Business Plan Structure Example

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In the business plan outline below, you will see the ten (10) sections common to business plans, and the twenty-three (23) sub-sections you must complete.

Also, to help you out, here is my proven business plan template, that allows you to quickly and easily complete all the sections of your business plan.

Business plans vary in content according to their intended purposes, but the basic format remains the same.

It consists of three elements: First, discuss the business model and describe your products and services.

"Marketing Model" contains a section titled "Target Market" in which you describe the demographics, psychographics and buying habits of your target market and why your product and service will appeal to it.

Next, "Marketing Plan" is a detailed description of your marketing strategy and tactical methods of attracting business.Standard are sales projections, a personnel plan, a profit and loss statement, a cash flow statement and a balance sheet.If your company is already in operation, include current financials along with the pro forma financials.Victoria Duff specializes in entrepreneurial subjects, drawing on her experience as an acclaimed start-up facilitator, venture catalyst and investor relations manager.Since 1995 she has written many articles for e-zines and was a regular columnist for "Digital Coast Reporter" and "Developments Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from the University of California at Berkeley.It's always a good idea to include a section on what you'll do if your plans don't seem to be working out as expected -- particularly if you're planning a startup.This is the place to insert a SWOT analysis - a discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing your business goals.Then place the business in its industry and discuss your intended marketplace, including your target customers and how you'll reach them, beating your competition.Last, relate these plans to the real world, discussing your contingency plans and finishing off with spreadsheets detailing your anticipated sales, costs of doing business and resulting profits.It's appropriate to include benchmarks and a timeline.Investors also appreciate a discussion of how your costs of development and operations fit into the timeline and when revenues enter the equation.

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