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Service Business Plan Sample Outline

When creating a business plan for a service business, whether it is a brick and mortar store, click and mortar hybrid store and website, or internet-only business, the following is a standard outline for sections your plan should include.

Executive Summary: This introduction hits all of the main points of the plan within 1-2 pages.

Company Overview: Although the company may still be just a glimmer in your eye, this section details its history so far and includes a description of the services you intend to offer.

Industry Analysis: This defines who you consider your industry or industries to be, and discusses the situation the industry is currently in (its size and major segments) as well as projections of where it will be in the future.

Customer Analysis: This breaks down the customers your service business will specifically target and shows off the depth of your customer research into this group, whether it is a local market or not.

Competitive Analysis: This details a few key competitors for your service business as they relate to your plans. This should show how you will exploit the weaknesses of competitors or improve on their strengths, if that is within your means, to create a competitive advantage.

Marketing Plan: This important section goes into answering how you will promote and price your services successfully. Strategic choices should be apparent here. A business cannot convincingly expect to use every promotion method available and then also price their service lower than all of the competition’s.

Operations Plan: This section shows your understanding of the systems you must have in place for your business to succeed.

Management Team: This includes biographies of the key management team members (such as yourself) with a focus on experience as it relates to the service you will be offering and the roles each must play.

Financial Plan: This last section shows the financial results expected from the business and will be of great interest to investors or lenders who think of the plan primarily as a financial opportunity. In this section, assumptions are explained, revenues and costs are summarized, and the startup costs are detailed to be clear how funding will be used.

Appendices: These include financial statements (income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet) for the short-term and long-term, and any additional documents that are either referred to in the body of the plan, or show more proof of the opportunity at hand, your means to act on that opportunity, and the methods you will use.

Want more tips? Here's a related article: How to Start a Service Business

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