Writing a business plan is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Luckily, there are many resources to help with creating a business plan:. Business incubators offer office and specialty space for new businesses often at discounted rates with the help of government programs.
Below is a listing of the business incubators, business accelerators, and business start-up space in the State of Delaware. This listing does not imply an endorsement of any of the programs, and businesses are encouraged to do their own research to find the best fit.
If you know of other business incubators in Delaware that are not listed here, please contact us. Agriculture Environmental Health Professions. Skip to Content Skip to Navigation. Write Your Business Plan. Luckily, there are many resources to help with creating a business plan: A nationally-accredited nonprofit organization hosted by the University of Delaware providing business services for Delaware small businesses and entrepreneurs - including free business plan help Delaware Service Corps of Retired Executives SCORE: Reach out to the Delaware Division of Small Business to connect to resources in the state.
Provides solutions for manufacturing companies, healthcare, and service providers Delaware Division of Libraries: Business plan writing guides, books, and information.
Here are some sections that you may want to include in your business plan. The executive summary is an overview of the key points contained in your business plan and is often considered the most important section. It is usually the first section that a potential investor or lender will read, and may be the only section to be read if it is not prepared properly. This important summary should:.
You will want to describe your business concept, competitive advantage, legal structure e. This section should briefly but clearly describe what your business is all about. This segment should include the following elements. This section should give readers a very brief overview of your business — where you've been, where you are now, and where you're going in the future.
Describe the activities you will use to promote and sell your product or service. You should touch on each of the "four Ps" of the marketing mix:.
Your marketing strategy should also include information about your budget — how much money have you budgeted for marketing and sales costs? You may also want to include a profile of your "ideal customers". You can create profiles based on customer type — consumers, retailers, or wholesalers — or base your segments on demographic information such as age, location, and income level.
Keep in mind that solid market research is the backbone of an effective marketing strategy. Your business plan should outline your current operational requirements as well as your projected requirements for the next 3 to 5 years. Your inventory management and accounting systems should have the ability to produce up-to-date reports. In these scenarios, you need a complete and up-to-date business plan that follows a standardized format.
A traditional page paper business plan is generally only needed when requested from a bank or investor. While all of these should be considered, you may emphasize, skip, or move around some sections depending on your particular situation:. The first part of your business plan is a brief summary of your business: Start it off with your 1-sentence pitch.
Explain your accomplishments so far, and outline what you hope to achieve in the near future. Tone and style matter. It continues to explain how their product uses remote sensors to track water levels, thus relieving a great burden for ranchers. Explaining your business in terms of a problem and solution is necessary to prove why your idea matters.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make in the early stages is to solve a problem nobody has. One way to do this is to draw a visual step-by-step process.
Then, illustrate the process with a simple graphic like the one above. Entrepreneur Patrick FitzGerald explains this in more detail, and provides more examples, in this video lecture. Describe your target customer based on personality type, income level, age, gender etc.
It will also be helpful when you write your marketing model further below. Getting specific about your target market shows self-awareness. Along with describing your target customers, you should outline the other businesses that exist in your space.
Although every entrepreneur dreads to reveal their potential challenges, comparing yourself to competitors drives the point home on what makes you unique and advantageous. Once you have some competitors in mind, organize them in a neat table like the one above.
Make sure your business is on the far-right side , as this is the standard format for competitor analysis tables. You can cover businesses that MAY venture into your space in the future perhaps after they find out about your idea.
Or, explore businesses that attempted to something similar in the past, but were unsuccessful. This, again, is excellent opportunity to show why your idea is different and advantageous. Here is where you get into the nitty gritty details. You explain exactly how your business works — from sourcing materials, to finding customers, to managing your day-to-day.
We can think of this section as a series of smaller plans or models. Depending on your specific type of business, you may cover all or some of the models below:. Now, you describe your company and team in more detail. Who are they, and why are they rockstars?
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A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.
Writing your business plan. From Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Although business plans vary in terms of length and scope, all successful business plans contain common elements. The plan should take into consideration your particular business and its environment. Now that you understand why you need a business plan and you've spent some time doing your homework gathering the information you need to create one, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper.
That best way to find out is to do your research and write a business plan to see if your idea is feasible. The simple business plan template presented here will get you started on preparing a plan for your . Writing a Business Plan for Investors – Sample Template CHAPTER ONE – Whoever said you don’t need a formal business plan to start or expand your business was certainly not addressing those who need funds from creditors and investors.