Business Plan

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 3,979 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Business Plan?

CREATE A FREE PROJECT POSTING
Post Project Now

Business plans are the blueprints that companies create to roadmap their way to success. These documents are also vital for raising capital, attracting investors, and monitoring overall progress. Ensure that your organization puts its best face forward by having a solid business plan in place.

This article covers what every owner should know about writing a business plan:

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that entrepreneurs create to outline their company’s funding and operational strategy. Business planning is essential for any company that wants to attract and retain investors. You write a business plan for angel investors, banks, and venture capitalists so that they can make sound investment decisions.

This article also defines what a business plan is.

How to Write a Business Plan – Step-by-Step

Writing a business plan can seem daunting without a step-by-step approach. The scope of the plan can snowball and leave founders tabling their efforts altogether. Avoid falling into this trap.

We handled the heavy-lifting for you and outlined a five-step process below:

Step 1. Start Small

Business plans should be brief and to the point. An overly long business plan is a pain to revise and read. It’s a document that you’ll keep using and refining over time, which means you should make it as concise as possible.

Step 2. Know Your Audience

Use communications and language that your target audience will understand when writing your plan. If your company is developing a complex technical process and investors aren’t tech-savvy, avoid using jargon or acronyms they won’t recognize, for example. Accommodate your investors by keeping your communications straightforward while using terms that everyone can understand.

Step 3. Test Your Idea

Start by writing a single-page pitch. This exercise will allow you to test the viability of your business concept long before launch. It is an exercise that can be as simple as a peer review or as complex as a feasibility study.

Step 4. Set Objectives

Have a strong concept of where you want your company to go from the start. Before you begin, you may not have every milestone or even specific steps in mind to achieve your objectives. However, the main elements of a business plan will help you address them methodically.

Step 5. Ask for Help at the Right Time

Small business law can apply to your business plan and affect your investing objectives. Know when to ask for help rather than leave your company exposed to liability. Business lawyers can help you address these issues and review your final document.

Here is another article that discusses how to write a business plan.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Matthew S.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Ryenne S.

127 projects on CC
View Profile

Bryan B.

97 projects on CC
View Profile

Justin K.

3 projects on CC
View Profile

Main Elements of a Business Plan

Developing a solid business plan is necessary for various reasons. However, even more, critical is the process of ensuring that it is updated to reflect the small and large changes that your business will experience as it grows and evolves. A well-structured agreement will help you handle this challenge over time.

Here are five main elements of a business plan to include in your document:

Element 1. Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is the opener of your business plan, but it should also be the final one you write. This section is the most read and creates a critical first impression for investors. Based on your executive summary, your target audience may continue to read through it.

Element 2. Company Description

Following the Executive Summary, a business plan should begin with a detailed company description and its relationship to the market in which your company operates.

This section of the business plan should include the following details:

  • what your business does
  • what products or services does it offer
  • which market segment it serves
  • who are its clients

When describing your business, you should ensure that the reader understands the market environment in which it operates and how it can thrive competitively in that environment.

Element 3. Marketing Plan

This business plan section requires an in-depth knowledge of your market as well as how your business positions itself and competes with established players.

You should include the following in your marketing plan:

  • Competitors
  • Consumers
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing budget
  • Place
  • Positioning
  • Pricing
  • Product or service features
  • Promotion
  • Strengths & weaknesses
  • Target audience
  • Threats & opportunities

Element 4. Management & Operations

The people and processes that enable your business to function daily are critical to maintaining a competitive edge. They assist you in developing a superior product while delivering it more efficiently and at a lower cost.

Your management and operations team must be capable of delivering on the promises made in the preceding sections. Additionally, investors and banks will review this section to understand salary costs since these are frequently significant expenses.

Element 5. Financial Plan

Your financial plan is, without a doubt, the most critical component of your business plan. Emphasize assumption explanations that underpin your forecasts than directly on the estimates themselves.

Every sound financial plan will include the following:

  • Breakeven analyses
  • Capital requirements
  • Cash flow statement and forecasts
  • Profit & loss projections
  • Pro forma template

The financial plan is generally the most lengthy and detailed part of the business plan. Most business plan writers include the details in a section following the appendices. Include complex spreadsheets and calculations to prepare the financial statements in this section for a more thorough approach.

ContractsCounsel Business Plan Image

Image via Pexels by Startup Stock Photos

Purpose of a Business Plan

A business plan’s purpose is to analyze a business opportunity for a new or existing business. The document should consider several areas, including human resources, external forces, marketing, finance, technology, and business law. Your business plan can also operate as a formal and polished introduction to your organization if investors want to learn more about your operations.

Types of Business Plans

Business plans are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Several types allow you to customize your efforts to your growth stage and investor target.

Below, we have described the five types of business plans your company can use:

Type 1. Startup Business Plan

A startup plan is a business plan that a new business presents to prospective investors to secure startup funding. Startup plans serve as a starting point for companies that you can adjust as the business grows.

Type 2. Strategic Business Plan

A strategic business plan outlines the tactic that a business will employ to accomplish its overall objectives. Typically, strategic plans are used internally as a foundational plan for an entire organization.

Type 3. Feasibility Business Plan

A feasibility business plan will help you introduce a new product or service within a given geographic region. Typically, it focuses exclusively on how well a product will sell or whether the proposed market exists for targeted returns.

Type 4. Operational strategy

An operations plan, also known as an annual plan, is a component of strategic planning that focuses on day-to-day operational activities. It details management’s, departments’, and employees’ responsibilities and how they contribute to its overall success.

Type 5. Business Expansion Plan

You can use a business expansion plan when growing your company in size or area. The development requires additional resources such as financial investment, materials for new products, and an increased workforce. Companies can develop expansions plans for external or internal reasons.

Get Help with Business Planning

It’s not always easy to get a jump start on your business planning efforts. Get help with this strategy by speak with a business lawyer . They can offer guidance and legal advice while helping you avoid costly errors.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Business Plan Lawyers

Jason P. on ContractsCounsel
View Jason
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
December 1, 2022

Jason P.

Business Lawyer
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Portland, OR
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OR, WA
Lewis & Clark Law School

Jason is a self-starting, go-getting lawyer who takes a pragmatic approach to helping his clients. He co-founded Fortify Law because he was not satisfied with the traditional approach to providing legal services. He firmly believes that legal costs should be predictable, transparent and value-driven. Jason’s entrepreneurial mindset enables him to better understand his clients’ needs. His first taste of entrepreneurship came from an early age when he helped manage his family’s small free range cattle farm. Every morning, before school, he would deliver hay to a herd of 50 hungry cows. In addition, he was responsible for sweeping "the shop" at his parent's 40-employee HVAC business. Before becoming a lawyer, he clerked at the Lewis & Clark Small Business Legal Clinic where he handled a diverse range of legal issues including establishing new businesses, registering trademarks, and drafting contracts. He also spent time working with the in-house team at adidas® where, among other things, he reviewed and negotiated complex agreements and created training materials for employees. He also previously worked with Meriwether Group, a Portland-based business consulting firm focused on accelerating the growth of disruptive consumer brands and facilitating founder exits. These experiences have enabled Jason to not only understand the unique legal hurdles that can threaten a business, but also help position them for growth. Jason's practice focuses on Business and Intellectual Property Law, including: ​ -Reviewing and negotiating contracts -Resolving internal corporate disputes -Creating employment and HR policies -Registering and protecting intellectual property -Forming new businesses and subsidiaries -Facilitating Business mergers, acquisitions, and exit strategies -Conducting international business transactions ​​ In his free time, Jason is an adventure junkie and gear-head. He especially enjoys backpacking, kayaking, and snowboarding. He is also a technology enthusiast, craft beer connoisseur, and avid soccer player.

Ari G. on ContractsCounsel
View Ari
Member Since:
November 28, 2022

Ari G.

Of Counsel
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Ann Arbor, MI
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI
University of Michigan

Ari is a transactional attorney with substantial experience serving clients in regulated industries. He has worked extensively with companies in regulated state cannabis markets on developing governance documents (LLC operating agreements, corporate bylaws, etc...), as well as drafting and negotiating all manner of business and real estate contracts.

Evan F. on ContractsCounsel
View Evan
Member Since:
December 3, 2022

Evan F.

Attorney & Founding Member
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Livonia, MI
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI
Wayne State University Law School

I am the Founding Member of Evan Ficaj Law Firm PLLC, and I am passionate about helping businesses launch, grow, and succeed. My law firm assists clients with business, contract, entertainment, IP, and estate planning matters.

Michael C. on ContractsCounsel
View Michael
Member Since:
December 5, 2022

Michael C.

Owner / Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Staten Island, New York
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Widener University Commonwealth Law School

We are business and immigration attorneys, committed to delivering compassion-driven and innovative legal solutions that better our clients' lives. Founded in 2019, Carbone Law provides legal services tailored to the unique needs of our clients. We pride ourselves in building a personable attorney-client relationship and are dedicated to establishing a complete understanding of our client’s legal issues, so that we can develop an effective plan for achieving their desired results. Michael T. Carbone, Esq. started Carbone Law with the goal of delivering exceptional legal services to his community. At Carbone Law, Michael counsels individuals and small businesses on a variety of legal issues. Whether aiding families in building successful applications for immigration benefits or advising freelancers and business owners on contract, governance and related issues and the complexities of complying with federal, state and local laws, Michael is committed to building a lasting relationship with his clients.

David C. on ContractsCounsel
View David
Member Since:
December 6, 2022

David C.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Cold Spring Harbor, NY
35 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
St. John's University School of Law

New York Business law attorney with corporate, securities and contracts experience.

Lauren W. on ContractsCounsel
View Lauren
Member Since:
December 15, 2022

Lauren W.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New Port Richey, Florida
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Western Michigan University Cooley Law School,

Accident and injury attorney. Prior to going to law school I was a paralegal for 12+ years primarily in personal injury. I also worked for a local school district as the Risk Manager and a Buyer in Procurement where I facilitated solicitations and managed all the contracts for the district.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call