How Business Plans Work

The Business Profile

Legal Structure

Briefly explain the legal structure of your company. Is it a proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation or any of the other variations of these models?

Business/Concept Summary

Give your reader the "Big Picture" in this section. Explain the business opportunity you've seen in the current market. Give an overview of the industry and explain why your business is unique, as well as why it will succeed. Describe your product or service in a non-technical way, focusing on what you are doing that will make your product stand out in the marketplace. For example, you may have noticed your competition's products do not meet the needs of certain markets, so your strategy is to create a product that does meet those needs in order to reach those untapped markets and gain a stronger competitive advantage. Make sure you make this type of strategy pop out in this section.

Describe both the present industry scene, as well as future projections. If you find that you can't describe your business clearly and simply, then you probably have not thought it through. If this is the case, stop where you are and take the time to mull through all aspects of your business idea from start to finish until you've boiled it down to its essence.

Current Situation

Explain where you are with your business right now. For startups this should be a short explanation that simply states whether you have a product, or simply an idea, and the stage you are at in its development. For existing businesses, this means explaining your background, current sales levels, and standing in the market.


List the objectives of your company. For instance, do you want to become one of the top ten companies in your industry within the next four years? Do you want to have a staff of ten within the next two years? Do you want to gross $XX by year five. Do you want a positive return on investment by the end of the second year? Keep them specific and measurable.