A strong, concise business plan is crucial when starting a new business. Not only will it give you a roadmap for how you will grow your business in its early years, but it will also be useful for investors, who want to see that you have a well-thought-out venture that has a good chance of being viable and sustainable before they invest their money into it.

Here is what you should include in your business plan:

  • An executive summary: This should sum up your entire business plan. What are the goals you have for your company? What do you hope to achieve? What are you looking for out of potential investors? Clearly state exactly what you’re looking for, and do not mince words.
  • Business description: Begin with a short description of the industry in which your business will operate, discussing the outlook for that industry at the present and in the future. Discuss any new products or other developments that could benefit or impact your business in any way.
  • Market strategies: Before you launched your business, you presumably (or at least should have) conducted some in-depth market studies, allowing you to familiarize yourself with all aspects of the market. In this section of your business plan you will identify your target market and properly position your company in a way that you can serve that market and garner sales.
  • Competitive analysis: Identify all of the competitors you have in your market, their strengths and weaknesses and strategies you have that will give you a distinct advantage over these competitors. As part of this, consider how your business will differ from your competitors, and any barriers you can develop to prevent potential future competitors from taking over your market share.
  • Operations and management plans: Describe how your business will operate on a day-to-day level. Your operational plan should include the responsibilities of your management team and all tasks assigned to the company’s various departments.
  • Design and development: If you’re selling a product, you should use this section to give potential investors a description of the design of that product. You should also be able to clearly map out how it’s been developed in the context of production and marketing. This section should also contain a development budget that will realistically allow you to achieve your goals.
  • Financial data: Keep financial data toward the back of the business plan, but still be as thorough as you can. Include any financial factors that could affect your company, as well as any financial backing you’ve already received for your venture.

These are just a few of the categories you’ll need to include in any business plan you prepare for your company. For more information, we encourage you to contact an experienced corporate planning attorney in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tom Bolt is Managing Attorney at BoltNagi, a respected and well-established corporate law firm, proudly serving entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.