A Standard Business Plan Outline
A mind map about a standard business plan outline.
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A Standard Business Plan Outline [Updated for 2020]
A summary of the problem you are solving and an identifiable need in the market you are filling.
A description of the product or service you will provide to solve the problem.
A defined customer base who will most likely purchase the product or service.
The current alternatives or substitutes in the market that you and your business will be competing against.
Key highlights of your financial plan that covers costs, sales, and profitability.
A brief outline of the amount of money you will need to start your business. Include this if you plan on pitching to investors.
Milestones and Traction
A roadmap of where you currently are and specific milestones you plan to hit.
Problem Worth Solving
A thorough description of the problem or pain point you intend to solve for your customer base.
A thorough description of your proposed product or service that alleviates the problem of your customer base.
Validation of Problem and Solution
Any data or relative information that supports your solution. If you’ve already run tests that verify your idea, this is the place to include your results.
A list of steps taken so far, along with an outline of steps you plan to take in establishing or growing your business.
Market analysis summary
Potential groups of customers separated by specific characteristics.
Target Market Segment Strategy
Your ideal customer group that would be most likely to benefit from your business.
A description of how your target market is not effectively served and how your business fulfills a need.
How consumers in your target market tend to act including purchasing habits, financial trends, and any other relevant factors.
The perceived potential increase or decrease in the size of your target market.
Your ideal customer archetype that will be the main advocate for your business.
A snapshot of the potential market based on the last few sections and how your business strategy works within it.
A list of potential competitors. Identifying the competition isn’t always obvious and it may take some digging on your part.
Competitors and Alternatives
A list of potential indirect competitors that provide products or services that are alternatives to your business.
The strategic advantage(s) that makes your target market more likely to choose you over the competition.
An outline of your marketing and advertising strategy including costs, advertising channels and goals.
An estimate of the number of sales you anticipate based on market conditions, capacity, pricing strategy, and other factors.
Location and Facilities
Details of your physical business location (if necessary) including location and costs of operation.
An explanation of any new technology that defines your business.
Equipment and Tools
Any required production equipment or tools and the cost associated with purchasing or renting them.
A detailed roadmap of specific goals and objectives you plan to achieve that will help you manage and steer your business.
Performance measurements that help you gauge the overall performance and health of your business.
Company and management summary
An overview of the structure of your business including roles and responsibilities of specific employees and the flow of information between levels of the organization.
A list of potential candidates you anticipate taking on high-level management roles within your company.
Management Team Gaps
Any positions or areas of expertise that you currently do not have candidates ready to fill those roles.
A list of potential positions that you expect to require in order to run your business effectively.
Company History and Ownership
A summary of your company’s history and how it relates to planning your business.
Expected revenue and sales for the next 1-3 years, broken down into month-by-month increments for at least the first year.
Projected Profit and Loss
Projected Cash Flow
Projected Balance Sheet