Five Must Haves to Include in Your Business Plan

A business plan is a tangible divide between entrepreneurs who have an abstract idea and entrepreneurs who have a solid, promising structure established. Here are the five things that your business plan absolutely cannot go without:

Executive summary

An executive summary is a brief that precedes a business plan. It sums up the business plan and opportunity in a tight document. A strong executive summary will grab attention and help you get face time with investors, lenders, executives, managers, and CEOs. 

Business description

The business description follows the executive summary and it outlines vital information about your company, such as the location, the services you provide, the mission statement, and company history. Be sure to only keep the necessary details because it can be easy to get carried away in this section.

Industry analysis

An industry analysis is a portion of your business plan that provides statistics about the market potential of your business, product and services. Specific information about the current state of the industry and target market must be in this section. Also, it may contain reference materials such as spreadsheets, pie charts and bar graphs to represent the data. Don’t forget to include a list of your major competitors in your industry with a brief summary of their operations and similar products or services.

Financial analysis

The financial analysis section of a business plan should contain the data for financing your business for the present and future and an estimation of your operating expenses. It should include a balance sheet, cash-flow analysis, profit-and-loss analysis, break-even analysis, and personnel-expense forecast. If you’re completing a financial analysis for a business that has not started yet, your assumptions and data must be based on detail.


The appendix of a business plan is the perfect place to include any additional documents that you want to use to give your reader a feel for your product, services, and much more. Be sure to only include relevant information in. It should not be totally unrelated to the materials you’ve already covered.

Planning is the key to success. If you’re struggling with this, schedule a consultation with Angela Crane-Jones to create the business plan you need to get your foot in the door.