Here is an overview of the components typically included in a business plan. Each component requires gathering information from specific resources. Therefore, this guide has a webpage dedicated to each of the components listed below. If you are writing a business plan for a class assignment, you may not need to address all these components. Be sure to check with your instructor about the assignment guidelines and requirements.
Executive Summary: A brief synopsis of the business plan that gives the reader a quick idea of what the plan entails. Write the executive summary last, after the bulk of the business plan is written, and you have a deeper understanding of what details are important to highlight.
Business Description: The business description is similar to the executive summary, although a longer, more in-depth overview. Like the executive summary, the business description is written after all research is complete.
Customer: Research customer needs. Explain the customer base (Target Market).
Industry: Research the industry. Explain the need for your niche and your understanding of the competition. Include an industry analysis.
Marketing Plan: Research a marketing plan that analyses the 4Ps (product, price, place, promotion) and STP (segment, target and the position).
Organization Plan: In the organizational plan, explain how the business will meet customer needs.
Financial Plan & Funding: Explain plans for cashflow. Describe the financial terms for funding. For example, a loan from a friend or family member, or from the bank, or how you are boot strapping (building a company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings, luck, and the cash coming in from sales).
Exit Strategy: There is debate about how important this component is, so research your audience. The exit plan should include details about how investors will be paid off if the company does not succeed.
Appendix: Compile the appendix of your plan.