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What does a business plan outline contain?

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Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a business plan outline contains the following key sections: executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product line, marketing and sales, funding request and financial projections. The SBA website provides a useful guide for writing a business plan.

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Full Answer

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a useful step-by-step guide to drafting a business plan outline and writing a business plan. A business plan starts with an executive summary, a snapshot of the overall business profile. The company description outlines what the company does and why it is differentiated from competition.

The market analysis summarizes the total market size and business opportunity. This is a summary of the overall industry the business will operate in. Organization and management explains who will manage the company and how the organization will be structured from a personnel standpoint. The service or product line summary explains what the business sells or provides.

Marketing and sales summarizes how the company plans to market its product and services. The funding request section discusses the funding needs for the business and how it plans to finance its operations. This section can also include a request for financing and the proposed terms if the business plan is being used to procure outside capital. Lastly, the financial projection shows management's expected performance for the business in terms of both revenues and profitability.

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