Does your company have a written business plan? It’s never too late to write one, and it’s a worthwhile exercise because it can reveal opportunities and challenges you might not otherwise see.
But writing a business plan is especially important if you’re going to be pitching it to potential lenders, investors, or partners. They all want to know One Big Thing about your business: how it’s going to succeed. Your business plan should make this One Big Thing very, very clear.
You can find lots of great resources online for how to write a business plan, including templates and sample plans. Most sources give you a structure to follow that looks something like this:
- Executive summary
- Product or service
- Marketing plan
We recommend adding one more section that is often overlooked: Technology. We’ll get to this in detail a little later, but you should plan to add it right after Financials.
This is a good order for presenting your small business plan. But it’s not the best order for actually writing it. Instead, try going from macro to micro. Start with the big picture—the market—and then zero in on your specific business, leaving its nitty gritty details for last.
The reason to write it in this order is to help keep your plan focused on the One Big Thing—how your business will succeed. Everything in your plan should ladder up to this. We’ll show you what we mean.