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5 elements of a sound business plan

If you are thinking about starting a business, you probably already know that it is a major undertaking. You must think about everything from securing funding to pleasing initial customers. One critical tool that can help in each of these areas is a solid business plan.

A business plan establishes what your business is, what it does and why you believe in it. Each of these details will shape your company and build its foundation, so it is important that you take the time to create a thoughtful, comprehensive business plan. Below are some specific elements you will want to consider including in your plan.

  1. Who you are - As the owner of the business, you should be able to describe the history of your company, what you do and where you want to take your business.
  2. Operational details - Your plan can include information on where your business is, how it will operate and details on key employees that play a significant role in the business. 
  3. Specific financial details - This includes financial projections, funding requirements and current expenses. As this recent article from The Guardian notes, these details should be specific and honest. 
  4. Marketing and advertising strategies - Explain how you plan to reach your customers. Will you rely on word-of-mouth or expansive social media campaigns? Will you offer free trials or special subscription rates? 
  5. Anticipated challenges and successes - Show that you understand the market and the potential challenges you might face, and then explain how you plan to overcome or avoid those challenges.

These and other elements can provide the basis for a solid business plan, but understand that every business plan is different. Yours should reflect your ambitions and the nature of your business. 

Considering the importance of a business plan and other startup documentation, it can be helpful to have legal guidance when you are creating them. Working with an attorney who can help setup a new business venture and establish plans for the future can allow you to focus on the business.

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