The business plan can be a huge stumbling block for potential small business owners.  However, you do not leave on a road trip without a map. Why would you start or run a small business without a plan?

SCORE Mid-Shore mentors suggest that the business plan be kept simple by addressing the following key points:

Mission:  What do you want to do, and why?

Vision:  What do you want to accomplish over the next year? What has to happen to make you successful? How will you measure your success?

Product/Services/Customers:  What do you make or what services do you provide? Define your overall market territory. Who are your ideal customers?

Competition and Pricing:  Who is your competition and how much do they charge? How are you different from the competition? Is your price point competitive?

Sales and Marketing:  How will you market and sell your product and/or service? How will you identify potential customers?

Operations:  Define your organizational structure (e.g., LLC).

Financial:  How much revenue can be generated to offset expenses in years 1, 2 and 3?

Start by answering these basic questions. When this task is complete, you are ready to take on the next step: Launching your new business!