Writing a Business Plan - The First 5 sections
Small Business Tips

A good business plan writer will know and understand that a strong business plan is comprised of TEN main components. Each one has to be assessed in order to attract investors. This piece will address the first five components. A following article will discuss the rest. (Understanding the Strategy Sections of Your Business Plan)

The Executive Summary

This is essentially an outline of the business plan and is meant to highlight the key points. It needs to tell the investor the size of the market opportunity, the business and profitability model and how the resources, skills and strategic positioning of the management team make them eligible and capable of carrying out the plan. It should be an intriguing and easy read, but no longer than 2-4 pages in length.

The Company Analysis

This is the overview of the company and describes its organization, products and services, and its credentials in serving markets.

The Industry Analysis

This section illustrates and investigates the area in which the company is competing in. It includes the answers to questions such as:

What sizes are the target market segments?

What are the industry trends?

What industries do your services compete with?

The Analysis of Customers

This is an analysis of the customer segment. The customerís needs must be met. The products and services have to meet those needs so the customer will pay.

The Analysis of Competition

This is the competitive background for your business. Here, you can illustrate who your direct and indirect competition is, along with their strengths and weaknesses, which might help to accentuate your company's own profile and potential.

Investors tend not to read the plan in its entirety, so it's important that your first five sections are strong. Piquing their interest early is also crucial to landing that all important investment.

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