What Is a Business Plan and How to Write One – Chase News & Stories

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Start writing your business plan today and find out how Chase for Business can help you be successful. Presented by Chase for Business.
 
If you’re planning on starting a business, one of your first steps should be writing a business plan.

The objectives of a business plan are guided by the goals of your business and should leave room for flexibility and future restructuring. Use these tips to help you get started.
 
A business plan is a guide for your company to follow as it scales in size and complexity. Business plans include basic information about your company’s operational, financial and marketing goals. Writing a business plan will include several key sections:
 
The specific steps in writing a business plan can help your company build a strategy for long-term success. When starting a business, you should consider some items including:
If you’re seeking financing or applying for a business loan, a business plan is essential. Banks, private investors and venture capital firms all need to see a business plan to make funding decisions. These institutions want to know how your business plan will achieve its goals and make their investments worthwhile.
Your company doesn’t have to follow the same plan in perpetuity — you can and should revise your model as necessary. Reference your business plan in relation to other major goals and strategy throughout the year.
 
Different business plans work for different business cases. Two of the most common business plan types include:
 
The following are five ways that companies typically use a business plan to aid in their development and growth.
 
Business plans can be used to help examine the feasibility of a business or product idea. As you research your market, create a financial plan and crunch the numbers. By doing this, you’ll develop a better sense of what is needed in order to make a profit.
You should share your business plan with other people for feedback — such as mentors, potential partners or prospective employees. If you can demonstrate you have a plan to succeed, prospective clients or investors may be more confident in working with you.
 
Understanding your customers and marketplace dynamics is key to running a successful business. The market analysis section of your business plan positions your company within the industry and among your competitors. For example, your business plan might explain how you intend to solve a persistent problem in a way that your competitors cannot.
To help know your market better, you should conduct a SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. By digging deep into your business goals, you can discover who your customers are and how you can best serve them. You can also assess where your business is likely to thrive and manage any perceived opportunities upfront.
It can be challenging to keep your eye on the big strategic picture while also managing a business. Writing a business plan forces you to set aside your daily tasks and consider your goals. In turn, setting milestones will help guide your business and give it a greater purpose.
The milestones you create should be unique to your business. For example, your milestones might include reaching $1 million in revenue, expanding to a new region, or selling your business to a larger company.
Some companies have all the capital they need to launch while others need outside financing. If you request funding from a bank or a private investor, you will need a clear business plan that allows investors to assess how your company will make money and grow.
Consider these business plan tips for common financial projections:
 
Few companies follow the same path the entire time they’re in business. Issues like market changes, new technology, and economic growth can force a change in direction.
When you need to reposition your company, referring to your original business plan is essential. This will encourage you to analyze the market, consider different operational models and experiment with new strategies.
Even as you continue to evolve your business strategies and objectives, your business plan can guide your company through major changes and improve your chances for profitability.
Once your business plan is in motion, meet with your local business banker to manage your available finances or see how a Chase business checking account might help.
 
For informational/educational purposes only: The views expressed in this article may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.
You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions, and consult the appropriate professional(s).
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Chase offers a variety of business savings accounts including Total Savings, Premier Savings and a business CD. Compare savings accounts and find the right business savings account for you.
More convenient than cash and checks — money is deducted right from your business checking account. Make deposits and withdrawals at the ATM with your business debit card. Save time every month with recurring payments.
Commercial Banking provides businesses with annual revenues ranging from $20 million to more than $2 billion with a range of domestic and international solutions including investment banking and asset management — designed to help you achieve your business goals.
We’re here to help with your business banking needs. From payment processing to foreign exchange, Chase Business Banking has solutions and services that work for you.
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