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Writing an Effective Business Plan: Page 5 - Business Data

By Julie King |

Page 5 - Business Data

The first section of your plan contains business data. This information describes the business, its target market (ideal customers of your business), the strategies you will use to set yourself apart from your competition, key company personnel, your marketing strategy, and some of the main risks facing your business. In essence, you are using words to build a picture of your business.

Most importantly, in this section you will want to focus on the big picture. Keep this body of your plan concise (15 pages is ideal) and focus on strategies (your "big picture approach") rather than on tactics (which are the details that will be used to implement your strategies).

When others read your plan, you will want the business opportunities to jump out at the reader. You don't want the details of how your business will operate to detract from the big picture you are working to communicate.

Information that will be included in this section of the plan might include:

  • a description of the industry and your business;
  • essential market research and demographic information;
  • a description of how you plan to market and sell your products and services;
  • information on your management team;
  • information about your product, services and suppliers;
  • a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis;
  • and a look at some of the risks, assumptions and contingencies that you are making.

Click on a link to go directly to that page of the article.

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: An Overview
Page 3: Why Plan?
Page 4: The Executive Summary
Page 5: Business Data
Page 6: Financial Data
Page 7: Supporting Data
Page 8: The Outline

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