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Starting a business

How to write a winning Business Plan – Outline

1. Cover Page

Always have a cover page with the name of the business and main point of contact. Add any other useful links such as website, social media accounts etc.

2. INDEX

A contents page helps the reader navigate your document. Stick to section headings – it’s only a short document not a 500 page text book

3 . EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This is where you tell the reader what you REALLY want them to know. This should be short (no more than 2 pages) and packed with sales points about your business: what’s great about your product or service, why it’s unique. Why you started it. If you’re looking for funding, tell them how much and why.

4. BACKGROUND / INTRODUCTION

Some history about the business and why you started it in more detail (but not too much)

5. THE BUSINESS

Go deeper into what you said in your executive summary. Be passionate, show them you care about what you do and how you want to make it a success.

  • Business ownership / legal status and reason for that status
  • Capital structure, stakeholder/owners’ stake
  • Owners’ vision and mission statement
  • Description of activities and any future activities
  • Key strengths, competitive advantages or any Unique Selling Points
  • Goals [short, medium and longer term]
  • Business Objectives for first year
  • Outline of strategy for success