Writing a good business plan

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Writing a business plan

Writing a good business plan

If you’re starting a business, or if you're looking to expand your current one, you're going to need a solid, written business plan.

A good business plan provides structure and guidance for every aspect of your venture, and can help save you time and avoid financial mistakes. It can also be instrumental in helping you lock in funding for your venture while providing milestones and goals to measure your progress. 

While writing a business plan can be time consuming, it doesn't have to be overly complicated. There are many resources and templates online that allow you to develop a good business plan. 

You’ll have to provide the financial numbers, goals, marketing strategies and other elements, but once you've gathered that information, writing your business plan is likely going to be easier than you think. 

This is one of the most critical tasks you can do to ensure your small business has a solid map to where you want to go. 

How to write a business plan

The customary business plan has 10 key components that should always be included:

Benefits of a good business plan

Knowing how to write a good business plan will pay off in many different ways. Even if you aren’t seeking funding, it serves as an internal guide to what you want to accomplish and how you're going to do it.

The more detailed the plan, the better understanding you'll have of what needs to be done, what can be eliminated and where you need to improve or gather more resources. As employees or other partners come aboard, it helps ensure that all workers share the same vision and that you're all following the same path. 

Editing your business plan template

If you find yourself struggling with developing your plan or have difficulty with certain aspects, such as financial projections, look for free resources to help simplify the process. Your bank may offer an interactive template, or you can use the Business Plan Tool provided online by the Small Business Administration to help break it down. 

When you've completed your business plan, review it several times, looking for any typographical or grammatical errors or for areas that aren't explained as thoroughly as they could be. Invite friends and family members to review it and offer constructive feedback. Remember, this plan represents your business to investors, employees and managers; ensure it reflects you and your planned organization.

Creating a good business plan can increase the likelihood not only of a successful launch but also of longer-range success. To help further secure your small business, learn more about Nationwide's small business insurance policies.

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