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Free Business Plan Tips:
The 10 Key Sections to a Business Plan

A business plan is an orderly document which follows a standard outline containing the basic information that covers the who, what, where, when, how, and why of the business idea. With small changes, the same plan can be used for different types of funders (investors and lenders) as well as partners you are recruiting.

Every business plan should address these ten sections, in more or less the following order:

1. Executive Summary: Describes the contents of the entire business plan, creating a mini, 1-2 page version of the document.

2. Company Overview: Background, legal structure, key products and services. Answers "what is this company?" and "where does the company operate?"

3. Industry Analysis: The industry, its size and nature, significant trends it is experiencing. Answers "what industry is the business competing in?"

4. Customer Analysis: Definition of your customers, segmentation into groups, demographics and descriptions of each group. Answers "who are the products or services for?" and "why is this business needed?"

5. Competitive Analysis: Definition of competitors, descriptions of the top 3 or so, company method to achieve competitive advantage. Answers "who will the company compete against?"

6. Marketing Plan: Brand definition, promotion strategy (methods you will use and how they will work), pricing strategy. Answers "how will the business reach customers?"

7. Operations Plan: Operations description, functional roles to fill, operational milestones. Answers "how will the business operate?"

8. Management Team: Bios and expertise of the key management members, hiring plan for additional management team members. Answers "who is starting and running the company?"

9. Financial Plan: Revenue and cost drivers, startup costs, key assumptions to the financial statements, financial summary for the first five years. Answers "when will the business break-even and become profitable?" and "why should I invest in this company?"

10. Appendices: Additional supporting documents, pro forma statements (generally quarterly for the first 3 years and annual for the first 5 years), resumes for management team.

Finish Your Plan Today with Our Business Plan Template

We have developed a easy business plan template that allows you to quickly and cost-effectively develop a professional business plan.

Download Growthink's "Ultimate Business Plan Template" here:

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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

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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