Business Plans 2: Plan Contents and the Business Mission

So you have figured out why you are going into business, and why you are writing a business plan. That is fantastic, but what do you include in a business plan? There are many areas that can be covered in a business plan and lots of detail for each section. Here is a list of some of the sections commonly found in a business plan:
  • Cover/Title Page
  • Executive Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Mission and Vision Statements
  • Market Research/Assumptions
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operations Plan
  • Product and Service Information
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendices
While the above sections might not look like a lot to do, the size of your business plan will vary depending on the amount of content provided in each section.
The Mission and Vision Statements
The first thing a business needs to develop for it's business plan is a mission and vision statement. While many people confused the two as being the one and the same thing, there is actually a difference.
The Mission Statement
The Mission Statement is a brief summary of the organisation or team's purpose and intentions. It should summarise in a sentence the purpose/intention of the business, the product/service provided and the values of the business.

Additional points that can be included along with a mission statement include:

1: A few bullet-points outlining business intentions:

I.e.: 'We will:

  • Always focus on customer needs and safety.
  • Empower employees to give their best.
  • Seek continuous improvement in relation to the cost and quality of our services.'
2: A section outlining in bullet-points how you in tend to achieve the mission in relation to headings such as:
  • Safety and Security
  • Strategy
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Environment.
A sentence for each of these points will suffice.
The Vision Statement
The Vision Statement is a small paragraph or two outlining the business' intentions in relation to it's goals. It is primarily developed with an internal focus for employees of the business to work toward.

Why create these statements? It helps you as a business owner to do two things:

  1. Clarify your purpose into a single sentence, and clarify your mission for the business as a whole.
  2. Clarify who you are providing a service to, and the morals through which you intend to achieve your goals.