SSGT NICHOLS - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Veteran to Boss: Business Plan
Posted by Joshua Kelly

Today, we will look at a simple business plan and what you need to include in one.  Everybody’s business plan will be different and unique to what you are going to be doing for a business.  These are parts of my business plan I used when starting.

First, I went with an executive summary.  In this portion of the plan, you want to talk about what your business is going to be doing, how you will benefit the sector you will be entering, and what types of services you will be offering. The key is to just make a brief summary.

Next, I went with a three year growth chart.  This is what I anticipated would be the growth over the next three years of my company from income, client workload, expenses – potential growth rate from income to expenses.

Then I added a small section to my plan indicating ownership rights, and how the business would interact in regards to a sole proprietorship, partnership or C Corporation.  Here you want to make in detail anything that pertains to your ownership and potential investors (if you choose to have investors), and also your plan in case your company fails.

Next, you want to breakdown in more detail what your company will be doing, from the products you will offer, to how these products will be made, where these products will be sold, and also how many hours it will take to produce one of the products that you are offering. This section can also include how many employees you plan on having or if you will be the only person.

Now, you want to move on to your Target Audience.  Here you will detail out the primary audience who will be interested in purchasing your products or services.  This section also will include how you plan on helping your audience and contain a brief description of your products and services.

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Marketing Strategy 

This section of the business plan is related to your marketing and advertising, such as to whom you will market your product, how you will market your product, whether others will be hired to market your product, or if you will market the product yourself via online or some sort of other advertising, or possibly attend trade shows to get your product exposed.

As I mentioned above, your business plan will be different than the person beside you, because you are more likely going to be selling something different.  Also your thought process and your approach to how you want to sell your product will be different in each case. The above steps are just a good guide to get you started and allow you to see all the different areas that you will need to cover prior to writing your business plan.

So you may ask what is the importance of a business plan? Here are some key reasons that a business plan is very important.

First, by creating the business plan, you are giving your business the time it needs to make sure that your product idea is a fit for the market and you are not trying to enter into a saturated market, as that could have a huge impact on your success rate.

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Next, having a business plan is like having a set of instructions in front of you.  This will help you through those long nights when success seems far away, allowing you a reference to look and remind yourself of what to do.  For example, the business plan might remind you that you were originally planning to try a different way of marketing your product. A business plan is pretty much your business on paper.

Thirdly, a business plan is a great tool to have if you are going to be starting a company or product that needs outside investments.  When it comes to investing, the banks, the crowd sources or even other potential investors want answers to these questions. Where is my money going? What is in it for me? When will I see profit on my investment?  These are three questions that you will have already answered for your investors right inside your business plan, making it look like you’re legit and are meaning business and not just another random person from the street.

The good thing about business plans is that they can be altered as you go.  My business plan was originally written in 2010.  Since then, I have added items to it, changed items and even changed the company’s name – all with the same intention and plan in place.  So having the business plan made it much easier for me to make those changes.

So as you can see having a business plan before you start a business is by far the best thing you can do.  This will make sure that you are covering every aspect of a business and allow you to see in front of you how much work it will take.  Along with that, it will motivate you to keep working on your business as you will want to try and reach your business goals (and accomplish the achievements that you have included in your business plan).


Joshua Kelly is a 13-year United States Navy Veteran. Joshua holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science and Math. Along with several military decorations, Joshua was certified as a Community College of the Air Force Instructor. Joshua is currently self-employed with Dakota Weather Consultants.

“I am passionate about the military way of life and also the self-employed way of the future, and of course, the weather. You will find me, every day, running my weather consulting firm when I am not spending time with my family. I enjoy sharing information by writing to help others prepare themselves and learn from my experiences”. Joshua Kelly

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