The business plan overview includes essential background information and a summary of your business. Writing the overview first gives you the key points to create an actionable business plan and will help you get started.
Writing the overview at the beginning of your business planning process will provide you with an outline to guide you as you build out your business plan. Just like building a house, the overview provides a framework to build upon. It will help you stay focused as you do your research and provides a snapshot of your business plan at all times.
Keep this section brief. Your audience (including yourself) will have a chance to read details as your business plan develops. Update the information in this summary as you begin to fill out each section.
Writing a business plan takes time! Having an overview done will not only give you a preliminary look to see if your business idea has potential, but it also provides high-level information to help you get started making decisions as you start and grow your business.
Here are some points to include in your business plan overview
- Name of the company
- Who are the owners of the business?
- Where are you located?
- When do you plan to start operating your business? For existing businesses, how long have you been in business?
- What type of business structure do you have, such as sole proprietorship, incorporation, or partnership? Why did you choose this structure?
- What are your short term & long term goals? Offer some details on when you would like to achieve these goalsWhat are the key trends in your industry?
- What are you offering? Products/services.
- Who is your target market? Mention an ideal client, audience segment, and key stakeholders. State the country, industry, and any other high-level information that will give your reader an understanding of who will buy your product.
- Why will people choose you over the competition? Grab your audience’s attention here with a statement that offers your most compelling competitive advantage.
- How will you take your product/service to market? Some examples are e-commerce, brick and mortar retail, consulting services company, exporter/importer, or manufacturer.
- What is your history? Your vision? Write a brief statement about what brought you to this point, your expertise, your passion(s) or driver(s) to be in this business, and why you believe you will be successful.
- If there is an obvious risk or assumption with your business, mention it in summary. How will you mitigate this risk?
- How will you overcome a key challenge?
- What is your financial plan? Include a brief overview of your cash flow considerations that will support the start & growth of your business. E.g. key accounts already signed, and funding from partners/investors.
You now have the framework for your business plan! As you continue with your market research, use each point as a guideline.
There are many styles and recommendations on the length of what a business plan should be. Keep it as short as possible and choose the style that works best for you. Whether you decide to have a one-page plan or a detailed plan, make sure to include the essential information you need to help you make the right decisions for your business.
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