Online Marketing: What’s the Best Business Plan?

You’ve probably heard that entrepreneurship is on the rise, especially among the Gen-Z community. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are now more sole proprietorships and small businesses than ever before, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down.

If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur or investor, then it’s imperative to develop a strong business plan. However, developing a solid business plan isn’t as simple as it seems. It requires careful thought, research, and a lot of trial and error.

Here, we’ll discuss the various components of a business plan, why they’re vital, and how to put them together effectively.

The Basics

Every business plan needs to include three basic pieces of information:

  • A mission statement
  • A value proposition
  • A competitive analysis

The mission statement is an overview of the business’s purpose and objectives. It’s a short statement that concisely describes what the business is trying to achieve. The mission statement should be no more than a few sentences and should be easily digestible by a layperson.

The value proposition is the “thing” that the business offers to the marketplace that makes it uniquely suitable or “fit” for a certain purpose. In a nutshell, it’s a statement of how the product or service will benefit the customer.

The competitive analysis is an in-depth discussion of the market, the competitors, and the industry analysis.

The market analysis evaluates the current state of the industry, including trends, recent developments, and forecasts for the coming years. A market analysis is vital for any business, but it’s especially important for limited-resource or “niche” businesses (i.e., bio-tech, cleantech, drone-tech, and luxury goods companies), as it allows you to pinpoint demographics and taste preferences that fit within your target audience. In short, it helps you identify the right market for your product or service.

Financial Analysis

Every business plan should include a financial analysis, as it’s one of the most vital elements and indicates the level of investment needed to finance the business. If you’re looking for venture capital or an initial public offering (IPO), then the financial analysis is where you will find out if your business is profitable (i.e., has a positive cash flow) or has enough liquidity to fund operations for at least a year.

The cash flow analysis examines the possession of financial assets and the disposition of financial liabilities at any point in time, including the most recent six months. The analysis should include a detailed accounting of all sources and sinks of profitability, as well as an overview of the company’s significant assets and liabilities. If possible, the analysis should be broken down into at least two year periods (e.g., Current Year and the three coming years).

One of the most important aspects of a cash flow analysis is the determining of operating cycles. An operating cycle is a set of financial performance measures that identify if and when a company will be profitable.

An operating cycle of a company begins with a negative cash flow, which is then followed by a positive cash flow. This pattern typically appears among start-ups, as they usually have fewer resources to spend on operating costs, and therefore experience a more severe cash flow decline in the earlier stages of their operations. As the business grows and adds revenues, so does its cash flow, and the decline becomes less pronounced. Eventually, the positive cash flow becomes so strong that it overwhelms the negative cash flow, leaving the company with a gross profit for the year. This is the ultimate goal of a cash flow analysis: to identify the operating cycles of a company.


The operations section of a business plan is where you will find out how the business will execute its mission to provide a valuable service to the customer. This is also where you will find details about the products or services that the business will provide, including how they will be delivered to the consumer, at what prices, and where the business will serve customers.

This section of the business plan should include a detailed description of the manufacturing processes and insights into the facilities used to produce the goods. Additionally, it should include quantitative data about the production outputs, the number of employees involved, and the investment needed in order to become a successful business.

Here’s an example of a good operations section:

“Sole proprietorship of XYZ Inc. is formed by Mr. XYZ, who inherits a small workshop from his father. After a brief interruption due to the Great Depression, XYZ’s business took off in the 1930s, with demand for his products increasing as the world grew more neurotic and complex. Today, XYZ is one of the most trusted brand names in the world, with 17 subsidiaries in 16 countries. The workshop in Richmond, Virginia, is still operating, as it was essential for the company’s survival. Mr. XYZ’s unparalleled vision, his productivity, and his ability to ensure that all of his employees worked towards a common goal brought this business to its current success. The sales staff in Richmond generates an average of $25,000 in monthly revenues from existing clientele, with new accounts opening up every month. The franchisee of a new company, ZYX Corp., which opened a city branch in Los Angeles in 2020, earned $400,000 in sales in its first month.”