OUTLINE FOR A BUSINESS PLAN
I. Executive Summary The Executive Summary is probably the most important aspect of your plan. It should communicate your company’s competence to be successful in a competitive market. It summarizes the other sections in your plan and should be written last.
A. Company Description In this section of your plan, the nature of your business and your competitive advantages should be discussed.
Company’s mission Location and geological information Products or services Competitive advantage
- Name and location
B. Market Analysis
This section should reflect your knowledge of your industry. You should discuss the characteristics of your target market as well as the size of your target market.
Economic seasonal technical factors which effect profitability Target market Competition
- Size and growth trends
C. Marketing and Sales Activities
This section should contain a discussion of marketing and sales activities and hoe these activities will help you meet the sales and profit levels in your financial statements. Marketing and sales strategies should be conveyed, as well as the keys to success in your competitive environment.
Advertising and promotional programs Pricing policy Other marketing tactics - joint ventures, strategic alliances, etc.
- Overall sales and marketing strategy
D. Products and Services
Describe in detail your products and services, product life cycle, proprietary information and research and development procedures and capabilities. A list of suppliers should be included.
Method of selling, distributing and servicing products to potential customers.
Management information systems for accounting, customer service, etc. Quality control strategy Inventory control (if applicable) Other operational concerns
F. Management and Ownership
This section must emphasize your management team’s talents and skills. It should also indicate what skills and talents they bring to the company that makes it unique from your competition.
- Description of plant and/or facilities
Principal/key employees Board of Directors Organizational chart and responsibilities
Resumes of key personnel
- Form of business
G. Financial Data Projections and/or historical financial information with assumptions are presented in this section. Financial statements should reflect 5 years of operational history; scenarios can be included. This section also includes the use of funds and long range financial strategies to liquidate investors.
Cash flow charts
Three to five year financial projections (1st year monthly, remaining years annually) Income statements Balance sheets Cash flow charts
Assumptions on which projections are based
Key business ratios Explanation of use and effect of new funds
Ability to repay investors.
- Financial histor
H. Appendices or Exhibits
Additional detailed or confidential information that might be useful to the business plan but is not appropriate for full distribution may be presented here. Examples of appendices or exhibits include the following:
- Resumes of key managers
- Pictures of product
- Market study
- Patients, copyrights and trademarks
- Corporate tax returns for the last three years
- Aging of accounts receivable and payable
- Copies of existing Financial institution promissory notes.
- Trade, bank and character references
- Estimate or invoice for equipment to be acquired or purchased
- Copies of lease or letter of intent to lease
- Contract for purchase (buyer and seller agreement)
- Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws and Certificate of Good Standing or Partnership Agreement
- Copy of warranty deeds and appraisals for property to be pledged by business or guarantors
- Organization chart
- Personal financial statement for each shareholder partner
- Personal income tax statement for the last three years for each shareholder, partner
This outline should be viewed as a framework for conveying information about your business idea or going concern. It may not include all the nuances which are unique to your business. Please feel free to amend the outline where applicable. We encourage you to submit more information rather than less.
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