What key elements need to be included in a successful business plan?

Expert Answers

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A business plan is very important to a firm because it can serve as a road map of where the firm wishes to go and how it plans to get there.  A firm without a good business plan may well make grave mistakes because of being aimless and unfocused.  A good business plan contains elements that allow the business to know what its goals are and how it plans to reach those goals.  The business plan is also important because it is the document that is used to try to convince people to invest in or loan money to the firm.

Among the elements that can help to achieve this are such things as:

  • An executive summary.  This is most imporant if the plan is being used to justify loans or attract investors.  It is the short statement that summarizes the whole plan and catches the interest of those who might fund the business.
  • Description of the firm's product.  This needs to lay out what the firm will produce and how its product will be different from those already on the market.
  • Description of the company.  This must lay out how the company is organized, who its important people are, and what sorts of qualifications they have.  It also describes how the company will go about producing its product.
  • Marketing plan.  This section describes how the firm will go about getting and keeping customers.

There are other parts that are included in most plans, but these are the ones that are most important.  For a more detailed discussion of this topic, follow the link below.

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