Regardless of what type of business you want to run be it a bakery, a funeral home or an online marketing empire the one thing that you will require is a business plan however, having never taken any business basics 101 classes what do you need to have and, what is required in your business plan?

That is what we will touch on in this brief article from the basics to the not-so-basics by using a few simple steps you can be sure your business plan will contain all the information you need to make it up the ladder of success.

Information Summary.

As the name suggest this is a simple summary of what you are hoping to achieve from the name of your business, the goals, the concept and your plans. This should actually be no longer than two pages so that you can fill the needed information out clearly and concisely.

Business Details.

This will be the founding information of your business again you need to mention your business name, what type of business you will be running (Sole Trader, Partnership, Corporation, etc) in addition you will also need to include details of who the company owners are, whether it be yourself alone or a list of your business partners, this information will be invaluable to you at a later date you also need to include a brief history of the business whether you have been running it already for a number of days, weeks, month or, years.

Products And Services.

Basically, you need to write what exactly it is you will be selling. Are you going to be selling baked goods, marketing services or custom solutions. Keep this section simple, if you need to go into depth then do so at the end of your business plan by way of an appendices. Once you have listed several of the products or services you will be selling you should also list the features and benefits (Marketing points) of the products and services in addition, why do you think your business idea will succeed, what do you offer your clients that no-one else currently does? In addition you also need to have a basic pricing structure planned out, this will assist you in the future as, from your initial plans you can see what, if anything needs to be changed.


A business is more than just an idea. You need to have good pricing, affordable suppliers and a great marketing plan. This is what is also needed in your overall business plan. You should include details of your competitors products and how they compare to your own or, if applicable why your product will be a benefit to the market place should it not already be readily available. In addition the marketing section of your business plan should include a list of advantages as well as some of the pitfalls you are likely to see. You also need to include a section detailing your specific marketing strategies regarding your overall and individual products and services.

Industry Economics.

This area should detail some of the more specific areas of the industry you are going to be working in for example, what type of industry are you entering, how does the future for this industry look and, more importantly, how many existing companies work this industry as well as how do you successfully launch yourself into the industry. Parts of this area you may have covered in the marketing and previous section non the less, go over them again here in more detail.

Target Market.

We have detailed the business ideas and products and services but, what about your potential clients? What does your product offer then that they need which no other company does? What is your target client base? How will you reach your customers? All of this and more needs to be addressed in this area of your business plan.

Competing Companies.

What do your competitors do and, more importantly, who are they? Make a list of your potential competitors and address their weaknesses and strengths ensure that you leave no stone unturned when getting this information together often, you will realize that there are things your competition is doing that you can do much better then they.

Don't forget to address their marketing, what are they doing right and, more importantly to you, what are they doing wrong? How can you capitalize on this and make their errors benefit your long term business plans.

Location, Location, Location.

Location is everything and, this is particularly true in business for example, will you be working from an office, from your home or even your garage, do you require any special permits to operate your business? Can your customers reach you easily? All of these items and more need to be considered when writing this area of your business plan. By addressing any and all of these items you will find yourself with a much clearer picture of what is needed of you and your business.

Stock + Supplies.

Often overlooked in business plans the one thing you NEED to have is a list of potential suppliers and sub-contractors who can provide you with your products and services. What materials (if any) do you need? How much will these cost you? Where will you find your stock and supplies? By getting this information available now you will have a better idea once your business plan is laid out as to what you are able to offer easily and also it will enable you to lay your pricing structure out more concisely.


So you have this great business idea all laid out but, who will be running this for you? Do you need additional staff or are you going it alone? Do you need to setup accountants, lawyers, insurance companies, consultants, bank accounts etc etc? All of these aspects of your business need to be laid out here.


Money, as they say, makes the world go round. Your business is no different, how much financial outlay do you require to get your business off the ground? Do you need to ask for a loan from your banking facility to help you out? How much income are you planning on making within the next 6 to 12 months? How much of this income needs to be invested back into the business? All of these 'financial' question need to be answered in this area of your business plan only then will you begin to see the bigger picture of your business idea.

Hopefully this article has given you some solid advice and information regarding planning for your new business and, once you have all of the above laid out you should be able to see whether you will succeed or fail in your new idea.

Also, by planning now for the future of your business you should hopefully be able to avoid any hidden costs which can often push a company to the edge.

Article written by Lee.