Amidst that rush, the idea of writing a business plan—much less following a business plan template—often feels time-consuming and intimidating. It’s more than the old cliche, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” In fact, a wealth of data now exists on the difference a written business plan makes.
Even better—if you’re pressed for time—we’ve compiled the 10 steps and examples into a downloadable (PDF) template: But, first things first …
Competitive research begins with identifying other companies that currently sell in the market you’re looking to enter.
The idea of carving out enough time to learn about every potential competitor you have may sound overwhelming, but it can be extremely useful.
Over the long term, it’ll keep you focused on what needs to be accomplished. Or, an internal document to guide you, your leaders, and your employees? The executive summary lays out all the vital information about your business within a relatively short space; typically, one page or less.
It’s also smart to write a business plan when you’re: Start with a clear picture of who the audience your plan will address. Defining your audience helps you determine the language you’ll need to propose your ideas as well as the depth to which you need to go to help readers conduct due diligence. It’s a high-level look at everything and summarizes the other sections of your plan. Below, you’ll find an example from a fictional business, Landscapers Inc.Several of our clients have graciously granted permission for us to share their business plans and related materials with you.We hope these give you an idea of the type of work we deliver.Investors want to know you have product-market fit, a solid team in place, and scalability—which is the ability to grow sales volume without proportional growth in headcount and fixed costs.Before you leave a nine-to-five income, your business plan can tell you if you’re ready.Instead, write it like you would a profile: Then, translate that list into one or two paragraphs (see below). These goals must be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. When your objectives aren’t clearly defined, it’s hard for employees and team members to work towards a common purpose.Worse, fuzzy goals won’t inspire confidence from investors.Even though it appears first in the plan, write your executive summary last so you can condense essential ideas from the other nine sections. (We’ll use that same company through this guide and within the downloadable template to make each step practical and easy to replicate.) Its executive summary majors on what’s often called the That framework isn’t meant to be rigid, but instead to serve as a jumping-off point.Market research indicates an increasing number of wealthy consumers in Cleveland are interested in landscape architecture based on sustainable design. Currently, only two exist—neither of which focuses on eco-friendly planning nor are certified by green organizations. provides a premium, sustainable service for customers with disposable incomes, large yards, and a love of nature.Within a business plan, your company description contains three elements: (1) mission statement, (2) history, and (3) objectives. Think about what motivates you, what causes and experiences led you to start the business, the problems you solve, the wider social issues you care about, and more.A mission statement is your business’ reason for existing. it’s about They should be rallying cries around which the heart and soul of your business turn. Don’t worry about making your company history a dense narrative.