For many entrepreneurs, writing a business plan is one of the most daunting parts of applying for a business loan. With that in mind, today we take a closer look at SBA loan business plan requirements, including the structure of the two most common types of business plans.
What Is a Business Plan?
Simply put, a business plan is a document that outlines the goals of a company and lays out a roadmap for how to achieve them.
While business plans aren’t always required for SBA loans, having one is always a good idea because it proves that your business idea is viable.
Plus, a solid business plan can help you secure all types of funding, including but not limited to SBA loans.
On its website, the SBA doesn’t mention any specific requirements for business plans. However, scattered over its sections are many tips, guidelines, and tools for writing your business plan.
Below you’ll find a handy recap of all that information so you can access it all in a single place.
SBA Loan Business Plan Requirements
- If the idea of writing a business plan stresses you out, you can breathe easy. According to the SBA, “There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan.” What really matters is that the business plan meets your needs.
- The SBA divides business plans into two main categories: traditional business plans and lean startup plans.
- investors and lenders often require a traditional business plan because it’s more detailed and comprehensive.
- A lean startup plan is a bare-bones business plan that contains only the most important elements. If you use this type of plan, an investor or lender will probably ask you for more detailed information.
- The typical structure of a traditional business plan comprises the following sections: Executive Summary, Company Description, Market Analysis, Organization and Management, Service or Product Line, Marketing and Sales, Funding Request, Financial Projections, and Appendix. Here’s an example of a traditional business plan provided by the SBA (click here for another example).
- Lean startup plans, on the other hand, have the following structure: Key Partnerships, Key Activities, Key Resources, Value Proposition, Customer Relationships, Customer Segments, Communication Channels, Cost Structure, and Revenue Plans. Click here for an example of a lean startup plan provided by the SBA.
If you need additional help writing your business plan, the SBA offers a self-paced course called How To Write Your Business Plan. The 21 video lessons are short (none is longer than five minutes), clear, and easy to follow.
Gellyfish: Business Loans Made Easy
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