Details of a business plan can be time consuming, as the owners will want to meet several times to discuss the plan for the business to ensure financial stability, expansion, and overall growth in reputation and numbers. It’s not easy to draft a business plan, and it’s certainly not quick. Business plans can take years in the making, and might even get axed before the business is able to form.

Raising capital is one of the most important items of consideration when creating a business plan. A lot of companies have great ideas and draft stellar business plans, but have no financial help from outside investors. Without money, a business can’t get started.

Overall, a business plan is a guide for those wanting to either form a new business or create a business plan for an already established business. It will identify the objectives and goals for the owners, while also identifying the steps needed to achieve those goals.

Note that the plan itself isn’t usually drafted into an actual agreement or contract. Rather, it is an outline to identify what needs to be done and how you want it to be done. It will include short-term and long-term goals, objectives, and where you want to go with your business in the coming years. It might also include whether or not you want to issue shares to the public, hire employees, etc.

Crucial Components of a Business Plan

There are several components that should be identified in a business plan. This will provide a clear overview of the goals and objectives of all business owners involved in the business development end. The size of your business will have an effect on how complex and detailed the business plan will be.

For example, if you already own a large corporation with thousands of shareholders, a board of directors, and officers, then the business plan will be more complex. This could be because the corporation is ready to go in a different direction, or perhaps you want to engage in a new area that is new for the business. Regardless, the larger the firm the more detailed the business plan will be.

Furthermore, depending on how many stakeholders there are, the plan should clearly identify such stakeholders, and the effect of the business plan on the company as a whole, while also thinking about the stakeholders, employees, and others who might be affected by the implementation of the plan.

Included in the business plan are the following:

  • Mission statement
  • Description of the company and what it offers, i.e. goods, services, etc.
  • How your business is different
  • Market analysis
  • Description of the management team
  • How you want to market the business
  • The company’s strengths and weaknesses
  • The cash flow of the company over the past several years
  • The projected revenues
  • Summary/conclusion

The market analysis section will identify how your company compares with other markets; but it will also identify how it compares to other companies operating in the same industry, i.e. competitors.

You will need to identify the managers of the business, their roles and responsibilities, and more.

Regarding the business plan, you will want to identify how you will market the new product or service that you want to offer to the public. Identify your company’s overall strengths, weaknesses, and other areas of improvement.

You should include cash flow statements from recent years to fully understand where your company stands financially and where you expect it to go in the future with the new product or service that you want to offer. Such revenue projections will help analyze your company as a whole so that you can understand how much more profit you can earn with the new product or service.

Lastly, you will include a summary or conclusion paragraph identifying the plan, how it will benefit the company and its shareholders, and how it will be marketed to the public. Explain how your company will differ in terms of offering the new product or service. Include a list of steps that must be taken in order to reach certain goals, and when you expect to reach those goals.

If you need help learning more about the details of a business plan, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.