There are many different activities involved in starting up a business. One of the most important is the creation of a business plan. Depending upon your needs, you may choose to write a traditional comprehensive business plan or a lean startup business plan. Here is some information to help you craft a plan that meets the needs of your company.

Benefits of a Business Plan

A business plan serves as a road map for your company from its startup through various stages of growth. It offers you guidance in company management and in the marketing of your products or services. Additionally, a quality business plan serves as an aid when convincing potential partners and investors of the worth of your business.

The Format of a Traditional Business Plan

A traditional business plan is a multi-page document that goes into detail about the various facets of your company. It starts with an executive summary, which includes your mission statement along with a description of the products or services you offer, your leadership, your employees, and your location. This is followed by a detailed description of your company and the strengths that will cause it to succeed.

A market analysis focuses on the industry you work in, your target market, and your competitors. A section on organization and management details your leadership and legal structure. A description of your products or services should explain how they benefit consumers and any research and development you are undertaking. Include a summary of your marketing and sales strategy.

Close your traditional business plan with a funding request, if necessary, financial projections for the next several years, and an appendix with appropriate documentation.

The Format of a Lean Startup Business Plan

A lean startup plan is far briefer than a traditional business plan. It may be no longer than a page. Make a clear statement of the value your business brings to the market. Summarize your company’s key partnerships, activities, and resources. Specify your target market, how customers will interact with your business, and how you will communicate with customers. Delineate your costs and revenue streams.

For more advice on creating a business plan, contact Pendleton Commercial Financing.