How to Write a
Business Plan
Step by Step

25 May 2022
Written By Maple Content

1 - The Executive Summary

The introduction of your plan is one of the most important parts of it. Like any good opening hook, it’s important to try and draw the reader in and give them a key understanding of what you are trying to communicate.

What you’re going to want to do is provide a concise but technical summary of your plan, as well as the operating model of the business. Don’t go more than a page or so into detail, but make sure that you also include things like the name of the company, key employees, its operating address, what type of goods and services you offer, etc.

2 - The Business Description

The executive summary was how you pulled a prospective reader in and made them engage with you, so the business description is now the first chance you have to really talk about your business. What is it that you do? What’s your target market? How do you stand out from the competition? You need to highlight the strength of your business and talk about what it is that makes it such a worthwhile investment, such a good idea.

3 - Competitive/Market Analysis

A good business will do a comprehensive analysis of the market it wants to enter. Any business should do this, and your reader will want to see the evidence you have. This is the section of the business plan where you discuss the specific industry you will exist in and how you will take advantage of opportunities within that industry.

There will also be a section dedicated to an analysis of the competition within the industry. A sensible business looks at competitors and assesses their strengths and weaknesses, providing them with ideas on what to do and what to avoid.

4 - The Operational Structure

This is the section that deals with the day-to-day or business operations of your company. How will you work on a regular basis? What is the legal structure of your business? If there are multiple stakeholders involved in the company, put together a chart which demonstrates who is connected and how.

5 - The Product Description

Now we have reached a point where you get to talk about your product properly. Your business plan has been to try and sell a service or a product, so now it’s time to talk about what the product does, how it’s going to benefit people, how much it will cost, how you will market it, who the target audience is – these are all critical questions.

Providing a proper product description helps you to identify areas where you might also improve and gives you the tools necessary to show off your products.

6 - The Funding Request

A normal part of business plans is the request for funding.

After all, one of the big purposes of knowing how to write a business plan step by step is to present it to an investor to secure capital. However, it’s not just a case of asking for a certain amount of money; you need to know more than that.

The funding request should outline exactly how much you want to borrow and the specific purpose you need it for. It should talk about the expected return on investment and also provide clear information about what you are offering in return. To give an example, let’s say you wanted $50,000 to begin to develop a new product line. In return, you offer someone a certain percentage of the company and a projected return on their investment within five years. This gives them the information that they need to make a practical decision.

7 - The Financial Analysis

Regardless of whether or not you have requested funding, you should include financial projections and analysis. This helps to detail the performance your business will see in the future, as well as highlight the success it has had in the past.

If you have an established business, it’s easy to use your existing finances to demonstrate your success. However, if you have a new business which is trying to get started, make sure that you have been realistic with your financial projections. If you have seen a 10% increase in sales each quarter, don’t suddenly jump up to 40% sales increases for no reason.

8 - The Appendix

You are reaching the end of the business plan, and that means that it’s time to consolidate and provide any other lingering pieces of information that you consider to be important. It can sometimes be challenging to list everything in a business plan, so if you have any small details or extra thoughts you wish to convey, this is the space to put them in.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to write a business plan step-by-step is tricky. It’s an important document and necessary for success, but many people don’t know how to successfully create one.

Here at Maple Content, we’ve got a lot of experience with creating a business plan on a step-by-step basis. Thanks to years of industry experience and a core understanding of what makes a good plan, we can help you to put together the ideal document for your needs. However, if you want to take a look at doing it for yourself or even simply understand the process which goes into it, then this is for you. The business plan isn’t difficult to write by any means; it just requires practice and a firm grasp of how to write.