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Business Plan Outline: Learn The Implementation Step-By-Step  Small Business Articles RSS Feed

By: Benjamin E. Hertz|LRL Editor

Writing A Business PlanA business plan outline is necessary for any business to be successful. The business plan outline is not the same for all businesses and varies according to business size and requirements. It lays down all the steps you are going to cover in your business start-up and ensures smooth running of your business. A good outline for your business plan should be drawn up either by you or by a consultant. There are several business plan template and software available online to help you with some guidelines, which could be a good start for your plan outline. Once the plan outline is ready it should be put in writing to be referred to when required.

The title page is called 'Cover Sheet'. It should contain information about your company's name, address, phone numbers; name, address, phone numbers of all owners; the month and the year of plan preparation; name of the person who prepared the plan and the copy number. Next is the statement of purpose which is called the 'Executive Summary'. This is for the plan outline objectives. Answers to the simple 'who, why, what, which, when, where and how' to summarize the company, the management, objectives, financing and similar aspects.

Next in the business plan outline is the 'Table of Contents' which is a quick reference to the major topics of your plan. This is followed by the Organizational Plan. This includes a summary plan of the business which covers the mission, business model, strategy, strategic relationships and an analysis of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). This also should have details of the products or services of your business specifying whether you are a manufacturer, retailer or a service provider. This is followed by 'Intellectual Property' which addresses copyrights, trademarks and patents. The location, legal structure, management, personnel, accounting and legal, insurance and security are other areas to be covered here in the plan outline.

The following item is the 'Marketing Plan' which includes all components of the marketing strategy followed by you. This covers the marketing strategies and goals, market analysis, customer service, implementation of marketing strategies and assessment of marketing effectiveness, then comes the very important part covering 'Marketing Documents' which is the quantitative part of the business plan outline. In this the past finances, current finances and the projected finances are shown. Among other things this part includes balance sheets, profit and loss computations and financial statement analysis.

There are other supporting documents which also are included in a business plan outline. These are personal resumes, owner's financial statements, credit reports, copies of leases and mortgages, letters of reference, contracts, legal documents and other miscellaneous documents. Once the outline of your business plan is made it should be updated from time to time with new data and documents when required. The documents are sensitive and should be treated with maximum security at all times. The business plan outline of your company should not be shared unless required. You need to have this plan ready at all times and refer to it from time to time.

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