9+ Business Plan Guidelines Examples – PDF

Businesses and the people who manage them couldn’t last very long in their field if they simply went with the flow. Even in the best weather, the corporate world is under a turbulent current that will take you to a roller coaster ride of fluctuating sales and unpredictable market behavior. These factors, as harmless as they may seem to you, can already crush your business into a dead, parched pulp. You may also see how to create a business plan?

To keep this from happening, businesses develop a plan that will keep them rooted to the very reason why they’ve entered the market in the first place. It will serve as their blueprint to organize their team’s goals and objectives, in line with the company’s mission and vision.

Business Plan Outline

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Business Plan Format

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How to Write a Business Plan

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What Is a Business Plan?

Business plans, contrary to what you may have forethought, doesn’t only come in fancy stationery with the company’s logo and the signature of very important people. On the contrary, in its simplest form, a simple business plan can start as a business idea written down on a piece of scratch pad. They can be random thoughts and perceptions scribbled on an available clean surface.

These unremarkable concepts, when developed, can already be the beginning of a scheme that can revolutionize the company’s whole legacy.

Business plans state what you want to achieve, and how you general plan to achieve it. It helps you recognize the resources that are at your disposal, and their ability to help you get to the finish line you have created yourself. In other words, business plans are innately strategic. They help its owner make the best out of the meager assets that he has, to be able to make more assets for the future.

Sadly, most businessmen think that they only need a business plan for the process of starting a business, or for applying for loans. But the purpose that these proposals serve extends far wider than that. Businesses need them during the whole time that they run their business. It needs to be maintained and updated as new opportunities come to the company. Without business plans, keeping track of it all will be near impossible. You may also see business plan outline with examples.

Business plans only take the form of official documents when they need to be reproduced for the benefit of other people in the company who can make use of the idea as well, and since these forms will be considered official company records, they will have to be subjected to rules and guidelines to make them look professional. There are specific parts and elements it will have to possess before it can be considered an official business plan.

Business Plan for New Businesses

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Successful Business Plan Elements

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Financial Planning for Business Plans

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Guidelines in Creating a Business Plan

As aforementioned, your basic business plan will have to contain specific parts and elements to be considered official. This would mean that even if your plan was simply a product of a passing thought, you will have to elaborate on it. When successfully done, you will have in your possession a full-fledged extensive business plan ready for implementing. Here are the core elements that business plans normally include:

1. Executive Summary.

Most potential investors can only give you about 5 minutes of their time before they completely lose interest in what you have to say, and this behavior can already tell you about the importance of this specific part. Executive summaries are what your audience will read first. It is more than just an introduction, it is an encapsulation of your business plan’s main points.

Your executive summary’s main professional goal is to provide ample information that can pique your reader’s curiosity enough to make them want to continue reading the next few pages. However, it must not be too long that your reader will get bored with it. The content of your executive summary can make a huge difference in your business plan being accepted and being rejected.

An executive summary should not exceed two pages and should include the following:

  • a sentence or two of explaining your endeavor,
  • a brief depiction your business’s best features,
  • other relevant background details that you are sure your audience would care to know,
  • marketing history of the product or service you are discussing, and
  • details of the nature and the proposition and ideas on where to get the funding for it.

2. Company Overview.

If the executive summary introduces the business plan, the company overview will present a short background of the company’s history, their legal structure, and ownership. It includes a summary of the problems that the company has faced, and the companies and organization it is serving. You may also see weekly plan examples.

Basically, a company overview is giving you the chance to boast about your company’s strengths. Do you have the best talents? Have you found the perfect physical locations? Did your customer feedback increase considerably? This aspect is important because the company’s identity will help the audience understand the relevance of the plan to their improvement, and their ability to implement their own plans. You may also like work plan examples.

A company overview should include the following:

  • company activities,
  • objectives,
  • proof of readiness for the product’s market area,
  • future activities or improvements,
  • mission statements, and
  • capital structure.

3. Products and Services.

This is where you will discuss the problem that you are trying to address with your business plan and the means that you are trying to develop to answer them. You may also have to discuss any product you are developing, or may develop in the future, and the technological and intellectual resources you will harness for their realization. You may also check out quality plan examples.

4. Target Market. 

Your audience will have to get to know the market that you are planning to sell to. This can help you convince them that your product is, indeed, marketable. Marketing campaigns and sales assessments will also not be possible without this particular element.

Also, analyzing the market to which you fall under is vital in gaining strategies for your business’s success. Every smart businessman knows the importance of feeling along with the trends of the present-day market and the programs of their competitors. You might be interested in daily plan examples.

Startup Business Plan Template

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Restaurant Business Plan

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5. Milestones and Metrics.

You want to show people that your business plan is more than just wishful thinking, and that you have actually thought about every aspect of how to achieve it. In this section, you will lay out concrete tasks and steps, and the people who will execute them, to help you reach your target. You may also see transition plan examples.

Your milestones and metrics should include the following:

  • key management positions and their primary duties;
  • the individuals assigned to the positions and their prior experiences that are related to their present job;
  • provide solutions to skill gaps that may be too noticeable to simply brush off;
  • recognize the future management needs that may be welcome products of company growth; and
  • the business’s existing structure, preferably in a diagram or a graphic presentation of some sort.

6. Management Team.

This chapter is vital for any business plan seeking for investors. (Other than that, it’s pretty much expendable.) This will include a featured telling of the bios of the people who are a part of the whole business plan (or basically the names written in the Milestones and Metrics part of the business plan).

Essentially, it will help the readers understand why the people assigned were picked for the position. What are their qualifications and abilities that merited them the chance to be a part of the team?

Having employees with impressive backgrounds working with you can increase your business plan’s chances of being supported by investors.

7. Financial Plan. 

If you are in this field, you already know how indispensable money is to a business. This means that a careful attention must be rendered to any penny that comes in and out of your hands. A financial plan is often the reason why a business fails or lasts in the cruel market. Your business plan must have solid numbers based on your estimation of how much your business will need to grow and expand.

Your financial plan should include the following:

  • your sales percentage over the past 3 years,
  • your revenue,
  • a comprehensible cash flow model,
  • financial projections, and
  • funding requirement.

Basic Business Plan Sample Template

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Business Plan Project Guidelines

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Surviving in the business world is difficult. Often, in the midst of all the competitors and high levels of expectations and tasks you are supposed to meet, you get winded and lose sight of your ultimate goal. That is, if you actually have an ultimate goal. A formal business plan will help you make sure of two things: first, that you don’t get winded by the many roles you are required to play, and even if you do get winded, a business plan helps you get right back on track.

Second, a business plan will help you design a goal—both short-termed and long-termed. This way, your business will always have a purpose than just simply surviving, and by having purpose, you can be assured that all your efforts and hard work are all directed toward something. A vision of becoming an organization that is greater than who you already are. You may also see importance of business plan.

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