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What Should I Include in My Business Plan?

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Business plans aren’t solely for securing funding; they can also help you clarify your strategy, decide the resources you’ll need, identify potential roadblocks, and evaluate the viability of your growth plans. It creates a roadmap and establishes the foundation for a business to thrive.

Mistakes made in the early stages have sunk many businesses with great potential before they even take off. Working closely with an experienced Daytona Beach small business lawyer as your business partner can help you navigate the process and form a solid basis for growth.

How Can a Good Business Plan Impact a Business?

Business plans are often associated with loans. But even if you don’t require funding, there are many compelling reasons to incorporate a business plan in your venture.

  • Planning: A plan will assist you in understanding the scope of the business better. You’ll know how much resources, time, and money needed to start and run successfully.
  • Ideas Evaluation: Sometimes, you can have multiple ideas, and each requires a different business plan. This evaluation ensures that you focus your energy and time on highly viable ideas.
  • Research: If you write a business plan, you will need to research your potential competitors and ideal customers. Remember that strategic decisions are made after such detailed research.
  •  Recruiting: With the right staff, it will be easier to achieve your goals. The vision in the business plan is what needs to be communicated to the new employees.
  •  Partnerships: A business plan is critical when approaching potential partners. Excellent partnerships happen when the companies’ growth strategy, audience, and vision are a good fit.
  •  Competitions: Most regions and industries have business plan competitions. You can benefit from the investment capital, grants, or mentorship.

How Should a Florida Business Plan Look Like?

Your Daytona Beach business plan lawyer can help you get the structure right and ensure that all the essential details are included in your business plan. You can take advantage of the free business plan, but here is a breakdown of each section:

  • Executive Summary – This is a high-level overview of the business plan that encourages reviewers to read further. It should highlight the key points that have been covered in the entire document.
  • Company Description – It should cover your team, business objectives, background information, value proposition, mission, vision, the industry, business model, and the business structure.
  • Market Analysis – This should be about the size of your potential market base, an analysis of the ideal customer profile, and research on the industry trends and trajectory.
  • Management and Organization – The section covers the legal structure, the people who run the firm, their roles and responsibilities, and how they contribute to its success.
  •  Products and Services – You can give detailed information if you deal in a few products and services. If they are many, providing general information would be ideal.
  • Customer Segmentation – Here, you describe where your customers live, work, age range, level of education, the technology they use, and how they spend their free time.
  • Marketing Plan – The plan should indicate where you intend to sell the products, the pricing, how you’ll differentiate the product in the market, and how you plan to promote it to the customers.
  • Logistics and Operation Plans – This should include inventory management, suppliers of raw materials, shipping, equipment and technology to be utilized, production, and facilities.
  • Financial Plan – It includes your cash flow statement, the balance sheet, and an income statement. Don’t forget to add a financial projection.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

After investing time and effort in preparing a business plan, it can still fail. But with the guidance of a skilled Central Florida business plan lawyer, you can avoid costly mistakes.

  • Grammar and Spelling Errors: It is hard for someone to believe that you can run a successful business if your document is full of typos. Investing in an editor to proofread it is advisable.
  • Missing Financial Projections: Many readers are interested in the numbers like the return on investment calculations, break-even analysis, and P&L (profit and loss) statements.
  • Unbalanced Teams: One cannot pitch a software idea without at least one IT specialist or developer in the team. A statement of potential profits is only reasonable with a team that will get it done.
  • Lack of Exit Strategy: Every investor needs assurance that they will leave your business with maximum profits. You are more likely to get funding with a good exit strategy.
  • Bad Business Idea: If your business is too risky, you may miss out on funding. Low-investment ideas allow you to avoid the traditional start-up costs because you can start with little money.

How Can I Get Things Right with My Business Plan?

A knowledgeable Daytona Beach Business Plan Lawyer can help you identify gaps in your business plan before it becomes an issue. Here are what to keep in mind when preparing your business plan:

  •  Know your Audience: It is easier to tailor the level of detail or language in your business plan if you know the audience. You could be writing it for yourself to clarify your ideas or for investors.
  • Have a Clear Goal: If you want to secure funding for the business, you will need to prepare a thorough plan. But if you aim to streamline your team, then it doesn’t have to be too detailed.
  • Invest in Research: Some business plan sections will need your vision and ideas, while the critical parts need detailed research.
  • Keep it Brief and to the Point: A good, readable document should not exceed 15 to 20 pages. Any additional information required in a business plan that you feel is necessary can be included as appendices.
  • Keep the Voice, Style, and Tone Consistent: The easiest approach to achieve this is by asking someone to edit the plan before distributing it. Alternatively, you can have the same person writing the report.

A Florida Business Lawyer Helping Businesses Get their Business Plans Right

A solid foundation of any firm is built on a solid business plan that can guide its development and growth. The right business plan lawyer serving businesses throughout Volusia County, along with Brevard, Flagler, Orange, and Seminole counties, will ensure that the plan fosters optimal growth and reduces liabilities.

At Lankford Law Firm, we are ready to go through every line of your document. Our goal is to ensure that your business plan is compliant and realistic. Call us at (850) 888 8992 to book a consultation with experienced Attorney Melody Lankford.

By: Melody Lankford
After graduating from Davidson College, Melody Lankford earned her J.D. from Florida State University’s College of Law in 2004 and was admitted to the Florida Bar that same year. Ms. Lankford joined Raydon Corporation as in-house counsel in 2004. She worked there until 2012, when she founded the Lankford Law Firm. She is an experienced Daytona Beach small business attorney who offers sound legal counsel and experience-based insights to her business clients.

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