The first three parts for writing a start-up business plan template are the executive summary, a general company description, and the products and services of the business.
This section comes first in the finished business plan, but it’s the last section written.
This section is brief, lots of bullet points to highlight the business goals. The executive summary is rarely more than two pages. Write the summary in an enthusiastic, professional, complete, conversation tone, but keep it brief and concise.
Imagine this section as a five-minute interview – what is the most compelling thing that you’d like to convey to someone else about your business.
Explain the basics of your proposed business: What are your planned products or services? Who are your target customers? Who are the owners? What are the future trends for your business and your industry?
If applying for a loan, state clearly how much you want, precisely what you plan to use the funds for, how the loan will make your business more profitable, thereby ensuring repayment.
General Company Description
This section is an overview of your basic business.
It describes what business you are in, what your business will do, what are your goals for your business. This section includes the following:
Mission Statement: All companies should have a brief mission statement explaining their reason for being and their guiding principles. The mission statement is usually 30 words or fewer. If you want to draft a mission statement, this is a good place to put it in the plan, followed by:
Company Goals and Objectives: Goals are your long range plan – where you want your business to be. Objectives are the steps you use to achieve your goals. For example, a goal might be to have a healthy, successful company that is a leader in customer service and that has a loyal customer following. Objectives might be annual sales targets and some specific measures of customer satisfaction.
Business Philosophy: What is most important to you in your business?
To whom will you market your products? (This is just a brief overview of your customer profile; you will expand further on it in the Marketing Plan section).
Describe your overall industry. What changes do you anticipate in your industry; both short term and long term changes? Do you anticipate that this will be a growth industry? How will your business take advantage of any changes or growth within the industry?
Describe your business’ strengths and skills. What factors will help your company succeed? What strengths or advantages do you anticipate that your competition will have? What skills do you personally have (experience, strengths) that will affect the success of your company?
Legal form of ownership: Sole proprietor, Partnership, Corporation, Limited liability corporation (LLC)? Why have you selected this form?
Products and Services
Describe in detail your products or services (include any technical specifications, photos, drawings, sales brochures. All these items and any other bulky items should be placed in Appendices).
What are the competitive advantages or disadvantages of your business? Examples of your competitive advantages include the unique features or differences in the quality of products.
Explain how you arrived at your pricing, fees, or leasing structures for your products or services.