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How to Write a Business Description for a Business Plan

One of the most important parts of a business plan is your business description. A standout example will concisely explain your goals and convey what makes your vision special. It should be written to attract the attention and fire the imaginations of potential investors, partners and other stakeholders. This article explains what a business description is, lists steps and tips for creating one and answers some frequently asked questions.

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What is a business description?

A business description provides an overview of what your company does and what makes it unique. It introduces your brand, offering prospective investors and other interested parties an overview of the company’s objectives and scope. Depending on the scale of your business, your description might be just a few paragraphs or it might stretch to more than a page, but it should always be as succinct as possible.

Like the rest of your business plan, this description should be regularly updated as your operation grows. It should always be a current summary of your company concept that shows the benefits you provide for your customers and explains where your brand fits in the marketplace.

Steps before you start writing

There are a few steps you need to cover before you start to write a business description. This is a chance to clearly state what’s going to set your company apart from others, and you can make the most of it with preparation:

1. Research the industry and the competition

An effective business description starts with research into the industry you are entering and the top competitors in that market. Make use of credible sources such as news outlets, trade magazines and published studies, or speak with industry veterans.

You can also get valuable insights by interviewing or surveying your target market and by checking out existing business descriptions from companies similar to the one you plan to create.

2. Identify high-performing keywords

While the focus here is on writing a business plan for potential investors and partners, you may want to adapt your business description for use in other places. For instance, you might decide to put it online to raise awareness of your new venture. To ensure your description is visible on the internet, you’ll need to use keywords that perform well on Google and other search engines. Building in these keywords from the outset will make it easier to edit this content for other uses. Google keywords are a particularly good starting place for search engine optimization (SEO).

3. Practice writing in your brand voice

A business description does more than just introduce your company. It also introduces your brand identity and shows how you want to be seen. A crisp and authoritative brand voice will identify your brand as formal and serious, while a friendly and informal tone can establish you as an approachable and family-friendly operation.

Your brand identity is, in itself, a way of communicating what you value most about your business idea. It sets the tone for what others can expect from you.

Components of an effective business description

Every business plan and description is specific to the industry and the type of company you are building. You can create an effective business description by including these basic components:

1. Provide your business’s basic information

Include your company’s basic information: its name, what it does, the value it offers, its location and its origin story. These are the fundamentals any reader will need to understand your concept. Identify your specific industry—possibilities might include wholesale or retail, project development, manufacturing, service, finance or hospitality—to provide context. Be as specific as you can: a proposed hobby shop, for instance, will almost certainly fit into a smaller category such as outdoor hobbies, fitness, gaming or personal computing.

2. Describe your target market

Detail your target audience, including their age range, geographical location, values and attitudes, relationship status, income level and spending habits. Explain how you plan to connect with them and make sure they will be receptive to your brand and message.

3. Craft a problem statement

Detail your products and services. Specify a common problem that your target audience faces, how your expertise and resources will address it and how the resulting benefits will set your brand apart from the competition.

4. Describe your industry’s current and future state

Situate your business in the industry by discussing current developments or trends. Changes in operations, production and technology can present both challenges and opportunities for your company. Account for these possible impacts in your business description.

5. Explain plans for manufacturing, distribution and service delivery

Detail how your products will be manufactured and who will deliver them to the public. If you already have a team in mind and it includes names that might be recognizable to the reader, list the key personnel who will facilitate the process and the specific expertise, training and qualifications they bring to the table.

6. Detail how the business will be profitable

Explain how your business will make a profit. In a more detailed business description, include the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure success.

Best practices for writing business descriptions

Here are a few tips that will help you write an effective business description:

  • Start with an elevator pitch: The first paragraph of your business description should summarize your vital information and core concept. Think of it as an “elevator pitch” in which you only have a sentence, or a few sentences, to convey what’s exciting about your vision.
  • Focus on high-level information: Some of the information that you include in your company description will also appear in other areas of your business plan. Concentrate on a high-level overview of these parts, and leave the specifics for another section.
  • Communicate your passion: A business description should entice the reader to review the rest of your business plan. Your tone and presentation should convey your passion for the company and what it will accomplish.
  • Check for length: The overall length will vary depending on how complicated the business plan is, but a business description should be as clear and concise as possible. Once you have a draft description, review it to edit out any redundancies or fluff.
  • Have it proofread: Have someone with fresh eyes check your final draft for flow, syntax, grammar and spelling, as well as for the natural incorporation of keywords. Presenting the cleanest copy possible will speak to your professionalism and attention to detail.

Business description FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding business descriptions:

What should you include in a business description?

When you’re creating a business description, the information you provide will vary depending on the type of business. However, these are some of the elements that are commonly incorporated:

  • Company name
  • Type of business structure
  • Owners
  • Location
  • Company origin story
  • Mission statement
  • Products and services offered
  • Target audience
  • Short-term objectives
  • Vision statement

How do I describe my business in one sentence?

When writing an elevator pitch to introduce your business, you can think of it as a compact answer to five basic questions:

  • What is the name of your business?
  • What exactly do you sell?
  • Who will you sell it to?
  • What problem do you help your customers solve with your products or services?
  • What makes you different from your competitors?

What is the description of a successful business?

There is no single way to write a business description, but effective businesses share a few common traits. The most successful companies are more concerned with long-term profits than short-term gains, and they’re always ready to adapt their products and services to the changing needs of customers.

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