A good business plan format should include executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, product line or service, marketing and sales, financial projections and funding request. A business plan should also be well researched to be effective.
The executive summary is the first section of the business plan and gives a short outline of what the business is about. It is a good idea to write the executive summary last.
The company description explains the goals of the business in detail. This section also indicates how the business satisfies the needs of the specific market and explains competitive advantages that make the business ideal.
The market analysis section details the market research, target market and the appeal of the product or service in relation to the market segment.
Organization and management section details the structure of the business and the responsibilities of each individual in the company.
The marketing and sales section provides information on growth, market penetration and sales activities and strategies.
The financial projections section provides information on what the business is expected to accomplish financially in the coming three to five years. Potential business partners, creditors and investors use this information to judge whether they are making a good investment.
Lastly, the funding request section is a formal funding request when asking for a loan or other financial assistance. The section should specify how much money is needed currently and in the future.