10 Must-Have Components to a Workable Business Plan

You’re beyond the plan-on-a-napkin and it’s time to create your first business plan, or take one you already have in play to the next level. So, what now? How will you advance your planning approach so you can dig deeper into the business and get better results?

As your business changes, so does the need to expand your business plan. Ultimately, the plan should be a blueprint of how your company will grow and prosper. Based on our experience, below are 4 of the 10 components you should include in your business plan. NALP members have access to all 10 components, including a printable checklist!

#1 The Executive Summary

How would you describe your business, the value you provide and the services you offer in 10 minutes or less? Basically, you’re saying, This is who we are. This is why we exist. This is what we want to accomplish. The executive summary of your business plan should be: clear, objective, logical and demonstrate your knowledge of the business.

The summary should also identify:
  • Target markets
  • Management skills and capabilities
  • Financial requirements to achieve the plans
  • Intended returns

#2 The Company

Now, let’s focus in on the vision of your company—your ideas and objectives.

You’ll want to break this Company summary into two sections:
  • Company Profile
  • Company Objectives

#3 Products and Services

What services does your landscape company offer, and what are the advantages of each service? Why should customers want to hire you do to their work? Consider this as you build the Products and Services section of your business plan, which should include three segments. One is focused on the customer value proposition, and then you’ll profile what makes your services different in a development section. Finally, you’ll roll into production processes and how you actually get the work done.
  • Customer Value Proposition
  • Development
  • Production
  • Your To-Do List

#4 Industry and Market

You want to increase the value of your company—grow your operation—but this is only possible if the market allows. Or, if you expand into new markets where there is opportunity to increase your client base. So, what’s the plan? First, identify the market segments where you currently compete. Then, identify gaps in the market where your services are in demand. Can you justify your revenue goals? (That’s the idea.)
  • Support market assumptions. You can tap into resources like local market studies, trade publications, industry directories, government agencies and chambers of commerce. Use social media to gauge the type of groups people in your area and what they buy.
  • Think big-to-small when organizing an industry analysis. Profile the entire market potential first, then narrow the focus to market segments that most influence your plan.
  • Identify competitors and obstacles to reaching your market.
  • Break the analysis into two sections: Industry and Market.

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