In an effort to continue dialogue about starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur, periodically I will provide tips and tools on various topics to help you along your journey. Having a business plan is key element to starting your business. You may not have one as you initially start out, but eventually you will need it. Your business plan is your roadmap to your businesses success. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the key elements of a business plan. Executive Summary – this succinctly describes your business and how you plan to grow your business. It should include a Mission Statement – what your company is in business to do, company information, description of your product and/or services, cost of your product/service, financial information, and a summary of your future plans. You want to clearly explain what sets your business a part from the rest – do a competitive analysis - what do you offer that your competitors don’t? What need are you filling? Who is your primary audience and how do they get the product/service that is designed for them? Explain how your business is structured, do you have staff or a team in addition to yourself. To help you get started, the Small Business Administration has a business plan tool that gives you step-by-step guidiance. Also, check out aarp.org/50plusentrepreneurship for more tools. Until next time!