How to build a good business plan: 11 Key Elements
Originally published: 15/06/2017 13:30
Publication number: ELQ-22504-1
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How to build a good business plan: 11 Key Elements

11 Key Elements that are included in a good business plan for your management team, fundraising needs and investors

Introduction

Somebody asked me what the key elements of a good business plan were, and I’m glad they did—it’s one of my favorite topics.

  • Step n°1 |

    Measure a business plan by the decisions it causes.

    I’ve written about this one in several places. Like everything else in business, business plans have business objectives.

    Whether the purpose of the plan is better management, accountability, setting stepping stones to the future, convincing somebody to invest, or something else, does it accomplish that? Does it achieve its objective?
    Realistically, it doesn’t matter whether your business plan is well-written, complete, well-formatted, creative, or intelligent. It only matters that it does the job it’s supposed to do. It’s a bad plan if it doesn’t.

    How to build a good business plan: 11 Key Elements image
  • Step n°2 |

    Concrete specifics.

    Dates, deadlines, major milestones, task responsibilities, sales forecasts, spending budgets, cash flow projections.

    Ask yourself how executable it is. Ask yourself how you’ll know, on a regular basis, how much progress you’ve made, and whether or not you’re on track.

    How to build a good business plan: 11 Key Elements image
  • Step n°3 |

    Cash flow.

    Cash flow is the single most important concept in business. A business plan without cash flow is a marketing plan, strategic plan, summary, or something else—and those can be useful, but get your vocabulary right.

    There’s a useful role for a business model, lean canvas, pitch deck and so on in some contexts, like raising investment. But those aren’t business plans.

    How to build a good business plan: 11 Key Elements image
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  • Rick Segal(last updated: 17/06/2020 11:27)
    Basic and Solid
    Tim's short missive here falls into that pay it forward, give back bucket. Palo Alto Software is exceptional. Tim taking the time to layout core principals will give new entrepreneurs a solid grounding to build upon. It is nicely done.
  • Hazem Moustafa Moussa(last updated: 07/06/2020 20:44)
  • Steve Sturgell(last updated: 19/02/2019 08:17)
  • Abdul Ghafur BE, MCIOB, AClArb, CQS,610(last updated: 14/01/2019 10:53)

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