A Standard Business Plan Outline
There are predictable contents of a standard business plan. For example, a business plan normally starts
with an Executive Summary, which should be concise and interesting. People almost always expect to see
sections covering the Company, the Market, the Product, the Management Team, Strategy, Implementation
and Financial Analysis.
If you have the main components, the order doesn’t matter that much, but here’s the order I suggest.
: Write this last. It’s just a page or two of highlights.
: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.
Product or Service
: Describe what you’re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
: You need to know your market, customer needs, where they are, how to reach
Strategy and Implementation
: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and
budgets. Make sure you can track results.
Web Plan Summary
: For e-commerce, include discussion of website, development costs,
operations, sales and marketing strategies.
: Describe the organization and the key management team members.
: Make sure to include at the very least your projected Profit and Loss and Cash
I don’t recommend developing the plan in the same order you present it as a finished document. For
example, although the Executive Summary obviously comes as the first section of a business plan, I
recommend writing it after everything else is done. It will appear first, but you write it last.