December 22, 2014

10 Steps to Preparing a Business Plan

Diane Sears | 3/2/2009

Resources

U.S. Small Business Administration
sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner

Florida Small Business Development Centers
floridasbdc.org

1 Use a printed 8 1/2” x 11” format. Use a loose-leaf binder to package the plan and to facilitate any revisions.

2 Begin with a cover sheet that includes the name, location and telephone number of the business and the name of the person who wrote the business plan.

3 Keep it short and crisp without compromising the description of the venture. Include a one- or two-page executive summary with an overview of the most important issues in the plan.

4 Organize it with a table of contents.

5 Identify a target market in the plan. Indicate whether the market is growing, steady or shrinking. Provide extensive details about competitors, including their strengths, weaknesses, estimated market share and other details. Include your pricing strategy. Finally, explain how you plan to promote the business.

6 Explain the benefits of your product or service to the user or customer. Include information about your business’s location, current and future space requirements and area demographics.

7 Show that you have an effective management team. Detail the backgrounds of executives, their qualifications and the need for additional management talent.

8 Focus on the future. Attempt to develop forecasts of industry trends over the next three to five years.

9 Highlight current and potential problems and demonstrate how they will be overcome.

10 Develop a financial plan that includes a capital equipment list, a balance sheet, income statements for three years (or pro-forma income projections for a new business), cash flow statements, break-even analysis and loan applications.



Business Toolbox
The Basics
Choosing a Legal Structure
Preparing a Business Plan
Fast Money Factoring
Certified Development Cos
SBA Lending
Forms, Permits & Licenses
Copyrights & Trademarks
Labor Law Basics
Taxes
Insurance Basics
Selling to the Government

Tags: Florida Small Business, Entrepreneur

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick -

Terms of Use Privacy Policy  Indian Rocks Beach Post Office Celebrates 100 Years
Terms of Use Privacy Policy  Indian Rocks Beach Post Office Celebrates 100 Years

It cost a penny to mail a postcard when the Indian Rocks Post Office opened 100 years ago in December 1914 on a mainland dirt road leading to a ferry in the “Narrows.” 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

How do you feel about the historic decision to remodel US-Cuba relations?

  • Well, it's about time!
  • I'm cautiously optimistic...
  • I'm skeptical about this at best...
  • Not in favor at all: Keep the embargo strong!

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe