1. Cover sheet
2. Executive summary (statement of the business purpose)
3. Table of contents
4. Body of the document
1. Description of business
4. Operating procedures
6. Business insurance
B. Financial data
1. Loan applications
2. Capital equipment and supply list
3. Balance sheet
4. Breakeven analysis
5. Profit and loss statements
6. Three-year summary
7. Detail by month, first year
8. Detail by quarters, second and third year
9. Assumptions upon which projections were based
10. Pro-forma cash flow
C. Supporting documents
1. Tax returns of principals (partners in the business) for last three years, personal financial statements (all banks have these forms)
2. Copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor (for franchise businesses)
3. Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
4. Copy of licenses and other legal documents
5. Copy of resumes of all principals
6. Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc.
How to Make Your Business Plan Stand Out
One of the first steps to business planning is determining your target market and why they would want to buy from you.
For example, is the market you serve the best one for your product or service? Are the benefits of dealing with your business clear and are they aligned with customer needs? If you're unsure about the answers to any of these questions, take a step back and revisit the foundation of your business plan.
The following tips can help you clarify what your business has to offer, identify the right target market for it and build a niche for yourself.
Be Clear About What You Have to Offer
Ask yourself: Beyond basic products or services, what are you really selling? Consider this example: Your town probably has several restaurants all selling one fundamental product—food. But each is targeted at a different need or clientele.
One might be