Continuing to migrate answers away from Quora. This post was a response to the question, “How can I write a good business plan?” Original

A good business plan answers the five W’s (plus an H), not necessarily in this order.

Who

Who will be responsible for ensuring goals are accomplished? Who will be responsible for each segment of business operations? Who are they and how are they qualified to do what you say they can? Who is the target market? Who are your competitors?

What

What is the industry the business will operate in? What specifically will you do and what differentiates you from what currently exists? What do you need to be successful and what will it cost? What growth do you expect and what are the goals you’ve set for the company? What will the organizational structure be and what business model will you follow?

When

When do you plan on launching? When do you anticipate accomplishing growth goals? When will you break even?

Where

Where will your company physically be located? Where is your target market located? Where does your company fit into the industry?

Why

Investors want to know “Why should I invest in you?” Why do you want to start this business? Why will you be successful? Why will customers choose you over alternatives?

How

How will you reach your goals? How will you make yourself known to potential customers? How will you position your company in relation to competitors and how will they respond?

Keep in mind that your business plan is as much for you as it is for potential investors – cover all your bases, know the industry inside and out, have backup plans in place in case the industry shifts unexpectedly.

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About The Author

Bryce Hamrick

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Bryce Hamrick is an entrepreneur, business & marketing strategist, and product consultant with nearly two decades of experience in industry. Bryce has been a software engineer, product manager, and director of product management for startups as well as large enterprises. He has led teams to bring dozens of products to market and has executed numerous six-figure product launches. Today Bryce and his team focus on leveraging his product execution strategy to help businesses with growth and scale.