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<p>10 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
SMALL BUSINESS PLAN
Executive Briefing Series
By: Jim Smith, YCHANGE International
YCHANGE assists emerging and expanding small businesses with the planning and paperwork
needed to get the business off the ground. YCHANGE has the right people, skills, industry
resources, business process expertise and track record, to help your company rapidly achieve
its business goals.
© 2011 YCHANGE International. All rights reserved
10 Essential Elements of a Small Business Plan
A completed business plan should identify the expectations you have for your new or existing
business and should tell “the tale” of your business to a potential lender. The plan is a
stand-alone document because, when completed, all business issues should be addressed
without requiring additional explanation. The plan is a living document and should be reviewed
and changed as regularly as your plans and strategies change. These 10 elements are a guide to
formatting and writing the plan:
1. The Executive Summary
This is the first element of your plan but is written last. It tells who you are, explains your vision
and your strategy, what you are doing or proposing to do, the market, the capital you need and
what you’ll do with it and your competitive advantage. In short it is the business plan in
miniature and the reader, when finished, should be able to explain to someone else what you
are all about.
2. The Company
Cover the company name, licenses needed, ownership, legal structure, and a description of
your product or service and what you plan to do with it (service, retail, wholesale, or
manufacturing). Address company location, space needed, ownership of the space, whether
this is a start up, an expansion or purchase of an existing business. Describe the company goals
and objectives and any planned changes.
3. Market Analysis
Discuss your target market, market segments and customers in these segments. Address your
penetration of the market, translate that