There is no one fixed way to write a business plan. The nature of the business, its state of development, the need for outside capital and other factors will determine the exact outline of the plan and will also determine how specific the plan must be.
However, there are elements of a plan that are universal:
• Your business concept. This is the concept you came up with in the Small Business Ideas section. Go back to it if you aren’t entirely sure that you have picked well.
• Supply and demand for your product or service. What is the niche you are filling? How large is it? How will your customers find you? What about competition, today and in the future? What is your competitive advantage?
• The management structure you anticipate. Who are the key players? What is their experience in business? What is their experience in the industry? Will you have employees who complement your strengths and make up for your weaknesses?
• The financing for your startup. What is your overhead? What are your fixed costs and your variable costs? Where is your break-even point. What will be your cash burn rate? If these concepts are foreign to you now, you should be an expert by the time the business plan is written.
As you write your business plan, you will rework your plan again and again. Give yourself several weeks to formulate your business plan.