Reviewing a sample of a good business plan can help you better understand the important components of the plan.

A business plan is a document that lays out the specific details of your business. It includes the following features:

  • The services or products the business will sell.
  • The structure of the business.
  • The current market for the product.
  • Marketing and sales goals of the product.
  • Expected funding needed to start the business.
  • Expected income.
  • Required leases or permits needed to open the business.

The carefully structured business plan gives others the opportunity to understand the income projections and plans of the business. This business plan also sets out a detailed timeline for your business.

How to Write a Business Plan

Many business owners have a business idea but are confused when it comes time to organize the details and create a business plan. Sometimes, it is best to take a step back and look at your business from the perspective of an outsider. Instead of jumping right into the logistics of the business, consider the long-term goals and plans for it.

The business plan will become an important blueprint for your business in the years to come. Building a business that is successful takes much more than having a great business idea. A successful business also requires:

  • A carefully edited and finalized business plan.
  • Careful consideration of your finances.
  • The completion of all required legal paperwork.
  • Careful consideration of business partners.
  • In-depth research.
  • A detailed marketing plan.

Why Prepare a Business Plan?

Every business needs an objective. This is the base of the business, and all business actions should be directed to achieve this objective. Creating a business plan can help you focus on that objective.

Additionally, a completed business plan can be used when working with banking institutions, investors, and monetary lenders. Reviewing your finished business plan can also help you find problems. Your businesses' greatest strengths and weaknesses are displayed right in front of you.

It can also be helpful to share your business plan with others. Other people can take an objective approach and provide you with valuable feedback. Consider sharing your completed business plan with the following:

  • Your business investors.
  • Family members.
  • Your lawyer.
  • A local banker.
  • Trusted friends familiar with business experience.
  • Potential customers.
  • Potential landlords.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration.

What to Avoid in Your Business Plan

Projections are an important part of the business plan. However, long-term projections can be difficult to follow. Once you get your business up and running, you may notice that your projections need to be adjusted.

As a general rule, it is best to be conservative when creating projections. Avoid making projections that are wishful. Otherwise, you might find that your projections are unrealistic and unsuccessful. It is also important to avoid vague wording or difficult explanations. Always be clear and ensure that others, as well as yourself, can read the business plan down the road.

Avoid relying on a unique product or registered patent for business success. In most cases, the businesses with a strong financial plan are the ones that succeed. Notice when you have weaknesses. Identifying and pointing out these weaknesses can help you grow from them.

Know when you should outsource services that are not in your expertise. The most successful business professionals are highly talented in one area. If you are not comfortable with finances, work with someone who is. If marketing is your expertise, stick to the marketing of the service or product.

Always test your business plan before completing it. While an idea might seem great on paper, you might find that testing it produces entirely different results. Finally, avoid taking steps or actions that are not clearly laid out in your business plan.

What are the Do's in Creating a Business Plan?

Follow these tips to create a solid business plan:

  • Prepare and complete a business plan.
  • Research samples of a good business plan.
  • Share your completed business plan with business experts.
  • Include business goals and how you will overcome challenges.
  • Include the strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be detailed about finances.
  • Continually edit your business plan as your business changes.

You can find a sample of a good business plan on the internet. Review these plans to see what is included in a good business plan. If you need help with a sample of a good business plan, you can post your legal job 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, Stripe, and Twilio.