The first step in writing a business plan is to create its main categories such as executive summary, company description, market analysis, product design and development. The next steps involve compiling research for the plan and writing content for each category section. Including an appendix section at the end of the plan allows the addition of various information such as permits and leases associated with the business.
The executive summary appears at the beginning of a standard business plan and provides readers with an overview of the entire business operation. The executive summary includes a mission statement, company background, information about products and services, and financial information. Although it comes first, it's acceptable to write the executive summary after completing other sections. The purpose of the company description is to convey to readers what the company does and how its products and services meet marketplace needs. Competitive advantages such as efficiency of operations, staff expertise and location go in this section.
In the market analysis section, readers find out what type of customers the business intends to attract and the size of its market share. Market analysis is also the section to include pricing strategies, a competitive analysis and regulatory compliance procedures. Business plans must have either a product or service category, and this is the section that shares details about product development, design and manufacturing, or services offered.