Written on the 8 February 2014 by National Australia Bank
Even if your plan is intended for internal use only, write and present it as if it’s aimed at an outsider. Put a cover on the plan and include a contents page, with page and section numbering.
Start with an executive summary of the key points and purpose of the plan. Use charts if relevant, and include business or product literature as an appendix.
Get the plan proofread for clarity, spelling and grammar mistakes, and then show the plan to friends and business advisers for comments on how to improve it.
Detail your business and products
Start with a brief history of the business. When did it start trading and what progress has it made to date? Who owned the business originally? What is the current ownership structure?
Describe your product or service without using technical jargon. If necessary, you can offer the technical detail for people who want to know more in an appendix to the plan.
In general, what makes your product or service different? What benefits does it offer? What are its disadvantages? How do you plan to develop the business?
Include your market and competition
Outline your market, customers and other businesses you compete against in that market:
Define the market in which you sell and then focus on the segments of the market in which you compete. How large is each market segment? What is your market share? What are the important trends, such as market growth or changing tastes and the reasons behind the trend? What are the key drivers affecting each important market segment?