How do you develop a business plan?


Quick Answer

To develop a business plan, focus on sections such as company, competition and customer analysis, and address key questions in each part. Write an executive summary after the plan is finished, but insert it into the plan as the first section.

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Full Answer

  1. Analyze the company, industry and competition

    Describe the background of the business. Also, detail the products or services the business offers when you analyze the company. Explain how the business might expand or change in the future. For the industry section, explain what the market is, how big it is and any predictions or trends. Detail your business's main competitors. Explain what they do well, what their weaknesses are, what is unique about your business and what gives it a competitive advantage.

  2. Profile customers

    Write a customer-analysis section after the above three sections detailing the ideal target customer, or customers for your business. Include demographic information, such as income range, desires and hobbies.

  3. Plan for marketing, management, operations and finances

    Explain how your business plans to reach its audience. Detail promotional and marketing strategies as well as pricing and branding. Write a profile explaining the responsibilities and openings in your management team. Discuss your plan for operations and where you hope to see the business in three months, six months, one year and five years. Describe how you plan to obtain funding and allocate funds. Use graphs and tables throughout the plan as necessary.

  4. Write an executive summary

    Summarize the entire plan in two pages or less. Put this executive summary at the beginning of the report.

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