Elements of a Business Plan

Essay by blahmeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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Elements of a Business Plan

o1. Cover sheet

o2. Statement of purpose

o3. Table of contents

oI. The Business

A. Description of business

B. Marketing

C. Competition

D. Operating procedures

E. Personnel

F. Business insurance

G. Financial data

oII. Financial Data

A. Loan applications

B. Capital equipment and supply list

C. Balance sheet

D. Breakeven analysis

E. Pro-forma income projections (profit & loss statements)

Three-year summary

Detail by month, first year

Detail by quarters, second and third years

Assumptions upon which projections were based

F. Pro-forma cash flow

Follow guidelines for letter E.

oIII. Supporting Documents

Tax returns of principals for last three years

Personal financial statement (all banks have these forms)

In the case of a franchised business, a copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor

Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space

Copy of licenses and other legal documents

Copy of resumes of all principals

Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc.


What goes in a business plan? This is an excellent question. And, it is one that many new and potential small business owners should ask, but oftentimes don't ask. The body of the business plan can be divided into four distinct sections: 1) the description of the business, 2) the marketing plan, 3) the financial management plan and 4) the management plan. Addenda to the business plan should include the executive summary, supporting documents and financial projections.


In this section, provide a detailed description of your business. An excellent question to ask yourself is: "What business am I in?" In answering this question include your products, market and services as well as a thorough description of what makes your business unique. Remember,