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The Importance of a Business Plan
Developing a business plan is the first step to a successful business. This guide will provide an outline in
organizing your effort to gather and evaluate information about your business. As you gather information,
you can begin the process of writing your business plan. By planning your business needs, you will develop
an essential part of the business - its strategy.
Effectively completed, your business plan must identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
that may affect your business and the strategy you will use to succeed.
Business Plan Outline
The following is a suggested outline of the material that should be included in your business plan. Although
all parts are necessary for the business plan to be complete, this guide will only focus on the detailed portions
of the plan. Every business plan is unique, as is every business. This guide was designed with a general
purpose in mind; therefore, some things may not apply to your business. Consult your counselor if you have
any questions on what to include.
The cover page is the first impression of your business plan. It should include the name of the company,
company address, company phone number, owners and their addresses/phone numbers, and the date of the
plan. Incorporate the company logo, if there is one
Table of Contents: (Optional)
This portion should be brief; usually one or two paragraphs, and should state your present situation and the
goals for your business. For example, describe your idea, how much money you need, what you need it for,
how much money you will bring (or have put) into the business, and a brief schedule of your goals. Since
you won’t know some of these facts until you complete your business plan, write this section last.
The business portion of the business plan provides an overview of your planned business operation. You
should briefly describe your product/service and how you wil