Step Three: Elements of the Business Plan
Step Three: Business PlanElements of the Business Plan
Small Business GuideAbout North Carolina
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Step One: Getting Started
Step Two: Operating A Business
Step Three: Business Plan
The Business Plan consists of:
1) Cover Page
The cover page consists of your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and web site.
2) Table of Contents
3) Executive Summary
The Executive Summary contains a summary of the other sections of the Business Plan. It is the most important section, as it is the first (and sometimes only) part of the Plan that some interested parties may read. You will prepare this section last, after completing the other parts of the Business Plan.
4) Background Information
This section includes:
a) Your personal background and qualifications to run the business;
b) A mission statement for your business;
c) Background information on the type of industry into which your business fits, and its place within that industry; and
d) The goals and objectives for your business.
5) Description of Products and/or Services
This section includes a description of the product(s) and/or service(s) you are selling. The description should include the price of each product or service, and the cost to your business to produce each product or service.
6) Organizational Matters
This section tells how your business will be managed and organized. Questions answered will include: Is the business a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company? Who will manage the business? Will the business have employees? Who will be its advisors?
7) Marketing Plan
The Marketing Plan includes information on your customers and competitors. Based on this information, you will decide where to locate your business and how to promote its product or service.
8) Financial Plan
The Financial Plan will provide information about your resources for running the business and your projections for profits. It is the longest and, many would claim, the most important part of the Business Plan. Based on the Financial Plan, you should be able to determine if your business will be profitable, and hence, if it will be worth your effort to start it.
9) Conclusion (optional)
The Conclusion presents a summary of why your business will be successful, using data gained in the other sections to support your claim. It may also present how much money is required for the business, where the money will come from and where it will be used.
10) Appendix (optional)
The Appendix contains any supporting materials, such as your personal resume or a record of any relevant training or education.
If you would like to view a sample business plan first, please select one:
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Small Business Center Director