Our objectives over the next three years are to: can undermine your marketing efforts and credibility.The next step is to outline your ideal customer as well as the actual and potential size of your market.The same is true with your market analysis when you estimate its size and monetary value.
Amidst that rush, the idea of writing a business plan—much less following a business plan template—often feels time-consuming and intimidating. It’s more than the old cliche, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” In fact, a wealth of data now exists on the difference a written business plan makes.
Even better—if you’re pressed for time—we’ve compiled the 10 steps and examples into a downloadable (PDF) template: But, first things first …
A business plan helps you to: You’ll need a business plan if you want to secure investment or a loan from a bank.
Read about the finance options available for businesses on the Business Finance Guide website.
Target markets—also known as personas—identify demographic information like: If your target market is too broad, it can be a red light for investors.
For example, if your product is perfect for people with money to hire landscape architects, listing “anyone with a garden” as your target market might not go over so well.Instead, write it like you would a profile: Then, translate that list into one or two paragraphs (see below). These goals must be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. When your objectives aren’t clearly defined, it’s hard for employees and team members to work towards a common purpose.Worse, fuzzy goals won’t inspire confidence from investors.Even though it appears first in the plan, write your executive summary last so you can condense essential ideas from the other nine sections. (We’ll use that same company through this guide and within the downloadable template to make each step practical and easy to replicate.) Its executive summary majors on what’s often called the That framework isn’t meant to be rigid, but instead to serve as a jumping-off point.Market research indicates an increasing number of wealthy consumers in Cleveland are interested in landscape architecture based on sustainable design. Currently, only two exist—neither of which focuses on eco-friendly planning nor are certified by green organizations. provides a premium, sustainable service for customers with disposable incomes, large yards, and a love of nature.Over the long term, it’ll keep you focused on what needs to be accomplished. Or, an internal document to guide you, your leaders, and your employees? The executive summary lays out all the vital information about your business within a relatively short space; typically, one page or less.It’s also smart to write a business plan when you’re: Start with a clear picture of who the audience your plan will address. Defining your audience helps you determine the language you’ll need to propose your ideas as well as the depth to which you need to go to help readers conduct due diligence. It’s a high-level look at everything and summarizes the other sections of your plan. Below, you’ll find an example from a fictional business, Landscapers Inc.Expert Hub’s award-winning team of Staff Writers deliver unique, insightful and curated content from successful business leaders, authors and subject matter experts.This highly-experienced team understands the information that business readers are looking for, what’s unique and impactful, and how to distil key ideas into actionable insights.Landscapers Inc.’s ideal customer is a wealthy baby boomer or a member of Gen X between the ages of 35 and 65 with a high disposable income. They’re a working professional or recently retired.In love with the outdoors, they want to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature their own backyard—but don’t have the time or skill to do it for themselves.