The 9 Essential Components of a Winning Business Plan – Mark Collier, Small Business Development Center

We recently spoke with Mark Collier, Business Consultant at the UGA Small Business Development Center in Dekalb County, one of 17 centers around the state that provides support to entrepreneurs and small business owners. We discussed the nine essential components of a winning business plan, and how to choose the right banking partner for your business.

According to Mark, every small business should have a business plan in place that acts as a living, breathing document. Its value is undeniable, and in today’s segment Mark outlines the nine essential components of a business plan that you need to focus on, including:

  1. The Executive Summary: This summarizes the entire business plan and tackles things like the market you’re trying to penetrate, the profitability potential, and it’s the first thing investors will look at.
  2. History and Purpose: Investors want to hear the story behind your venture, and find out your long-term goals.
  3. Management Profiles: Which include the resumes and backgrounds of any principal players.
  4. The Foundational Buiding Blocks: This includes, the mission statement, the vision statement, and the core values of your business.
  5. Competitive Analysis: Who are your competitors? How are they attacking the marketplace? How will you differentiate your business in order to gain more market share?
  6. Marketing Strategy: Find out your core market audience, and develop a strategy targeted towards them.
  7. The Financial Strategy: Calculate how much money you need, and write out the specific ways in which it’ll be spent. You will also need to project how that investment will generate a return for investors and bankers.
  8. Operations: Have a process map, and clearly delineate your operations.
  9. Pro Forma: This is all of your pertinent financials that investors will be most interested in.

For more insight and expertise from Mark, be sure to watch our full interview above.


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