How to Expand (or Develop) Your Business Plan

Since so many small businesses start in a spare bedroom or a garage, they may not have ever developed a formal business plan. But once your business begins to grow, a formal, expanded business plan is essential – especially when you apply for financing. Here are its basic components:
  • Executive Summary. The first section, typically written last, gives an overview of all other sections in the business plan.
  • Company Description. Outlines vital facts about your company, such as your location and size, what you do, and what you wish to achieve.
  • Products or Services. Describes products and/or services you're selling, emphasizing their value to customers.
  • Market Analysis. Overviews your marketplace and industry, including statistics to support your claims.
  • Marketing Strategy. Explains where your business fits into the market and how you’ll price, market and sell your product or service.
  • Management Summary. Describes how your business is structured, your team members and external resources, and how the business is managed.
  • Financial Analysis. Shows your business’s revenues, how it’s financed, the funding you’ll need to grow, and an estimate of your operating expenses.
  • Appendix. Graphs, charts, statistics, research, and other relevant data that supports statements in the other sections of your business plan.

Game Plan

Developing a business plan is an excellent start to take your business to the next level. Your most important step, however, happens between your ears. It’s your mindset. Before crafting your business plan, start thinking big – like a company, not just an entrepreneur.
  • Set a meeting with your core team or partners to discuss your business plan.
  • Assign someone to draft it, and ensure that everyone takes the time to review it.
  • Once created, revisit your business plan often – especially as your business and opportunities grow and evolve.
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