Writing a Good Business Plan

Recommended Content for a Business Plan

Writing good business plans starts with an understanding of an effective business plan outline. In this article, we discuss recommended content for a business plan.

Your business plan is your roadmap for building your business and it's the admission ticket for the investment process.

Writing a Good Business Plan

In order for you to succeed, your business plan has to be as good as it can possibly be.

What goes in a business plan? The body can be divided into four distinct sections:

1) Description of the business
2) Marketing
3) Finances
4) Management

Addenda should include an executive summary, supporting documents, and financial projections.
Although there is no single formula for developing a business plan, some elements are common to all business plans. They are summarized in the following outline:

Elements of a Business Plan

1. Cover sheet

2. Statement of purpose

3. Table of contents

I. The Business

  • A. Description of business
  • B. Marketing
  • C. Competition
  • D. Operating procedures
  • E. Personnel
  • F. Business insurance

II. Financial Data

  • A. Loan applications
  • B. Capital equipment and supply list
  • C. Balance sheet
  • D. Breakeven analysis
  • E. Pro-forma income projections (profit & loss statements), including three-year projections by month, first year detail by quarters, and all assumptions upon which projections were based
  • F. Pro-forma cash flow

III. Supporting Documents

  • Tax returns of principals for last three years
  • Personal financial statement (all banks have these forms)
  • For franchised businesses, a copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor
  • Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
  • Copy of licenses and other legal documents
  • Copy of resumes of all principals
  • Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

Please share your comments regarding writing a good business plan. We welcome all comments, tips, advice and suggestions.

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code