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How to Write a Business Plan:
5 Steps for First-Timers

Writing your business plan is a multiple stage process that may mean becoming familiar with a variety of business terms even for those who already consider themselves experts in the industry they will be entering. Tackling the following five steps, in this given order, will insure that you cover all of the bases required by funders reading the plan while also making sure you are certain of the business's viability.

Outline

Start by outlining the plan completely, using a template or description of a business plan outline as a guide. You will find that the business plan outline is relatively standard, and it is best to disregard ideas which vary widely from this basic order: executive summary, company description, industry analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management team, and financial plan. While outlining, jot down notes for what you already know about each section to organize your current thought.

Research

Research should begin with the market opportunity, looking for facts, statistics and trends to support the industry, customer, and competitive analysis sections. Research will also include potential locations if applicable, startup and operating costs, and the availability of the kind of labor you will need in your market. Take careful note of all of your findings.

Strategize

Based on the viability of the market opportunity you uncovered, this is a perfect time to decide if the whole idea should simply be shelved. If you decide to move forward, choose a plan of attack for how you will bring in revenues and operate the company. These decisions will work their way into your marketing and operations plans.

Calculate

Next, translate all of the activities, costs, and revenues of the company into accounting terms to create the pro format (projected) financial statements for your business. Use a financial model in Excel to shortcut this process. Building a robust financial model from scratch can be painstaking and require a much greater knowledge of accounting than you may have.

Write

Finally, write through the narrative of the plan, using the research you uncovered, strategy you decided upon, and calculations you made. The last step of the writing process will be to create an executive summary which sums up the entire plan in one or two pages and hooks readers on the investment idea from the start.

You can write a perfect business plan. If you need more help be sure to check out all the articles we have in our help center.


Finish Your Plan Today With Our Business Plan Template!

If you want to create your own business plan quickly and easily, we now offer an business plan template that allows you to develop a professional business plan in hours or days, not weeks or months.

Visit this link to learn more: http://www.growthink.com/products/business-plan-template

OR, We Can Develop Your Plan For You


Our professional business plan writers can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business.

To speak with a Growthink business plan consultant, call 800-506- 5728 or complete the form below.

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Testimonials



Thank you very much for all of your hard work. We are very pleased with the final result of the business plan and the PowerPoint - say congratulations on a job well done and that you can use us a reference for any future clients. We will definitely look to utilize Growthink's services in the future as we build our company.

Bryan Langslet
MediaCompound



Without Growthink’s professional help, we would never have been able to create an effective business plan. Growthink not only did deep research on our business environment, but its representatives also listened to us and refined their analysis to include what we had found out through experience. We would recommend Growthink to any start-up business which does not have a professional business plan developer on staff!

Howard Brown
Laptop Mini Mart



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