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Business Plan Overview

Starting a business can be difficult, and many times there are challenges that individuals may never have foreseen. The purpose of this section of Livingston Advantages is to make sure that starting a new business won’t turn in to a constant struggle to catch up. Below, you’ll find a guideline on how to create a business plan and what extra efforts, if any, you’ll need to take to get your business set up and running properly.

Prepare a Business Plan

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary provides a concise overview of the entire plan along with a history of your company. This section tells your reader where your company is and where you want to take it. It’s the first thing your readers see; therefore it is the thing that should grab their interest.

Market Analysis

The market analysis section should illustrate your knowledge about the particular industry in which your business will operate. This section should include: an industry description and outlook, target market information, market test results, lead times, and an evaluation of your competition.

Company Description

This section should include a high-level look at how all of the different elements of your business fit together. The company description section should include information about the nature of your business, as well as list the primary factors that you believe will make your business a success.

Organization and Management

This section should include: your company’s organizational structure, details about the ownership of your company, profiles of your management team, and the qualifications of your board of directors.

Marketing and Sales Management

Marketing is the process of creating customers and customers are the lifeblood of your business. In this section, the first thing you want to do is define your marketing strategy.

Service or Product Line

What are you selling? In this section, describe your service or product, emphasizing the benefits to potential and current customers. Focus on the areas where you have a distinct advantage. Identify the problem in your target market for which your service or product provides a solution.

Funding Request

In this section, you will request the amount of funding you will need to start or expand your business.


The financials section of your plan should demonstrate your understanding of basic accounting and financial concepts and how they apply to your business. This section may include items such as a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, a cash flow analysis, projected startup and operating costs, and realistic revenue forecasts.


The appendix section should be provided to readers on an as-needed basis. In other words, it should not be included with the main body of your business plan.

Sample Business Plans

Business Tips