How to Write a Business Plan Outline

How to Format a Business Plan Sample

When you plan on travelling to a new city you are unfamiliar with, the most sensible thing to do is to make sure to go with a map to act as a guide in your journey. In the same respect, a business plan acts as a ready guide which keeps you on track in your journey towards success in your business.

Below are some key things you must consider when in doubt as to how to write a business plan outline /layout.

Show That You Know Your Market and Customer

In writing your business plan outline  / layout, you must be able to show or demonstrate that you truly know and understand who your target market and customers are. You must be able to let investors know in your business plan that you actually have a ready market that really need your products and services.

Also, you must be able to show that you know your market; how it operates, and how you intend to set your business apart in the industry. Why is this important? For one thing, understanding your market, and knowing how to set your business apart in the industry will show that you have a plan on how you will be able to attract sales and generate profits. You can do this by ensuring you carry out online surveys, as well as engaging in interviews with prospective customers.

Carrying out a thorough research will not only help you know your market and target customers, but it will also enable you to be able to know the financial requirements for your business. This will also enable you to be able to make good and accurate forecasts and analysis.

Link Every Strategy to Your Core Objectives

One of the major reasons for writing a business plan outline / layout is to explain what your plan and goals are, and how you have planned to achieve them. Your goals are the central theme of your business plan, which is why you must make sure to identify your goals, and make sure to make them the nucleus of your entire business plan. Everything in your business plan outline should revolve around your goals and how you can achieve them.

Put Into Consideration All Risks and How to Tackle Them

Another thing you should pay attention to when writing your business plan outline / layout is to make sure you pay attention to all risks and how you intend to tackle them. Yes, there is no business that has no risk, so, it is very important you document all the risks in your business plan. When you show that you are very much aware of your business risks, and you have carefully outlined ways to tackle them, this will boost your confidence in handling challenges in your business, and also help investors have clear view on your approach.

Be Concise and Clear

Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to start writing a business plan for their businesses. Others who eventually begin writing the business plan do not recognise when they are giving too much detailed information. Sure, it is not out of place to put down as much detail as possible in your business outline, but, you must be wary of the temptation of going overboard and becoming too superfluous in your words.

You want to make sure to keep things clear, simple and concise as best as possible. This is especially important if you would intend for your business plan to be read. You do not want to bore your reader with too much detail. You could make use of graphs, charts, tables, anything, just to drive home your point clearly.

Pay Special Attention to Presentation

It is not enough to write a very good business plan outline, you want to make sure you pay keen attention to the presentation. This will be very important if you are planning to have your business plan read by potential readers.

Start with the basic formatting such as making sure to use clear headings, making sure of good structure in your document, making sure of consistency in the entire document, checking for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, etc. After you are done, make sure to have the entire document proofread by someone else just to tie up loose ends where you might have missed.

Below is a detailed business plan outline:

BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE/LAYOUT

Executive Summary

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Competition
  • Market
  • Financial highlight

Our Products and Services

  • Problem
  • Solution

Vision Statement

  • Business goal/objectives

Mission Statement

Business Structure

  • Organization Structure
  • Management Team

Market Analysis

  • Market Trend
  • Target Market
  • Competition

Sales and Marketing Strategy

  • Marketing Plan
  • Sales Plan
  • Milestones

Financial Plan

  • Source of Start-up fund
  • Sales Forecast
  • Expenses

For most entrepreneurs, writing a business plan all by themselves does not seem to be fun in any way. But with good preparation, while paying attention to the steps necessary for writing a good outline for your business plan, you should not find the task of writing your own business plan difficult.

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