Buy a business for sale or sell a business for free. Find businesses for sale, franchises, business brokers & commercial loans.

Buyer's Guide  |   Seller's Guide  |   Franchise Guide  |   Loans & Financing  |   Business & Mortgage Notes  |   Business For Sale Blog  |   Business Forums

Sign up for Free Industry-Related News on Business and Franchise Opportunities

Apply for a business loan, commercial real estate loan or equipment financing.


Entrepreneur Forums - use our community forums to discuss all aspects of entrepreneurship, business management, as well as how to buy and sell businesses.

Entrepreneur Blog - expert authors provide key information on business strategies and motivation for all entrepreneurs.




How To Write A Business Plan

There are many professional business plan writers who can help you write an outstanding business plan. However, many business owners elect to write their own plans, often using one of the several different business plan writing software programs on the market today. These software programs are quite handy if you elect to write your own business plan.

A business plan is a guideline that the business owner will use to start the business, and operate the business over a period of time - usually at least five years. After the five years has passed, it is time for a new business plan. There are many different elements of a good business plan.

The Executive Statement is a page that sums up all of the key points in the business plan. It is in the front of all other pages when the business plan is presented, but since it sums up the business plan, it should be created last. The Executive Statement should include your business’s Mission Statement. This is a statement that tells the readers what the primary goals of your business are.

The Executive Statement is followed by company information. This information will include the business structure, the startup plan or history of the company - depending on if the company is just starting, or if the business plan is replacing an older plan, and any other relevant information specifically about the company.

Information about the product or service your business sells, or will be selling, comes next. This information should include a detailed description of the product or service, the features and benefits of the product or service, and price.

Next, you should write about your target market. Know as much as you can about your target market, and detail how you will get your message to them. This is, in effect, your marketing plan as well. Detailed information about you and other important members of your staff should come next. This tells the reader how these people will help the business start or grow, and how they are qualified to do so by giving some background history of each important member of the team.

The final portion of your business plan, and possibly the most important, is your financial plan. If your business is just starting, this will include information on how the business will be financed, and how business loans will be repaid. It will also show projected cash flow for the period that the business plan covers. If this business plan is replacing an older plan, it will also contain profit and loss statements, cash flow, and other financial documents specific to your business. Your accountant can help you in this area.

Each portion of the business plan will have several different sub-topics. For instance, the Executive Statement includes the Mission Statement, the objectives or goals of the business, and a brief description of what is contained in the business plan. You can work with software, or an accountant and software to help you determine what details your specific business plan should contain.

Click here to return to our Entrepreneur Business Start Up Guide.