What is the most important thing for your business? Well, it’s a business plan!  That’s right a business plan is one of the most important documents you can have for you business as it is literally a road map to your success. 

A good business plan can come in many flavors but generally the follow a rule of thumb; as far as content is concerned. It should incompass an executive summary, a marketing plan, a digital marketing plan, a website plan and of course good financials. If you are looking for investors you absolutely have to have good financials. 

Another really important addition is a SWOT analysis section. This means a page on strengths of your company, weaknesses of your company, opportunities that you are reaching for, and threats to your company. 

Now much of a SWOT analysis can also come from the one of the most important sections of your business plan and that is your “competitive analysis”. Yeah, I know you have no competition… haha, right. Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs want to think they don’t but they do; and once you start a competition analysis you will most likely find out you have more than you thought. 

Having competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. One thing it shows is that people are willing to purchase the items in your industry. Someone else has done the spade work to open up your industry and that is a good thing. Another good thing about competition is when you look at them; you have ask yourself “what makes me different from them?” This is very important to understand what makes your company different than the competition and this you can use in all your marketing materials. 

So in closing, research good business plans, what they are made of and make a list of the things you need to do for your business plans. There are companies to help you build your business plan too and even software that you can purchase to help you “fill out a business plan.” One word of advice is that you should try to have a business plan professional go over you plan for a fee and suggest any changes. Many business plan companies are also connected to investor types so that could also be very beneficial.

Dr. Peter Brusso Ph.D.

Keywords: Professional business plans

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