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BA 324 - Business Communication

Business Plans

Business Plan Structure & Tools

Gale eBooks

Type: Business Plans Handbook

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  • Check box for Business Plans Handbook
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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":

Locate the NAICS code for your industry and use the code to find business industry ratios within eStatement Studies.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

Adopted in 1997,the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

To create a business plan, you need data and research related to your industry, the market, your competitors, and your customers. The databases and resources on our Company, Industry, and Market Guides can answer these questions. Select the guide title to access the the type of information needed.

Company Research - Link

Industry Research - Link

  • Analyst Reports
  • Company Profiles
  • Competitors
  • SEC Filings
  • SWOT Analyses
  • Industry Classification
  • Industry Competition
  • Industry Profiles
  • Industry Reports
  • Ratios & Statistics
  • Trade Information

Market Research - Link

Country Research - Link

  • Advertising Expenditures
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Geographic Consumer Data
  • Market Competition
  • Market Research Reports
  • Public Opinion & Viewpoints
  • Country Commercial Guides
  • Global Economic Data
  • International Business Directories
  • PESTLE Reports
  • Political Risk


Small Business Websites

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.