Business Plan Outlines


Using the business plan outlines for the various business plan packages is a great way to present and compare which package might be best for your family's business.

To illustrate this process, outlines from three different business plan packages are considered.

First, the outline offered by a business plan software vendor will provide you with a useful framework or backbone around which to organize and build your own business plan. As such, they will help you to break up the overall job of preparing a business plan into smaller component sections. Do a bit at a time - on whichever topic or section suits you at a particular moment; delegate portions; assemble the components and bits and pieces later; edit later to bring the parts into a smooth and integrated finished product. While you are laboring "amongst the trees" you will have the confidence that the business plan outline will help you to make sense of "the forest."

Second, you will immediately see one of the most important things you will need to know about writing your business plan. Look again for a moment at each plan outline... notice how the order of topics is a bit different; notice how each seems to have slightly different emphasis on topics.

Jian is a business plan tool that can be used by family businesses. Their business plan outline:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Vision and Mission
    • Present Situation
    • Vision and Mission
    • Goals
    • Objectives
  • 3. Company Overview
    • Legal Business Description
    • Management Team
    • Board of Directors
    • Strategic Alliances
  • 4. Product Strategy
    • Current Product
    • Research and Development
    • Production and Delivery
  • 5. Market Analysis
    • Market Definition
    • Customer Profile
    • Competition
    • Risk
  • 6. Marketing Plan
    • Sales Strategy
    • Distribution Channels
    • Advertising and Promotion
    • Public Relations
  • 7. Financial Plan
    • Assumptions
    • Financial Statements
    • Capital Requirements
    • Exit/Payback Strategy
  • 8. Conclusion
  • 9. Supporting Documents

The SBA (Small Business Administration) offers business plan information SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Site Build It outlines how best to build a business plan that connect your web site strategies to your marketing and business planning process SITE BUILD IT

The really key lesson from this for your business plan is that "What is important" is "what matters most to your reader." By the time you have written and edited each subject that is really relevant and important to your business, you will have a natural story to tell and a clear sense of how to tell it. The outline of your business plan for telling your story will stand out clearly to you. Don't be afraid to experiment, to vary from the outlines of business plans you see from others. The flexibility to adopt a business plan outline that is suitable for your story will give strength to your plan. On the other hand, if you try to fit your story into someone else's rigid business plan outline, you risk making your story snap and crumble - it will be weaker.

Another important part of building an effective business plan is to do an assessment of your business to determine the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. To learn more about this simple but effective exercise SWOT ANALYSIS

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