Starting a Business

Developing a Business Plan

If you will need to approach a financial institution to ask for funding for your business, the lender will most likely ask you for a business plan. A business plan describes your business — how it will be structured, what it will make/sell/perform, and how it will be run. It also outlines your strategies for marketing, managing, financing, and dissolving the business.

What Should a Business Plan Include?

All business plans are slightly different, depending on the type of business and the people who are starting it. However, they do tend to follow a specific format and contain similar information. A quick Internet search can show you examples of business plans and business plan templates to follow. Most business plans contain the following information:

  • Executive summary. This describes your company and explains its purpose and goals.
  • Company story. Shows how your company is different from others in the marketplace and reveals why this idea will work.
  • Market analysis. Describes your business' place in the market and its competitors.
  • Structure. This section outlines how your company will be structured and managed.
  • Sales and marketing strategy. Tells readers how you will market your business and sell your products and/or services.
  • Products and services. Describes what you will be selling and the benefits it will bring to your clients or customers.
  • Funding plans. Shares how the business will be funded, and possibly asks for capital investments.
  • Financial projections. Creditors expect to see what you project for incoming revenue and earnings over the next 3-5 years.

Business plans usually also include supporting legal documentation such as:

  • Tax returns from business partners
  • Franchise contracts (if applicable)
  • Credentials for the business partners
  • Leases or purchase agreements for business-related real estate
  • Professional licenses and permits
  • Letters of intent from distributors, buyers, or suppliers
  • Other pertinent legal documentation
Share Article:
Add to GooglePlus
Investment products are:
  • Not a deposit
  • Not FDIC Insured
  • Not Insured by any federal government agency
  • Not guaranteed by the bank
  • May go down in value

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.