A service business plan guides you through the complete operations of your service business. It includes everything from service description through setup, marketing, management, and financial plans for your business.

According to a recent survey, less than 25 percent of business owners created a business plan for their new business. The topmost reason surveyed business owners gave for not having a business plan was that they didn't know how to create it.

Creating a Business Plan: An Opportunity in Itself

In the United States, more than half-a-million new businesses are set up every year. These new businesses create an enormous opportunity to start a service company to create business plans for new business owners. You can market your services using one or more of the following methods:

  • Networking through business associations and meetings.
  • Obtaining a list of applicants who have applied for a new business license.
  • Partnering with business training schools to reach out to their students.

Benefits of Having a Business Plan

A business plan offers the following benefits among others:

  • It gives you an opportunity to think through the whole process of your business.
  • You can discover if there are any weaknesses in your ideas, identify the opportunities you might have missed earlier, and make a better plan to deal with potential challenges.
  • A good business plan can help you get funds for your business by convincing investors or lenders.
  • A business plan gives you a pathway to profit. A path with clear goals and actions helps you run your business smoothly.
  • Others can judge your success potential on the basis of your business plan.
  • You can use your business plan as a communication tool to orient your sales team, vendors, and others to your business goals and operations.
  • A business plan helps you become a skillful manager. It makes you think about your competition, promotion, and advantageous situations. Over a period, it increases your ability to make adjustments.

What Does a Business Plan Include?

Your business plan should not be longer than 30 or 40 pages. It usually includes the following sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Business or company description
  • Description about your products or services
  • Marketing plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Business management and organization
  • Setup expenses and funding
  • Financial plan
  • Appendices
  • Refining your plan: This section provides for ways to modify your plan for certain specific purposes (for instance, for applying for a bank loan) or for certain industries (e.g., for retail).

Questions to Ask Yourself

To develop an effective business plan, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the nature of your business?
  • What services do you provide?
  • Where is your market?
  • Who are the buyers of your services?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What will be your sales strategy?
  • How will you merchandise?
  • How much money will you need to operate your business?
  • How will you manage your work?
  • How will you control the operations?
  • When should you revise your plan?
  • Where can you get help?

You should answer these questions yourself as you sit down to develop your service business plan.

Writing an Effective Business Plan: Products and Services

The Products and Services section should clearly describe your products and services. Based on the type of business, this section of your business plan can be long or short.

If you are into a product-focused business, you may want to describe your product in more detail. If you sell a product that is readily available in the market, you may want to focus more on your core strength (for example, competitive pricing) rather than the product itself. However, if you are producing a new commodity, it may be more important to explain the product and its uses thoroughly.

Avoid getting too detailed or technical. Keep it simple and avoid using industry jargons. You can list out the trademarks, patents, and copyrights you have obtained or applied for.

You should answer the following questions while writing the products and services section:

  • Are your products in the development stage or they are already available on the market?
  • When will you bring the new products to the market?
  • How are your products different?
  • How will pricing affect your profit margin?
  • How will you purchase or manufacture the products?

If you need help with your service 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, Stripe, and Twilio.