Developing a Winning Business Plan

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A well-crafted business plan can give you a solid roadmap and an advantage when it comes to seeking funding, but what makes a business plan stand out?

Start with a good executive summary, advises Rob Sabo at Small Business Computing. Think of it as an elevator pitch or a cover letter: a one-pager that highlights your products and services, target market, management team, short-term and long-term objectives and overall mission. Clarity is everything; make sure nothing is ambiguous or unclear.

Next, make sure you understand your market opportunity and risks – and communicate it clearly in the market analysis. Outline the size and scope of your market, its growth over time, demographics and key customers and how they are under-served. Forecast your anticipated market share, pricing and profit margins, and analyze your competitors, including their strengths, weaknesses, marketing tactics and barrier to entry – and how you plan to overcome it.

Finally, make it clear that your executive team is up to the challenge you’ve outlined.

Adapted from How to Develop a Winning Business Plan at Small Business Computing.