If you’re applying for a loan or looking for investors, a business plan shows you’re prepared and have fully vetted your business idea, says Craig Allen, a financial advisor who teaches business plan writing classes at Southern New Hampshire University. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity presented and how the loan or investment will grow your company.“If you have no financial forecast, which is part of the business plan, it’s very difficult to show the bank how you are going to repay the loan,” Allen says. For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch the new product and increase its sales by 50% over the next three years.Business plans range from 20 to 50 pages in length, but, typically, they all contain the same sections.
If you’re applying for a loan or looking for investors, a business plan shows you’re prepared and have fully vetted your business idea, says Craig Allen, a financial advisor who teaches business plan writing classes at Southern New Hampshire University. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity presented and how the loan or investment will grow your company.
To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. A strong, detailed plan provides a clear road map for the future, forces you to think through the validity of a business idea, and can give you much greater understanding of your business’s financials and the competition. It spells out exactly what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the long term.
A business plan typically looks out over three to five years, detailing all of your goals and how you plan to achieve them. If you’re looking for outside funding, you can use this section to explain why you have a clear need for the funds, how the financing will help your business grow, and how you plan to achieve your growth targets.
Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors, taking their mind off your business and putting it on the mistakes you made.
If writing and editing aren’t your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.
Appendix Business plan tips and resources This is the first page of your business plan.
What Goes In A Business Plan
» MORE: Best loans for working capital [Back to top] Here, you’ll list your business’s legal structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — as well as key employees, managers or other owners of the business.
“It’s OK to be optimistic if you can justify it,” Allen says.
“In general, you don’t want to stand out in a negative way by being too optimistic.” You want to show that your business can generate strong enough cash flow to cover the regular debt payments on a loan.
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We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. It contains important information including its registered name, address of any physical locations, names of key people in the business, history of the company, nature of the business and more details about products or services that it offers or will offer.