business concept of an office desk with charts business plan form pen

Start with a Plan

According to the Small Business Administration, “a business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals and serves as your firm’s resume… It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make the right decisions….”

In sum, it’s the roadmap that tells you, your suppliers, customers, employees, and partners where you’re going and how you plan to get there. It’s essential to have a fully developed business plan before you attempt to launch your business. Without a plan, you’ll have trouble getting financing, attracting qualified workers, and figuring out if you’re where you should be.

Business plans typically include the following sections:

  1. Overview
  2. Marketing Opportunity
  3. Business Profile/Description
  4. Marketing Plan
  5. Competitive Analysis
  6. Executive Management and Qualifications
  7. Financial Data and Projections

Don’t be intimidated by the jargon and the work. There are several resources that can walk you through the process, including: