The information that comprises your business plan
The executive summary is a brief abstract of your business idea, summarizing your entire plan. For an established business, the executive summary would include facts of your accomplishments, your growth plans, and profitability. Just like article headlines that you see in newspapers, the executive summary is written to capture the readers attention and summarize the key points that they will be reading about.
Introduce your business. What is the company name, where are you located, what type of business do you/will you operate? What do you sell - products, services, or perhaps both. Do you sell to consumers, other businesses, or both. Are you selling to a niche market? What assets are you starting with such as patents, or specialized equiptment. Do you offer specialized skills? This section is where we will build excitement for your business. We will showcase all of your advantages.
We will perform an analysis of your competitors. This includes who they sell to. What strengths do your competitors bring to the table. What trends are taking place in the industry. What price points are your competitors targeting. Can you sell a better product or provide a better service? Can you match the industry price? Are customers willing to pay more for a better product. A full market analysis will be added to this section.
Organization and Management
As the business owner, you will need to decide on a legal structure. Are you going to file to become incorporated? Will you operate as a sole proprietor? What about an LLC? This section will reveal your legal structure, who is in charge of the company. If you have employees, we will include an organizational chart. Furthermore, we will discuss education, experience, and qualifications for each major role. What qualifications of each individual will contribute to your success?
Service and/or Product Line
What services, products, and/or warranty service does your company offer? This section is all about what you sell. Do you manufacture products? Do you hold any patents? What about research and development for the products? What is the lifecycle of the products? Do you sell periodic upgrades? Are your products/services seasonal? Are there any disadvantages to your product line or service. Have you found a way to turn this into an advantage? This section will be in detail. You will want to follow your research, in addition, if you are looking for funding, this information will be evaluated by banks, investors, and venture capitalists.
Marketing and Sales
Often marketing and sales are thought of as the same; however, they are very different, and yet they need to work together as a team. You do not want your marketing dollars to target one group of shoppers while your sales team is trained to close to a different group. This section will discuss your marketing strategy. We will identify a target market, how they receive information, how they shop, and what channels appear to have the best return for the investment.
Your sales team will then be introduced, as well as your sales cycle. Do you have an internal, external, or mixed sales team? Do you primarily sell using online technologies? Are your sales made with a quick close process or do you have a lengthly sales process which may include a webinar or in person demonstration? How do you build value with your customer? What are your policies such as warranty and repair? What is the sales experince like for the customer? There are many points that we will touch on in this section.
How much money will you make and how long will it take before you are profitable? The financials section is dedicated to your projections for the next five years. Take into account your sales forecast, how much will it cost you to sell what you project? What pricing strategy will you implement: competitive pricing, penetration pricing, or value-based pricing? Do you have the available funds to sustain operating at a loss while you gain market share? lastly, you this section will include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets.
The Corporation Associates Guide to Starting a Business.You have an idea for a new business. Now you need some guidance to get your doors open.
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