Business Plan Basics

What makes for a successful business plan? This post from Noah Parsons covers the essentials:

"Executive summaries need to be short, direct, and provide an overview of the business opportunity ... A good plan will communicate what the business does, who the target market is, and what the potential upside is in no more than 5 sentences.

"Expenses – A common failing in business plan financials is to either under-estimate expenses or to leave out some expenses altogether ... make sure that your P&L includes all ... costs for running your business.

"Optimism – Optimism is great ... but ... make sure your [sales] forecast is realistic. Most business plan readers are going to question what appears to be overly optimistic growth scenarios ...

"Market Size – ... Divide your market into manageable segments such as location, customer needs, age, income, etc. Without a realistic market segmentation strategy and a marketing plan that addresses that segmentation, you will have a difficult time implementing the plan."