How to Write a Traditional Business Plan
Your business plan is usually the make or break piece of your loan application, because it provides all the details about your company’s operations and financial health your lender will need. There’s a traditional format used, and knowing it means being able to deliver information clearly, as expected, so you can get the loan you need quickly.
It all starts with an executive summary, which should be around ten percent of the total length. This summary covers the information the other sections will unpack in detail, providing the broad strokes that fit it all together and communicate your overall business strategy. After that, a detailed company overview demonstrates your corporate values and describes your size and operations as they are today. It usually includes a discussion of your managerial structure and current top-level managers, too.
After that, you’ll need to provide market analysis to show both your current market share and the potential for growth in your industry. This leads to a discussion of your managerial structure and current top-level managers, to demonstrate who will be running your company. Follow that with a description of your current services or product lines that details your offerings and their current level of popularity.
After you have that basic information, it’s time to discuss your approach to marketing and the level of success attained so far. That leads you to the funding request, where you’re able to show how the financing you’re seeking will allow your business to move forward. That’s the central part of the business plan, and after that request, you need to provide detailed financial projections to substantiate your company’s financial health. If you have charts or visual aids referenced in the text, collect them in an Appendix at the end for organization.
This straightforward structure ensures your plan will be easy for a lender to understand, and it also methodically covers every aspect of running a company. If you follow the outline above, it will be very difficult to accidentally miss key information you will need to successfully access the loans you’re seeking. Remember, you’re probably going to need to submit actual financial records to substantiate the claims in your plan, too, so make sure you keep all your research organized as you write.
Last but not least, inquire ahead to see if there are any special inclusions or additional instructions your lending institution has with regard to the business plan. That way, you can get it right on your first attempt.