How to Write a Seven Step Business Plan

You will learn how to write a basic business plan in seven easy to understand steps. You will understand the order a business plan should be written in. Additionally, each section of your seven step plan will set forth the content that many banks and lenders look for when considering a business for a loan.

Things You'll Need

  • Access to a computer that has an Internet connection
  • A couple of different ideas for types of businesses
  • Willingness to research the market your business falls under, such as retail or wholesale, adults, teens or children or the population as a whole.
  1. How to Write a Seven Step Business Plan

    • 1

      The first section of the Business Plan is the Executive Summary. This should be prepared last, even though it is listed first. This part of your business plan should state the following: Type of business Type of operation (corporation, partnership, entrepreneur) *How much money you will need as well as collateral you will have to secure a loanIt should be no longer than one page long, and should appear professional and be concise.

    • 2

      The next step or section involves your Business Description.Begin by describing your business. Is it a wholesale or retail business? Next, tell about trends that can be attributed to the growth of the type of business you want to operate as well as any opportunity that exists in the field. Next, state identify your target market and describe your plan for distributing and promoting your business. Do not forget to emphasize anything that is unique or unusual about your product or service. Finally, explain why your business or product will be more successful and profitable if you are granted the loan.

    • 3

      The third step involves Marketing Strategies. You will need to do the following: Research (via interviews, surveys, competition analysis, percentage of the market you want to dominate) Describe the market you will capture in terms of expansion, trends and future success. Tell why you are choosing a particular group of customers. Detail how you will price your product including costs and your profit. Do not underestimate your cost. You can add on as much as 50%! Discuss the costs of getting your product to market and what types of tracking methods you will use.

    • 4

      Step four involves the Competitive Analysis. In this section, you will need to accomplish the following: Discuss what gives you an advantage over the competitor and vice versa. Detail your strategy for handling direct/indirect competition. *Present your research and demonstrate the competitive nature of your business.

    • 5

      Step five of your business plan is the Design and Development Plan Within this section, you will give a complete picture of your product's design and the types of materials it is made of. You can use pictures, patterns and diagrams. Additionally, time tables are often used to show how the business/product will evolve via marketing and organization over time. Finally any intellectual property information should be placed here. The primary categories of intellectual property involves patents, copyrights and trademarks.

    • 1

      Step six involves the Operations and Management of your business. This section sets forth the internal structure of your business. It must contain the following: Clearly described positions of each member of your management team; A precise separation of team members' responsibilities; Duties and qualifications of each management position held and support staff; Effects on the local economy and environmental impact your business may have; * Your business form as well as why it is best to operate under this form (ex: corporation, partnership) and reasoning for choosing this form.

    • 2

      Step seven involves Financial Considerations. You will need to generate income statements using financial forecasting. Forecasting is a prediction of how much income you think you may make over the course of a period of time. You will need to research through a reverse search engine how many times certain terms that pertain to your business were used during any given time. Additionally, you will need to analyze your product or service and determine whether it may be more profitable at certain times of the year. This will impact how much money you think you may be able to generate. Further, you will need to prepare monthly income statements for year one, quarterly for year two and annual for years three through five.

    • 3

      Finally, you should:1) Review and edit your business plan2) Have a neutral third party review it before submission3) Print it on high quality paper4) Follow up all business plan submissions with a professional thank you to the bank or investor you may be submitting it to.

Tips & Warnings

  • By doing research on your product or service prior to going into business, you will be able to determine if the type of business you have selected is feasible. Additionally, you will have a clearer idea of the costs of all that is involved in running a business. It is also wise to have an alternate idea in mind for your business in case your initial idea does not work out.
  • If you have any questions regarding intellectual property rights, you should seek the advice of an attorney who practices law in this area. Additionally, if you are uncertain on the accuracy of your income statements, you should either hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help you or have him look over what you have prepared. You should review your business plan regularly, as there are constant market changes that may impact your financial forecasting, thereby requiring revision of the same.
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