This article is part of our “Business Planning Guide”—a curated list of our articles that will help you with the planning process! In its simplest form, a business plan is a guide—a roadmap for your business that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals.
Don’t swallow the obsolete idea of the business plan must be a long, formal document, as if it were some term paper you have to write.
For the rest of us, this is great news because it makes the planning process much less daunting. And furthermore, even for those of you who do need to produce a business plan document, the task of writing a business plan today is much less daunting than it used to be.
If you’ve ever jotted down a business idea on a napkin with a few tasks you need to accomplish, you’ve written a business plan, or at least the very basic components of one. Typically, a business plan is longer than a list on a napkin (although, as you’ll see below, it is possible—and sometimes ideal—to write your entire business plan on one page).
Business plans should only become printed documents on select occasions, when needed to share information with outsiders or team members. Unfortunately, many people think of business plans only for starting a new business or applying for business loans. Every business has long-term and short-term goals, sales targets, and expense budgets—a business plan encompasses all of those things, and is as useful to a startup trying to raise funds as it is to a 10-year-old business that’s looking to grow.
If you’re just planning on picking up some freelance work to supplement your income, you can skip the business plan.
The most classic business planning scenario is for a startup, for which the plan helps the founders break uncertainty down into meaningful pieces, like the sales projection, expense budget, milestones and tasks. The need becomes obvious as soon as you recognize that you don’t know how much money you need, and when you need it, without laying out projected sales, costs, expenses, and timing of payments. In this case, the business plan is focused on explaining what the new company is going to do, how it is going to accomplish its goals, and—most importantly—why the founders are the right people to do the job.
For existing businesses, a robust business planning process can be a competitive advantage that drives faster growth and greater innovation. Considering that business plans serve many different purposes, it’s no surprise that they come in many different forms. Before you even start writing your business plan, you need to think about who the audience is and what the goals of your plan are. For example, if you’re building a plan for a biotech firm, your plan will go into details about government approval processes. A one-page business plan is exactly what it sounds like: a quick summary of your business delivered on a single page. This simple plan format is also great for early-stage companies that just want to sketch out their idea in broad strokes. The internal business plan dispenses with the formalities that are needed when presenting a plan externally and focuses almost exclusively on business strategy, milestones, metrics, budgets, and forecasts. Internal business plans are management tools used to guide the growth of both startups and existing businesses. External business plans, the formal business plan documents, are designed to be read by outsiders to provide information about a business. While we just discussed several different types of business plans, there are key elements that appear in virtually all business plans. These core elements grow organically as needed by the business for actual business purpose. And for the formal business plan document, to be read by outsiders for business purposes such as backing a loan application or seeking investment, the following summarizes those special-case business plans.
Just like the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, the executive summary is your business’s calling card. The executive summary should provide a quick overview of the problem your business solves, your solution to the problem, the business’s target market, key financial highlights, and a summary of who does what on the management team.
While it’s difficult to convey everything you might want to convey in the executive summary, keeping it short is critical. For external plans, the company overview is a brief summary of the company’s legal structure, ownership, history, and location. The products and services chapter of your business plan delves into the core of what you are trying to achieve. Depending on the type of company you are starting, this section may also detail the technologies you are using, intellectual property that you own, and other key factors about the products that you are building now and plan on building in the future.
As critical as it is that your company is solving a real-world problem that people or other businesses have, it’s equally important to detail who you are selling to. The marketing and sales plan details the strategies that you will use to reach your target market. This chapter should also detail the key metrics that you plan to use to track the growth of your business. The management team chapter of a business plan is critical for entrepreneurs seeking investment, but can be omitted for virtually any other type of plan.
The management team section should include relevant team bios that explain why your management personnel are the right people for their jobs. Business plans should help identify not only strengths of a business, but areas that need improvement and gaps that need to be filled.
For more details on what to include in your business plan, check out our detailed business plan outline, download a business plan template in Word format, or read through our library of sample business plans so you can see how other businesses have structured their plans and how they describe their business strategy. I mentioned earlier in this article that businesses that write business plans grow 30 percent faster than businesses that don’t plan.
The best way to extract value from your business plan is to use it as an ongoing management tool. When you’re running a business, you are learning new things every day: what your customers like, what they don’t like, which marketing tactics work, which ones don’t. The final, most important aspect of leveraging your business plan as a growth engine is to schedule a monthly review. I need to prepare a business plan for selling chemicals used in cleaners and detergents industries, mostly imported from USA,China or Korea.I need to prepare information to investors. This is what i really needed to start up my own business.God bless you for the wonderful job. G21 today (1 July 2013)  launched six weeks of community consultation as part of developing an Implementation Plan for the G21 Regional Growth Plan.
The G21 Regional Growth Plan was adopted by the Victorian Government last April as the framework for sustainably managing likely regional population growth of up to 500,000 by 2050. G21 CEO Elaine Carbines said developing a G21 Regional Growth Plan Implementation Plan was the logical next piece of work. Ms Carbines said that, like the G21 Regional Growth Plan itself, elements of the Implementation Plan were setting new standards in regional planning for Victoria.
Ms Carbines said the principles of sustainability and care for the environment recognised in the G21 Regional Growth Plan were reflected in the draft Implementation Plan.
Ms Carbines said that in preparing the draft Implementation Plan the project team had consulted widely with about 50 community, industry and government organisations and analysed significant amounts of data. The draft Implementation Plan is supported by a Background Report and a number of draft residential and industrial land supply reports. G21 is the formal alliance of government, business and community organisations working together to improve the lives of people within the Geelong region across five member municipalities – Colac Otway, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Queenscliffe and Surf Coast.
Resumes are typically short one (sometimes two) page summaries of a job seekers experiences, skills and qualifications. This page can help you in your efforts by cutting to the chase and giving you FREE access to many professionally written, incredibly designed and industry targeted resumes. To stand out and be successful a resume must make an immediate good impression with the employer, and link your competencies with the employers needs. If you really want your dream job then you must do everything within your power to get it. Your resume is a vital part of your job-search toolbox, it has two aims, firstly to capture the reader’s attention and secondly to reflect everything positive about you. Give examples of how you benefited previous employers (companies want to employ someone who can aid and advance their organisation). Do not use very small type, a person having to read dozens of resumes in a afternoon is very likely to give up on one that is in very fine print or is crammed and crowded. Also bear in mind that if you do get to the interview stage your interviewer may speak the language you claim to know.
However your hobbies are usually of no interest to most employers and subsequently it is a section of your resume that will not always be read. Volunteer work can imply initiative, strong social involvement, and significant social experience. When applying to a leadership or management position you might want to note your involvement in competitive team sports. For an engineering or mechanical position, you might omit your interest in sports and instead mention that you enjoy working on your dirt bike or restoring old cars. Your love of skydiving could make you seem like too much of a risk taker for some companies. If you are applying for a desk or office job then you might not seem compatible if all of your hobbies are outdoor, physical activities. Reading and writing is typically done in isolation and perceived as not very compatible with teamwork or customer service positions.
Unless you are applying for a job as a comedian do not attempt to be funny or include any jokes, it can make you seem unprofessional and immature. If you have worked for a prestigious company or someone who is well known in your industry, then be sure to mention this. With the exception of governmental positions, which may require this information, your nationality should be omitted. Any information you give should not reveal the actual names of your current or previous employers’ clients.


Do not use coloured paper, as it can overshadow the content of your resume, instead always use clean white paper with a minimum density and weight of 90gsm. There are some employers out there who will check this to see whether you have written the resume yourself. Keep it fresh and current by updating it with the latest training programs and other academic qualifications that you have gained. Do not jam your resume with text, use white space between the words, lines and paragraphs to improve the legibility of your resume. Nothing is more convincing and appealing to a prospective employer than a clear, specific and concise explanation of how you contributed to a previous employers’ success. In this section recruiters will basically be looking for clues about the type of worker you are.
If you have worked for a prestigious company or market leader in your industry (if you have then certainly mention this). It’s very often the case that your social media activities are not closely tied to the larger purpose, vision, and overall goals and objectives of the organization. How do you justify the investment and prove that yes, social media marketing is helping to contribute to your success?
DragonSearch’s presentation at NMX in Las Vegas in January, 2014 will follow the same format as our workshop on how to create your social media strategy. In his book, Social Marketology, Ric Dragon focuses on outlining a framework for creating a social media marketing strategy and process. The importance of values becomes even more pronounced in social media marketing, where great agility is needed. You could go ahead and start tweeting, Facebooking, and posting on all the social media platforms right now – and many organizations and individuals do just that. As a blogger your goal might be to establish yourself as an authority in your subject matter. As a next step you’ll want to focus on defining some metrics you will use to measure your success.
Setting SMART objectives will help you create realistic, measurable plans for achieving your goals. Being “realistic” doesn’t mean being pessimistic: If a campaign is grounded in robust research, a clear idea should emerge as to what can and what cannot be achieved within the context and the resources available. Depending on your goals and objectives, metrics may be similar to the examples in the illustration above, i.e. Excerpt from the Desired Outcomes Worksheet used in DragonSearch’s social media strategy workshops. In his SMX Milan presentation about measuring social media ROI, Ric Dragon talked about a landscape of social media values. Follow these 3 basic steps for setting your social media marketing goals, objectives and metrics and you will have the structure in place that will guide you through everyday tasks and help you make important decisions on next steps. Please share your experiences or ask any questions and I’ll do my best to help you get started.
Hope to see you at our presentation about creating a social media marketing strategy at NMX in Las Vegas. Etela Ivkovic is the General Manager and Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at DragonSearch and is passionate about integrated marketing, employee development and organizational health. Its so important to incorporate your purpose and vision in the creation of your goals, as well as in the tactics of how you accomplish them, and to always measure, analyze and learn from everything you do. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. These days, business plans are simpler, shorter, and easier to produce than they have ever been. At its heart, a business plan is just a plan for how your business is going to work, and how you’re going to make it succeed. For me in practice, and for most real businesses, it can be as simple as a few bullet points to focus strategy, milestones to track tasks and responsibilities, and the basic financial projections you need to plan cash flow budget expenses. These are often called the “sections” or “chapters” of the business plan, and I’ll go into much greater depth about each of them below. But business plans are also vital for running a business, whether or not it needs new loans or new investments. But, if you’re embarking on a more significant endeavor that’s likely to consume a significant amount of time, money, and resources, then you need a business plan.
And that’s for all startups, whether or not they need to convince investors, banks, or friends and family to part with their money and fund the new venture. A startup business plan also details the amount of money needed to get the business off the ground, and through the initial growth phases that will lead (hopefully!) to profitability. Existing businesses use business plans to manage and steer the business, not just to address changes in their markets and to take advantage of new opportunities.
Did you know that businesses that write plans and use them to manage their business grow 30 percent faster than businesses that take a “seat of the pants” approach? Instead of a static document, business plans in existing businesses become dynamic tools that are used to track growth and spot potential problems before they derail the business.
While there are common components that are found in almost every business plan, such as sales forecasts and marketing strategy, business plan formats can be very different depending on the audience and the type of business. If you are writing a plan for a restaurant, details about location and renovations might be critical factors.
Plans that never leave the office and are used exclusively for internal strategic planning and management might use more casual language and might not have much visual polish. No, this doesn’t mean a very small font size and cramming tons of information onto a single page—it means that the business is described in very concise language that is direct and to-the-point.
First, it can be a great tool to introduce the business to outsiders, such as potential investors.
Think of the one-page business plan as an expanded version of jotting your idea down on a napkin. They help business owners think through strategic decisions and measure progress towards goals.
The most common use is to convince investors to fund a business, and the second most common is to support a loan application.
Investors don’t just hand over cash with no strings attached—they want to understand how their funds will be used and what the expected return on their investment is.
Investors invest in people rather than ideas, so it’s critical to include biographies of key team members and how their background and experience is going to help grow the company. These include the review schedule, strategy summary, milestones, responsibilities, metrics (numerical goals that can be tracked), and basic projections. If you hook your reader, they’ll find more detail in the body of the plan as they continue reading. It’s common to include a mission statement in the company overview, but that’s certainly not a critical component of all business plans.
In this section, you will detail the problem you are solving, how you are solving it, the competitive landscape, and your business’s competitive edge. Understanding your target market is key to building marketing campaigns and sales processes that work. This portion of your business plan provides an overview of how you will position your company in the market, how you will price your products and services, how you will promote your offerings, and any sales processes you need to have in place. The milestones and metrics chapter of your business plan lays out concrete tasks that you plan to accomplish, complete with due dates and the names of the people to be held responsible.
This could include the number of sales leads generated, the number of page views to your web site, or any other critical metric that helps determine the health of your business. After all, good ideas are a dime a dozen—it’s a talented entrepreneur who can take those ideas and turn them into thriving businesses.
Identifying gaps in the management team shows knowledge and foresight, not a lack of ability to build the business. Running a successful business means paying close attention to how much money you are bringing in, and how much money you are spending.
Taking the simple step forward to do any planning at all will certainly put your business at a significant advantage over businesses that just drive forward with no specific plans. To do this, your business plan must be constantly revisited and revised to reflect current conditions and the new information that you’ve collected as you run your business.
Your business plan should be a reflection of those learnings to guide your future strategy. Share this document with new employees to give them a clear picture of your overall strategy. Assign these tasks to team members, set dates, and allocate part of your budget if necessary. The review doesn’t have to take longer than an hour, but it needs to be a regular recurring meeting on your calendar. They are often the first contact an employer has with a prospective employee, and are used to screen job applicants and learn more about them.
Job seekers usually end up creating many drafts before they feel comfortable with the end result. This is a resource page aimed at helping you to write a resume that will give a well-organized and concise presentation of the most relevant information about you. This is because they need resumes to find suitable candidates to fill their vacancy’s, however they very often have to read through piles of poorly written resumes to find the right one.
Use it to show where you worked, what you learnt, and how your skills and experience are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
These are basically verbs that can make you stand out by putting more emphasis on your experience and achievements. However you should note that a keen eyed recruiter may be able to roughly work out your age from your career history and academic qualifications.
Hiring Managers are likely to quickly discard candidates whose resumes are difficult to read or have the key information buried under a morass of less important text.


Do not include your work number unless you have a private office where you can take phone calls without being overheard. It’s also not wise to use unusual fonts, as apart from making it hard to read it can also be difficult to scan electronically.
Hiring managers can be very picky and after a quick glance will discard those that have spelling mistake’s or appear disorganized. It also takes up premium space which can be used for more relevant information which the recruiter will be interested in. First of all as you are likely have more hobbies and interests than you can include in your resume, only include those that are related to the job you are applying for, or that you think will interest the employer the most. Humour is a subjective thing and since you have no idea who will be reading your CV and whether they have a similar sense of humour to you it’s best not to take any chances. Remember that Hiring Managers will have a stack of CVs to go through, their time is limited and so is their patience. The golden rule is that it should be as concise as possible, but long enough to entice a hiring manager to call you for a job interview.
As long as you are either a native to the country in which you are applying or can provide a suitable working visa, there is no need to explain where you are from. Also be careful about disclosing confidential information about a previous employer’s sales figures or business turnover etc.
After you have finished writing it and before you send it out have your resume reviewed by a competent person. They believe that employers already know that virtually all serious applicants have referees and if required they can be supplied separately. The purpose of this section is to impress the employer with your abilities and to cause them to want to ask further questions about your work performance. It’s a place for you to show off your desirable traits and to prove your future value to prospective employers. Mention points which were particularly noteworthy or interesting and which will show that you brought a different perspective to things.
You, or an entire team in your organization, have been investing your time and effort to make sure you’re regularly posting and sharing great content, following relevant people, tweeting and retweeting, pinning, liking, writing thoughtful blog posts and sharing your knowledge. If we dive into social media without clear goals, we might not be prepared for that boss’s question. How do you plan your campaigns and goals so that they are in line with the larger purpose of your organization? As he describes the first step of the process, Ric dives into the importance of focusing on desired outcomes and how every social media activity needs to be tied back to the organization’s purpose, vision and goals. Desired outcomes are your goals and objectives outlining the benefits or changes you aspire to achieve with your work. Their purpose and passion is to “create indelible memories that last a lifetime” for their guests. Based on this you may set objectives, like writing well-researched blog posts and building up your following and engagement on social media. Measuring is very important so you can track your progress and know what is working and what is not. Whether you work for a large company or are a blogger working for yourself, this approach will help you make the most of your social media efforts. What are some of your goals and how are you tying them into your larger purpose and vision? Mainly, we focus on increases of traffic month over month as well as conversions but some client insist on tracking rankings. While every business has huge benefits to gain from going through the business planning process, only a small subset needs the formal business plan document required for seeking investors or supporting a commercial loan. Gone are the days of 30- and 40-page business plans—modern business plans are shorter, easier to write, and—thankfully—easier to read (and you could always have our MBA business plan consulting experts write a business plan for you, if you so choose). The plan goes on forever, so the printed version is like a snapshot of what the plan was on the day that it was printed. That’s the part of the plan that acknowledges that it is part of a planning process, in which results and metrics will be reviewed and revised regularly.
Existing businesses should have business plans that they maintain and update as market conditions change and as new opportunities arise. They use a plan to reinforce strategy, establish metrics, manage responsibilities and goals, track results, and manage and plan resources including critical cash flow. A recent study by Professor Andrew Burke, the founding Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurial Performance and Economics at Cranfield School of Management, discovered exactly this. And, the language you’d use in the biotech firm’s business plan would be much more technical than the language you’d use in the plan for the restaurant. On the other end of the spectrum, a plan that is destined for the desk of a top venture capitalist will have a high degree of polish and will focus on the high-growth aspects of the business and the experienced team that is going to deliver stunning results.
Since investors have very little time to read detailed business plans, a simple one-page plan is often a better approach to get that first meeting. Keeping the business idea on one page makes it easy to see the entire concept at a glance and quickly refine concepts as new ideas come up. These internal business plans skip details about company history and management team since everyone in the company almost certainly knows this information.
Occasionally this type of business plan is also used to recruit or train or absorb key employees, but that is much less common. But while the an internal plan is short on polish and formality, a formal business plan document should be very well-presented, with more attention to detail in the language and format. Many potential investors will never make it beyond the executive summary, so it needs to be compelling and intriguing. A good financial plan goes a long way to help determine when to hire new employees or buy a new piece of equipment. In your monthly review, go over your key numbers compared to your plan, review the milestones you planned to accomplish, set new milestones, and do a quick review of your overall strategy.
These unique examples, which you will not find on any other sites, are all fictionalised, with most (but not all) being in PDF format. Right here you will learn the basic rules of writing one, and also have access to free resume templates that you can customise and use to create your very own personalised interview winning document.
Be sure to check your emails and voicemails regularly to make sure you do not miss any messages left by prospective employers. Currently most CV experts agree that it should ideally be one page long, however its final length really depends on your experience and the type of job you are applying for, which in turn means it can be two pages long if need be.
Once it has been saved to your prospective employer's hard disk your resume should be easy to identify. Ask them to critique your resume for its appropriateness, errors, typos, or misspelled words. Therefore if you plan to send in your resume as a MS Word document or a PDF, check its properties first. On top of that, all of the constant changes on the various social platforms and new marketing tactics that you must learn to employ keep you incredibly busy. Setting goals and objectives for your social media activities should be based on the purpose and vision you identified in the first step in the process. How will you make decisions when situations arise if you don’t have that guiding light in front of you showing you the way? Their social media goal is to deepen the engagement with current and potential customers and be central to storytelling in social media. Most importantly it will help tie your efforts into your big picture vision and purpose so you can achieve your desired outcomes. Identifying your purpose, setting goals and mapping them to metrics helps you understand where you are and where you want to go.
A real business plan is always wrong—hence the regular review and revisions—and never done, because the process of review and revise is vital.
Later in the process, a more detailed plan will be needed, but the one-page plan is great for getting in the door. For all of these reasons they should be well written, concise and only include information that the employer will be interested in and finds relevant. They will give you an excellent idea of how to organize information, create emphasis, and describe your accomplishments. Our templates have been professionally designed, are of the highest quality and contain powerful industry specific keywords intended to grab the attention of recruiters and get you noticed. Don’t risk throwing away all of your hard work with one small spelling mistake which could blow your chances.
Do this by going to the File menu of a MS Word document and clicking on Properties then look at the Summary and ensure your name appears in the Author box (if it doesn't then simply enter your name there and save it). The only way to know is if we understand where we want to head and what results and benefits we want to achieve. In line with this, they can plan their micro-goals and objectives and then map metrics to measure their progress and success.
Each template is aimed at a specific industry sector and has been formatted using margins and bullet points, making it easier for key elements of an individual’s strength to be quickly identified. The formal document, the pitch deck, the summary memo—those are outputs of the planning process, not the actual plan.
Brand awareness, loyalty, engagement all have tremendous value and are difficult to measure.
However, with a well-planned and executed social media strategy, there are ways to map these metrics to your goals.




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