Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Many people are put off by the process of developing a plan because they hate to write, or the process is too time consuming, or they just can’t seem to get things down on paper. 

Here are some strategies to beat those problems:

• Write a little at a time. A few sentences are a great start. The most important part is that you get your thoughts on paper and let someone you trust read them. Sometimes a person not involved in the business can be a source of very good ideas. 

• Don’t worry too much about format. A good Business Plan must contain certain elements (the Executive Summary is a must), but the logic in the plan and believable financial projections are the most important parts. If the numbers don’t work, no amount of beautiful presentation will make your plan a good one. 

• Don’t write a book. Whenever possible use charts, tables and graphs to present and analyze information. 

• Start with an outline. Here is a sample outline of a Business Plan. By filling it in, you will have a well-developed Business Plan. 

• Review sample plans from other companies: Reviewing this Sample Plan from a fictitious restaurant, The Hard Luck Café, will give you a snapshot of what a completed Business Plan looks like. You might find this comprehensive collection of sample Business Plans helpful. They include plans for real estate management, wedding consulting, hair and beauty salons, nightclubs, bed and breakfasts and more. Another directory of sample Business Plans can be found here.

Sample Business Plan Outline