General Business Plan Outline

Business Plan Outline

A business plan may contain many types of information depending on the nature, size, and financing needs of the company. One general outline of a good business plan can be developed with the help of our JDs, MBAs and expert business planning professionals. While various institutions like the Small Business Administration (SBA) help provide guidelines, it is often best to get your business plan drafted by professionals who know what it takes to get funded and what investors are looking for when they sift through thousands of plans.

Introductory Page
This is the title or cover page. This page will contain the information of the names and addresses of business enterprise and entrepreneurs, a paragraph describing the nature of business, and the vision and mission statement of the company.

Executive Summary
An executive summary of the comprehensive business plan report should be presented within four pages, summarizing the whole report and emphasizing on business purpose, industry analysis, market opportunity, key business aspects, revenue, and planning.

Industry Analysis
This segment of the business plan will show the present conditions of the industry, in which the entrepreneur desires to enter. This section should include present and future outlook and demographic developments, analysis of competitors, market segmentation, and industry forecasts.

Description of the Venture
In this segment of the business plan a detailed picture of the venture should be outlined with particular reference to products, services, office equipment, machinery, personnel, size of business, and background of entrepreneurs.

Production or Service Plan
This portion of the business plan is indeed an operational plan. The operational activities of manufacturing, trading and service business are different. So the operational plans of different types of enterprises will be different. For example operational plan of a manufacturing business may cover unique aspects such as manufacturing process,equipment, names of the providers of the raw materials and other inputs of the production process, and so on.

Marketing Plan
It includes market condition, market strategy, and future market prospect. The pricing, promotion, distribution, product forecasts, and controls should be evaluated carefully for the business plan.

Organization and Management
This section includes forms of the ownership, identification of partners or major shareholders, the authority of the managers, management-team background, and the duties and responsibilities of members of the organization.

Assessment of Risk
It is very important for any business plan to assess all the possible risks that may affect the enterprise, prior to starting the business. Assessment of risk must include evaluation of the weaknesses of the enterprise, latest technologies, and contingency plans.

Financial Plan
This section shows financial viability of the business plan, in which the entrepreneur must prepare forecasted income statement, cash flow estimates, forecasted balance sheet, break-even analysis, and sources and usages of funds. This section will be scrutinized to determine the profitability and sustainability of the enterprise by the investors, such as the bankers or venture capitalists.

It contains all the backup materials such as legal documents, market research data, lease contracts, and price forecasts from suppliers.

These are the general contents of a business plan that are suggested by the experts, but these contents may vary from business to business. A good business plan should be comprehensive enough to provide a complete picture and understanding of the venture regarding its present status and future growth potential to the prospective investors and other interest groups.