Whether you’re just getting started or planning on taking your business to the next level, a business plan is an essential part of your overall business strategy. There are many reasons your company can benefit from a solid plan, so be sure to take your time to write a detailed plan that accounts for all the essential areas. Here are some important tips for writing your plan.

A plan for your business is used for a variety of purposes. First, financial institutions require detailed plans in order to approve you for loans. This helps investors of all sizes feel they can trust you with their investment. Without a plan, you may have difficulties securing any necessary funding for your commercial property, equipment, and operating expenses.

A business plan is a highly structured document that typically contains the same basic details. These details include an executive summary, company overview, business offering, marketing analysis, management team, and financial projections.

The executive summary should read like an abstract. This overview details all the elements of your plan and pulls them together in a cohesive set of objectives and a mission statement. Your company overview includes all the necessary information about your company. From the history of it being formed to your basic business model and strategy, the overview details why your company is unique and positioned to succeed in your industry.

Similar to your company overview, your business offering portion of your plan should describe the products and services your company will provide or is currently providing. A marketing plan details how you’re interacting with your customers and delivering results for your intended audience. Strategy and implementation provide highly specific details about your next steps and how you’ll realistically reach your goals. Next, describe your management team and why the individuals in your business are trustworthy and prepared to help your business thrive.

Finally, perhaps the most important portion of your plan is your financial projects. This section should include as many detailed analyses as possible that show your investors how you’ll grow your finances. Quantitative measurements and analytics should predict as accurately as possible how you’ll pay off your debts and continue to compete in your industry.

A business plan is an incredibly helpful manual for your employees and investors to understand your business. This detailed document shows where you’ve been, where you’re going and how you’ll get there. Without a plan, your investors may hesitate to lend you the financing you need to succeed.