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What factors should I include in my business plan?

When you have an idea to start a new business, one of the first tasks you should do is to create a business plan. In fact, a survey from Palo Alto Software found that putting a business plan in place actually doubles the chance of your Georgia business’ success. People who are new to the entrepreneur world may feel a little uncertain of how to start. Here are some key items you should consider when formulating your plan.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is a great source of information for new and even experienced business owners. According to the SBA, the plan for your company should contain the following information: 

  •        A summary of what your business does and what your goals are
  •        How you will structure your business, such as a sole proprietorship or partnership
  •        A market analysis that gives an overview of your competitors and your audience
  •        How you plan to market your business
  •        What your financial projections are
  •        A detailed look at what you will sell or the service you will provide

Comprehensive financial information should include balance sheets, statements for your cash flow, forecasted income and any budgets related to capital expenditures. The SBA notes that in your first year, you should have quarterly statements. Any projections you make should match your funding requests, as a mistake can quickly turn off a creditor.

The financial information is key, especially if you are seeking funding. Loan providers may all request that data in a different format, so researching what is required will help you be prepared for that conversation. Having a well-organized business plan is essential for these meetings.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.


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