Key Components of a Business Plan - dummies

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

Part of Business Plans Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Writing a business plan is a big task, and no two business plans are alike. But most effective plans include the following major elements. As you write your business plan, come back to this list of key components to make sure your plan is complete and thorough.

  • Company overview: Your mission, vision, values, products, unique attributes, and the business opportunity you plan to seize

  • Business environment: An analysis of your industry, your marketplace, your customers, your competition, and how you stack up

  • Company description: The capabilities that give you a unique advantage over your competitors — including your management, technology, operations, distribution, service, finances, and marketing

  • Company strategy: Your roadmap to the future (including how you’ll seize opportunities and avoid threats), your growth plans, your marketing plan, and even your exit strategy

  • Financial review: The state of your finances, including your income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, profit projection, and budget

  • Action plan: Steps you’ll take to implement your business plan to meet your goals and objectives