Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network


Elements of a Strong Business Plan


The following guidelines will help you build a successful business plan. You can do additional research on the Internet, in the business section of libraries, from industry associations, and many other sources. There are many good books that can guide you through the process as well.

Please feel free to contact the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center where experienced business advisors will guide you through the process of writing your business plan and assembling your financial information.


Statement of Purpose

Table of Contents


Section I. The Business

  • Business Description: What type of business are you starting/operating? What kind of products or services do you provide?
  • Location and Facilities: Where? What were your considerations when picking it?
  • The Market: What is your market area? Who are your customers? How do you plan to reach new/prospective customers? How do you intend to create the sales volume and profits to repay a loan or investors?
  • Competition: Who is your competition? What is your competitive advantage?
  • Management: How is your business organized? Describe your management team. Who is responsible for what? Describe the team's management and supervisory capabilities, work experience, education and specialized training.
  • Personnel: List non-management employees and their responsibilities.

Section II. Financial Information

  • Loan / Investment Summary
  • Cash Flow Projections
  • Income Statements
  • Balance Sheets
  • Ratios

Section III. Supporting Documents

  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Personal Credit Report
  • Resumes or Personal Data Sheets
  • Letters of Reference
  • Brochures and Testimonials
  • Market Research Studies
  • Capital Equipment List
  • Tax Returns
  • Contracts
  • Leases
  • Licenses and Permits