Checklist for Writing a Winning Business Plan

August 6, 2019

Whether you're starting a new business or getting ready for growth in an established small business, developing an official business plan can help you and others understand your goals and assets. And, using this tool to communicate information to others can help chart the course for success.

The journey to prepare your business plan can even help you discover additional opportunities for growth while ensuring you are planning for road bumps along the way. With a firm business plan, you'll be able to outline the future state of your business to get resources and assistance you need from a lender.

What's in a business plan?

Like any journey, you start by thinking about where you're going and what you'll need to get there. Here's a checklist of the high-level information you'll need:

Summary: Just as if you were appearing on Shark Tank, this is an elevator pitch that includes what you do, where you do it, and how you're special. Also, include financial information such as sales and profits. If you need a loan, list how much you need and what you plan to do with the funds.

Description: Outline how your company is structured and who owns it. List new opportunities or prospects for growth along with information regarding the state of your industry.

Services/Products: List a description of the types of services or products offered by your business along with your pricing. Include some information about the overall market in your area along with an explanation of why the products and services are needed.

Competition and Market: Provide your research related to themes and trends for your type of business. Include an analysis of your competition and how you are uniquely positioned to provide goods or services to your target market. If you have a unique product, ideal location, or expert staff members, ensure that you're clearly communicating this information in your plan.

Strategy and Sales Predictions: Explain how you will create awareness and prospects for your company. This section should also include some information on the customer journey, lifecycle, and plans to address churn. Also, include a forecast to project sales for the near future and the following years.

Management and Staff: Identify who will be handling the business and provide details on employee costs for the workers needed.

Financial Analysis: Provide predictions that will help lenders or investors understand how you plan to succeed. If you already have a business, include a financial accounting for the last few years.

Funding Request: Outline your needs for funding along with your plans to use the funding to hire more staff, buy equipment, or increase inventory.

After you create your business plan, add a calendar note to update regularly to ensure you are taking advantage of new opportunities, reducing risk, and evolving your business over time.

Learn about treasury management services for businesses of all sizes.

Guaranty Bank & Trust is one of the oldest and most respected banks in Texas, and we are here to serve you with any planning you would like to discuss with us. To learn more, come into a location today, visit us online, or give us a call at (888) 572-9881.

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