Although the term "business plan" conjures many negative images in the eyes of some business owners, taking a step-by-step approach will prove that creating a business plan is much less daunting than one might imagine. Although no two plans are exactly the same (the necessary details of the plan can vary between companies), the contents of a typical business plan include the following topics : Executive Summary - Sell your business to your reader!; Business Overview - Giving a general summary of the business; Market & Competitive Analysis - What environment are you competing in?; Marketing & Sales Strategy - How will you "win" in your market?; Organization Plan - How is your organization structured?; Financial Projections - Current status and future outlook; Funding Sought (if required); Key Milestones - What are your specific & achievable goals?; Critical Risks - What keeps you awake at night?; Appendix/Attachments.
It needs to have a list of everything you need. Note that the word everything here comprises of the equipment, technology, raw materials, financial and other resources that you may need when starting and running your business venture. Having all these listed will give you an idea on how much capital you need before you start and how much money should you make in a day to make your business survive.
Key Market Strategies : Market strategies are created after extensive market research and analysis. The useful thing about writing market strategies is that it forces the business owner to understand the target market and become familiar with all aspects of the market. This also helps to define the target market and will help the business to position itself in order to gain sales.
In essence, here is a great way to think of superior business planning. Imagine you are taking a road trip from California to New York. No planning ("flying by the seat of your pants") would involve you getting in the car and driving "East" on every freeway you come across. Adequate planning would involve mapping out your course, planning where to stay overnight, where to eat, sights to see, and so forth.