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Business Plan Writing - Simple Business Plan Strategy

Updated on June 16, 2016

Business Plans - Quick & Dirty List

Writing a business plan is not a simple task, but if you follow these general and simple guidelines you can accomplish your goals fairly simply. Just remember that it will require some investment of time on your part, more details are better and that you are capable of the task!

The body of your business plan is best divided into these few categories:

1) Your Business description
2) The marketing you plan to use or bring with you into your company.
3) What money do you have and what do you need for the first 5 years - broken down by year 1 through 5

4) Who is managing your business - Head people, must be listed by name and credentials - only staff can be assigned a number - example-5 hostess staff operating in varied time slots from 8 am until 2 am.

5)A well planned exit strategy to pay back the loan you are seeking or the investor/s (partner/s) you are making your presentation to.

Business Plan Breakdowns

Use the following list of documentation so you get the most benefit from your business plan:

1 - Business Description - Don't use 500 words to say what you can say in 150 words. Be brief, but be clear. Include your marketing ideas for your business and its growth. Know who your competition is, their success and where you can take over a portion of the business in your niche, as well as how you intend to do that. What are your operating procedures, who are your personnel, and what types or kinds of insurance do you have or will you need to carry - ?

2 - Break out your money requirements for the first five years this way:

Year 1 - Break costs out by day for the first quarter and by the month for the first 3 years - total your column at end of year.

Year 1-3 break it out by month and quarter, with a total column at end of year

Year 4-5 quarterly and yearly breakout totals for this.

3 - Your financial data consists of these elements:

- Tax returns for 3 years of any principal company members/workers.

- Loan applications - Most banks carry these and you can use theirs if your investor is a personal one.

- Your list of supplies and equipment - get an office supply catalog if you don't know where to start and include costs associated to these items (toner and paper for a copier . . .)

- These financials: Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, Pro-forma cash flow. If you don't know what these are or understand how to get them then seek the advice of a professional, or go online and learn how create them and use the simplest form you can understand so that you can explain if asked any questions, or go to the library or go to the small business administration for help. Do not guess - More detail is better!

- Your list of assumptions - what are your objectives based on? additional staff being hired based on a 20% growth projection?

Next . . What's Left to do?

4 - What is left?

Gather up this additional information and paperwork and include it also:

 - Any leases you have agreed to or are interested in acquiring or your business

 - Any licenses you are required to possess-or permits

 - Resumes for any and all principal officers of the company and a list of your Board of Directors-name and addresses

 - Letters from anyone interested in doing business with you - Letters of Intent - when you go into business for yourself.

Use copies of everything so that your original documents do not risk becoming altered or damaged or lost.

It's Not Over Until You're Finished!

Your presentation agenda should include an cover page, table of contents, executive summary, supporting documents, and financial projections. There is no magic bullet for creating a business plan. You'll have to take the time to prepare one. A business plan with thorough research will always get a more detailed review than one with incomplete data, unfinished research or details missing.

Business Plan Writing-More Tips

Business Tax Software

Check out My Blog For more tips - Business Start-Up Checklist, How To Write A Business Plan, Business Tax Software Recommendations, and Much Much More!

Also, see my company website here

Business Tips & Gift Ideas

And More . . .

Business Plan Writing Comments

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    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Hi Don S, and thank you! Yes, some research does agree that it is a competitive niche. I just wish I had been doing this back in 1999 when I first started my own business. Writing a Simple Business Plan goes a long way to promoting a successful business! I'll have to take a look at your Hub!

    • Don Simkovich profile image

      Don Simkovich 7 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      I just wrote a Hub called Writing a Simple Business Plan yesterday and saw that someone came across it via Google. I was surprised because it must be buried deep in the pages. However, I started searching and came across yours on page 3 of the results! It's a competitive niche, I know.

      Nicely written Hub.

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      tonymac04 - thank you! I've used it myself and am in the process of using it again to design my 'next big adventure' I feel confident knowing that they work well when you use them! Thanks again! And BTW - Congratulations on your newest addition to your family this year!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Mischelle - thanks for laying out a very clear and useful business ploan writing process. I will definitely find it helpful.

      Love and peace


    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      HI Msorensson - yes, business plan pro is still available! I hav it on my desktop on my accounting computer. It is excellent! It is a bit thorough for a simple business plan, but that's one of the good things about it - you can use what you want of it and aren't forced to complete the entire plan if you don't need it. Great choice! Thanks!

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Hi, Mischelle,

      There is a is called Business Plan Pro..I do not know if it is still available but it is good.


    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Thank you!

    • kowality profile image

      kowality 7 years ago from Everywhere

      You have some of the most informative hubs about keeping finances and small business going smoothly. Thank you mwatkins