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Art of the Startup

Business Plans

Primary goal:

A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.

Needed components:

  1. Executive Summary: a snapshot of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals
  2. Company Description: provides information on what you do, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves
  3. Market Analysis: showcases your research on your industry, market, and competitors
  4. Organization and Management: details the structure of your business and how it will be managed
  5. Service or Product Line: tells the story of how your product or service will be exactly what your customers need
  6. Marketing and Sales: outlines the marketing and sales strategy of your business
  7. Funding Request: if you are seeking funding for your business, this is the section to outline that request
  8. Financial Projections: make a plan for where you see your company in five years
  9. Appendix: if you have additional documents like permits or leases, these can be included here

Important note: These categories are flexible and may not cover everything for every business. Many samples will also include things like introductions to the business owners and their histories, visual components like charts and graphs, and further description of who the customers will be.

Source: Small Business Association, "Write your Business Plan":

Looking for a thorough step-by-step guide to each component? Check out this resource from UW Bothell:

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Resource for creating financial plans....

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