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Business Plan

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Your Business Plan

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BUSINESS PLAN







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May 28, 2024


Executive Summary

The Ownership
The Company will be structured as a sole proprietorship.

The Management
The Company will be managed by a hired manager.

The Product
    

Pricing Strategy
The Company will make use of an economy pricing strategy.



Business Plan - _________________________________

The Company

Business Sector
The Owner would like to start a business in the following industry: retail sector.

Company Ownership Structure
The Company will be structured as a sole proprietorship.

Ownership Background

  • Owner: ____________________
    Experience and training:     

Company Management Structure
The Company will be managed by a hired manager.

The Product

The Product
    

Pricing
The Company will make use of an economy pricing strategy.

Last Updated April 8, 2024

What is a Business Plan?

A Business Plan is a document that outlines your business’s goals and your plans for reaching them. It’s a fundamental tool that every entrepreneur should use. A well-made Business Plan serves as a guide for managing and operating your company.

Business Plans are also helpful in showing your credibility to potential investors or lenders. In many cases, a Business Plan is considered a requirement for banks and investors to provide capital to a new business.

A Business Plan can also be known as a:

  • Start-up proposal
  • Small business outline
  • Business proposal
  • Marketing plan
  • Business strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Sales plan

Who needs a Business Plan?

All companies should create a Business Plan. Sole proprietors, partnerships, and even corporations can benefit from the insight Business Plans offer. Whether you’re starting a new business or have purchased an existing one, planning sets you up for success.

What are the benefits of a Business Plan?

A Business Plan is an educational tool for yourself and your team members. By mapping out your business’s foundation and potential future, you can build a framework for reaching your goals.

A Business Plan can help by:

  • Offering guidance during the early stages of the business
  • Showing legitimacy to potential partners, investors, and employees
  • Consolidating important business information
  • Functioning as a reference document

When should I use a Business Plan?

Business Plans are often the first documents created for a business because they offer guidance every step of the way, no matter what kind of business you run.

Use a Business Plan to:

How do I create a Business Plan?

Creating a custom Business Plan is easy with LawDepot’s template. When adding responses, ensure they are detailed and descriptive. Your responses will be inserted directly into the plan, so use complete sentences and neutral language.

There are seven steps to creating your plan, covering all the different aspects of your business and how they interact. While some of the information is optional, most of it can be useful. The more detailed and in-depth your Business Plan is, the more helpful it’ll be.

1. State the industry your business operates in

Start by stating your business’s industry. The questionnaire lets you choose from the following:

  • Retail
  • Construction
  • Professional services
  • Food and accommodation
  • Art, entertainment, and recreation 

Or, you can manually describe the industry your business falls under.

2. Provide company details

This section offers an overview of your business by describing its foundation and goals. Investors can use this section to understand the core of your company, and it also gives you an opportunity to show your company’s potential and competitive advantages.

Company details and background

State if your business is a new or existing company, as this affects the language of your plan. Include the name and address of your business.

Describing your company’s background isn’t always necessary, but it offers a glimpse into the foundation of your business. Include how the company has been operating and how it has grown. Point out any evolutions of your products or services, and mention what inspired you to start your business.

If you’re creating a Business Plan for a start-up, you won’t have a lot of company history, but you can still include what motivated you to start your business.

Company goals

Describe short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals include things you want to achieve within 12 months, while long-term goals are objectives for the next five years. Your goals can focus on revenue, new products, and expansions, among other things. Include your sales forecast and projected market share growth. 

You’ll also need to detail how you plan to reach your goals. Consider strategies like securing funding, hiring employees, or expanding your line of products or services.

Ownership details

Include details about your company’s structure. You can describe the ownership structure or choose between the following three types:

  • A sole proprietorship is a business owned and run by one person. The owner is fully and personally responsible for all the debts and obligations of the company.
  • A partnership is a business owned and operated by two or more people. The owners share the profits and losses of the company.
  • A corporation is a business entity with the same rights and obligations as a real person. It’s owned and operated by shareholders and a board of directors.

You must include the names of the owners, partners, or shareholders. Detail any relevant experience or training they have, and describe their qualifications and previous accomplishments. Explain who will be the daily manager of the business and how they’ll make their management decisions.

You should also note any assets the company is starting out with and estimate their market value.

3. Describe your products or services

Describe what products or services your company offers and how they are unique. Explore how your products or services respond to a demand in the market and how you are distinguished from competitors.

You should mention any trademarks, patents, or licenses your company has and how these can strengthen your company’s place in the market. If you have plans for future products and services, describe these and how they will support your business.

4. Outline your place in the market 

Having a market niche is imperative to succeed as a business. By knowing your customers and competitors, you can create advertising and pricing strategies that help increase your market share. 

Customers

Define your ideal target market. Your customers can be individuals, groups, or businesses. Describe the sector of people you want to target with your products and advertisement. 

Factors you can use to describe your customers include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Family size
  • Annual income
  • Occupation

Pricing strategy

Your prices will impact things like your customer base and advertising strategy. Decide on a pricing approach that will let your company reach its goals.

  • Economy pricing lets you engage price-conscious consumers with lower prices.
  • Premium pricing is a good strategy if you’re offering unique or luxury goods.
  • Promotional pricing uses discounts, coupons, and vouchers to draw in customers.

You can also create a different pricing strategy, such as membership-basis or sliding-scale pricing, or combine different strategies to suit your company.

Advertising

Advertising lets you establish your brand. Connect with your customers by planning how to promote your business. Decide what avenues you’ll use to reach the ideal market group, and consider how your customers will find you.

Potential advertising channels can include:

  • Online channels, like websites and Google Ads
  • Email marketing, like newsletters and brand stories
  • Social media
  • TV or radio
  • Print, like magazines and flyers

Note your annual advertising budget. You should also mention if your company’s location gives you a competitive advantage. Having a storefront in a busy commercial area or surrounded by high-end real estate can increase the business you receive. 

Competitors

Knowing your competition can help you create an effective marketing strategy. By looking at your biggest competitors and how they market themselves, you can plan a way to outdo them. Identify and describe your main competitors. Outline their market share and annual revenue if you know it.

5. Provide a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a common and valuable tool for planning and maintaining a business. It helps identify and quantify your company's critical issues by measuring internal and external factors. Use a SWOT analysis to get an overhead view of your place in the market.

To create a more detailed and separate analysis, use our SWOT Analysis template.

Strengths

Your business’s strengths are the internal factors that can help your business succeed. Common strengths could be:

  • Unique technology or products
  • Patents or licenses in your possession
  • The expertise of owners or management
  • The quality of your products or services

Weaknesses

Your business’s weaknesses are any internal factors that can cause your business to fail. Some common weaknesses are:

  • Risks of development or production delays
  • Products are quickly becoming outdated
  • A lack of marketing expertise
  • Weak or damaged reputation

Opportunities

Your business opportunities are the external factors that can help your business succeed, such as:

  • An increase in your product’s demand in the future
  • Expanding your market share
  • Expanding your product line
  • Exploring other marketing channels

Threats

Threats to your business are any external factors that can cause your business to fail. Threats can include:

  • New competitors easily entering your market
  • Larger competitors undercutting your pricing
  • Undependable suppliers
  • Decreased demand in the future

6. Summarize finances

The financial section lets you offer an overview of your capital requirements and income. This allows you and potential investors to understand your company's financial standing at a glance.

Capital requirements

Capital requirements describe what you need to spend money on and how much you need to make it happen. This section should include the amount the owners have invested. Detail any other financial information, such as what the money will be going to and how it’ll help your business reach its goals.

If you need a loan, mention how much you want to borrow. You can also include the loan terms, interest rate, and repayment schedule.

Income statement

Set your fiscal year-end date. A fiscal year is a 12-month accounting period that sets your business’ tax year. Companies often schedule their fiscal year-end to coincide with a less busy time of the business year. However, many small businesses maintain a fiscal year-end date of December 31st, following the calendar year. 

Include an income statement, sometimes also called a profit and loss statement. This section will break down your business’s gains, losses, and expenses over one year. If you’re making a plan for a new company, include projected information about what you expect your financials to look like. 

Outline operational details

This section lets you break down your company’s operations to offer an overview of how your business functions and what your business’s needs are. 

Day-to-day operations

Offer a glimpse into the daily operations of your business. Describe what a typical day looks like, including any activities your company engages in daily. Daily tasks include sales, distribution, manufacturing, and marketing tasks.

Operational facilities

Describe the primary location of your business. You should mention the facility size and location and any required renovations. If it’s not ready for use yet, include when it will be.

Outside suppliers

Provide details about any external suppliers your company deals with. You can mention their location, how many years they have been in business, and how long you’ve been doing business with them.

Staff requirements

Mention the amount of staff your business has and how many more employees you need to meet your goals. Include the required numbers of skilled labourers, general labourers, and managers. 

How often should I update my Business Plan?

As your business grows, you should periodically revise your Business Plan. Updating your plan is especially important when implementing big changes like new products, new market sectors, new business partners, and pivots in your brand.

Because the Business Plan is a reference document, it should always reflect your business’s current and future direction. Commit to updating it at least once a year to review goals and set new ones, keeping the company's and industry's developments in mind. A comprehensive refresh lets you focus on what’s important for your business and what’s not working.

As you continue learning more about the market, industry, business, and management, updating your Business Plan will help you keep improving.

After creating a Business Plan

Once you have created your Business Plan, you’re well on your way to growing your company. The next steps might include creating official business formation documents and registering your company with the government. 

Brand new partnerships should create a Partnership Agreement, while corporations must have Corporate Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. You might have to register your business with the government if you haven’t already. As your company expands, you’ll likely have to apply for licenses, a federal business number, a GST/HST account, or a payroll account

Learn more about starting a business in our guide:

How to Legally Start Your Own Business

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