For business owners in Massachusetts, writing a business plan is often the first step in creating a successful business. Business plans can serve as a checklist that helps you get your business off to a good start. It sets the foundation both financially and structurally for your business.
Two categories of business plans
In typical business formation, there are two types or categories of business plans that can be created. The traditional business plan offers a step-by-step comprehensive examination of what your company is and how it will impact the marketplace. A lean startup business plan is more like a rough draft or a sketch highlighting your business’s key points. Some business plans can be just one page, whereas traditional ones can be dozens of pages long.
Steps of a business plan
The business plan starts with an executive summary that outlines the key points of the plan. From there, a business description adds more details about what the company does and what it brings to the market.
A market analysis outlines how your business will compete in the market. It defines your competitors while highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
You must then decide on the legal structure of your company. You might choose to operate as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or as a corporation. Your choices at this stage will also influence your management hierarchy.
The products or services provided section will key in on how what you offer benefits your customers. It also outlines how you will market your product or service to the customers.
The financial outlook lays out the financial prospects for your company. The summary is like a call to action. It’s where you make the final pitch to financiers or partners.
Creating an effective business plan can be time-consuming. However, making your plan concise, clear and persuasive can be a great starting point for your new business.