All businesses start from scratch. It is born out of an idea and the drive to address a certain need of the people. Sometimes it’s not always a good start, but it’s worth a try. Starting a business means creating a business plan. This is the blueprint of the business and it guides the owners in slowly putting up the business itself. It can almost be impossible to start a business without a clear plan in mind.
Sample Business Plan Outline Template
Restaurant Business Plan Outline Template
Strategic Plan Outline Template
Prior to writing the whole business plan, ideas have to be written down in a condensed manner. There is a need for coming up with an outline so the writing of the business plan will go smoothly. The outline can also help organize your ideas and narrow down the only important information in it.
In coming up with a business plan outline, include these following elements:
1. Executive summary
The executive summary sums up the key points in your business plan. This is written last but is put on the first page. It summarizes the problems of the consumers, how you are going to address it, the target market that you plan to penetrate and the expected financial cost. The executive summary is your best shot at getting the readers to read your proposal.
Give your readers a short overview of your business – what it is about, what its goals are, what makes it unique among others. Along with this is the opportunity to further explain the problems of the consumers and your solution for it. Spark the interest in the reader’s mind that your business can do such wonder. Describe the product you are selling and how it will fill your customers’ needs. Sometimes the overview includes the detailed price lists, bill materials, and tables that present your point. You may also see sample business plan templates.
3. Market analysis
The market analysis allows you to explain your target market and how it changes over time. This part also enables you to explain the customer’s needs, the means of reaching them, and how you will deliver your product to their doorstep. The market analysis gives you a chance to study your competitor. Determine how they work and what are your odds against them. Study how the competition goes, how fast market trends change, and how you’re going to adapt to them. Lastly, explain your unique edges to the readers and how your product has a room in the market you’re targeting to break in.
The execution part of the free business plan is the part where all things that must be done should be done. These are the vital details that help the business run. It includes the following elements:
a.) Marketing plan
The marketing plan is the part where your business gets to be promoted through advertisements. Television, radio, newspaper, and the internet are the best mediums in promoting your business. The marketing plan details how the promotions should be done and when it should be released.
b.) Sales plan
The sales plan details the ways of achieving goals in terms of increasing the sales of your product. You also state the sales strategies for your target market and how you are going to execute it. You should study how the sales affect your product in more ways than one. Focus on a certain niche and build a plan on going into it. Set realistic goals as well. Understand the behavior of your target market and find ways to address each of their specific needs.
c.) Financial plan
The financial plan is the part where you get to plan how you spend the money you have in your business. This also states your funding requirements, financial analysis, and financial statements. The financial plan determines how much your business can afford in hitting its goals. This part should be honest and detailed since it’s all about money. The income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet should also be included. The income sheet sums up the revenue and expenses of your business.
d.) Operating plan
The operating plan contains the description of the business, its location, the equipment and facilities you need, the kinds of employees you want to hire, and other matters related to operations. Iron out all the necessary stuff that you need for operations before you start putting up your business.
e.) Management plan
The management plan contains the legal aspect of your business. This handles the overall management of the business and includes the internal and external management team. Human resource matters are also part of the management plan. This also states the rights of the owner in the business.
The appendices are some of the other ideas that will help establish your small business. This could be photos of your product or your projected idea for a business. It’s best to include this to give the investors a clearer idea of the business before it starts its operations.
To jump-start your writing a business plan outline, you can use some of these templates.
Sample Business Plan Outline
Basic Business Plan Outline
Business Plan Outline Sample
Why use a business plan?
No business comes out and serves the public without proper planning. This is the first step in mapping out the goals you want to achieve and determines how you are going to run the business. There are many reasons why using a strategic business plan should be used. Each is important for the business to be fully established and get stronger in time.
1. Plan the future.
Let’s take it this way. You have an idea for a business and you don’t know how to execute it. Putting your thoughts into paper will help you get into that. By writing a business plan, you are also planning the future of your business. You include the funding, operations, sample sales, and other related matters. These necessary steps will help you achieve your goals. The business plan will also save you time and effort in going into an unsure territory, and be ending up not being able to execute the plan itself.
2. Test the feasibility.
Venturing into business is about taking risks. There’s nothing better than thinking about something and end up doing it to test the waters. The business plan tests the feasibility of the business. If it works, then it’s good. If it doesn’t, then move on to a better idea. The fate of your business relies heavily on how you plan it. It will save you time and money if your business proves to be lucrative. If the business booms in the future, update your basic business plan and set new goals to achieve. By doing this, you are helping your business survive in the world of harsh competition.
3. Support growth and get funding.
All businesses aim to get funding as the business grows. State in the plan how you are going to get the funds which will fuel the business. If your business faces investment and financial decisions, your word business plan helps you sort that thing out. In securing funding, make it clear to your investors why they should invest money in your business. A detailed description of the unique edge of your product would be a big help in convincing the investors that your business is worth taking the risk.
4. Make business planning effective.
The business plan helps in making the planning more effective. As the business grows bigger, new goals have to be set. This calls for the revision of the original business plan. Several revisions can fine tune the whole plan and set clearer and more realistic goals to achieve. The business plan in word also helps in managing the business better. With the steps written, it makes it easier to follow each of them.
5. Draw investors.
Your printable business plan aims to draw investors to your business. This calls for a very well-written business plan. A solid business plan backs up the presentation you give to the investors. With these two being well executed, you are on your way to having a place in the business world.
When To Use A Business Plan
A sample small business plan can be written any time. However, using it in more ways than one can only be done in certain situations. These are the times when the business plan is needed and could do only so much to save the business from falling apart.
1. Evaluate a new business venture.
When you want to start a business, it is crucial to evaluate if it is profitable and healthy enough for you to stay long. A startup business plan is needed for this. You have to study the market first and determine how to break into it. The only certain thing in business is success and failure, and you have to see if this kind of business is worth investing your time, money, and effort. Never go into something you are unsure of and if your plan is not making any sense at all.
2. When the business grows.
As your business starts growing, revisions are inevitable in your business plan in a word. Make sure to update it on a when you can so you will be able to find more ways on how to make your business more profitable. This also helps you in finding more ways to enhance your product and add new ones.
3. Track the performance of the business.
As we have said earlier, the business plan excels changes as the business grows. Keep track of the performance of your business and come up with plans to improve it. The plan should adjust depending on how the business is going. Tracking the performance of the business helps in making ways on how to enhance it if it goes well and saves it if it goes down.
4. Spot problems early.
Creating a business plan sample helps you spot the problems in your business while it is in its early stages. You cannot guess what happens to your business in the upcoming days no matter how cohesive your plan is. You have to determine the loopholes in your plan and find a solution for each one. The business plan would also help you foresee the expected events that may happen in your business. You should look at each of these to prevent unexpected trouble.
5. Plan for possible failure.
Not all businesses are bound to succeed. Some would fail because of poor planning. Others fail because of the incompetent execution of the well-written plan. Some businesses also fail because of failing to address the needs of their customers in their target market. You may also like business plans vs business proposals.
A business plan not only helps in building the business but also reduces its chances of failure. Failure is always a possibility in every business, especially when you break into a competitive industry. As a business owner, you should be willing to admit that your business might fail. Think of steps on what to do in case it does. That way, closing the business would not be too big of a mess. There is still a sense of closure even after the business is gone. Failure is inevitable of course, but failing to see where you went wrong is much worse. You may also see marketing business plans.
Business is a world where everyone fights tooth and nail to keep their businesses afloat. Everyone thinks of their own ways to do just that. While it may all start with a sample business plan, we sure don’t know what the future holds for each of our businesses.