to say so. Do they have experience in your industry? Do they have relationships with suppliers or distributors? What can they bring to the table?


Operations Plan

While your marketing and sales plan outlines how you will reach your customers, the operations plan is concerned with how you will develop, manufacture, and distribute your product/service. If you plan to outsource something, say which department and explain the rationale behind it.


Financial Plan

Even the most dedicated and capable entrepreneurs often struggle to get a business up and running. Potential lenders and banks want to see the projected cash flows so they can assess the potential risk. So without a set of pro forma financial statements, securing financing is next to impossible.


Key Takeaways

Regardless of what kind of business you plan to start, the importance of consulting with an attorney and an accounting professional early in the planning process cannot be stressed enough. With their help you can determine whether your chosen legal structure and accounting methods will allow your business to reach its goals.

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E. Miller

Written by

E. Miller

CPA Turned Freelance Writer + Business Consultant

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +683K people. Follow to join our community.

E. Miller

Written by

E. Miller

CPA Turned Freelance Writer + Business Consultant

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +683K people. Follow to join our community.

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