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Step 1: Create an Outline

Every business plan should begin with an outline of each core element of the plan: Executive Summary, Company Overview, Industry Analysis, Market Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, and Financial Plan. Each section should be made into a title heading with sub-headings for all details and information that must to be included as part of that title heading.

Step 2: Build Out the Core Sections

By core sections we mean the Competitive Analysis, Industry Analysis, Market Analysis and Company Overview, written in this order. The Competitive Analysis is the building block on which the rest of the business plan is built and should come first. By analyzing competitors, your Company can determine what industry it is involved in; who comprises the current market; and what products and services are offered, and at what price points. Then, you should be able to optimally position your Company and develop the business model, value proposition and competitive advantages.

Step 3: Complete a Draft Document

Now that you have the core sections written, write your Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Financial Plan, and Executive Summary. The Executive Summary should always come last -- it will highlight the most influential and gripping points from the Business Plan. The Executive Summary needs to be clear, compelling, and written in a way that makes the reader want to keep reading.

Step 4: Take the Business Plan from Draft to Final

Send the draft document to close friends, advisors, or management team members for their comments. Review their comments and make adjustments as necessary.

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