Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

What should I include in my business plan?

If you're thinking of starting a business, drawing up a business plan is one of the most important steps you can take. A good business plan will lay out your goals, identify obstacles and help bring focus to your marketing. It's also an essential tool to bring to investors because it shows them the bird's eye view of your plans.

But writing a business plan can seem daunting. Where do you even start? What are you supposed to include? What would investors and employees want to see? In a broad sense, a business plan should include all of the following things:

  • A broad overview of the business's purpose along with a to-the-point description of the company.
  • An executive summary. This will tell anyone reading it how the company will be organized and managed.
  • A market analysis. For this, you will need to look at your competitors and make an honest assessment about how you will compete in the current marketplace.
  • An honest figure that represents what you'll need to get started and get the business off the ground, so to speak.
  • A detailed rundown of the financials of the business including projected costs and revenues.
  • A resume detailing the history of the people involved in the business.

These are just the basics. If you meet with an attorney who specializes in business startups, he or she may be able to help you come up with a professional business plan that will wow investors. An attorney can also guide you through the ins and outs of starting your own business.

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