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Business Plan Examples

Articles for "Executive Summary"

Building your Business Plan from the Ground Up

When you are planning and preparing to start a business there are a few things you need to do in order to truly commence. The first and most important thing you can do is get your funding, and establishing a business plan is paramount. What is a business plan exactly? How do you go about writing on? Below are a few important parts of a business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Business environment
  • Company description
  • Company strategy
  • Financial review
  • Action plan

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These are the main parts of a business plan, but depending on your company, you might find a need for additional sections, or even sub sections. The primary purpose of a business plan is to ensure that you know where you are headed and what you need to do in order to get there. The secondary objective of course is to obtain the funding you need.

What Will you be Spending and Why?

Starting a business requires very precise planning. You need to know how much money you are going to spend, and precisely where that money is going. More than one business has gone down simply because of a financial leak, and it is not always intentional. Curbing these bad habits in the beginning will serve you well and help you get off to a better start.

Your Strategy

How do you plan to proceed? What investments do you plan to make? If you are jumping into an established niche, you will need to set yourself apart from the competition. If the niche is not at all established however, you will need to work hard to ensure customers want it. It is a difficult concept, and starting a business is nowhere near as easy as some people like to think.

A Plan of Action

Putting all of this together into an action plan will become your most important step. The action plan should contain a number of steps, and perhaps a month by month outline. When you are presenting your business plan/action plan to a potential investor, they will want a detailed analysis, and a description of how you plan to move forward.

==> Download your business plan template now!

Conclusion

A business plan is extremely important, and while a few businesses might thrive without one, you should never assume that yours is one of them. Everything must be tied together, and in the end, you will need to create a plan that not only guides your business, but stands up to high levels of scrutiny whether you are presenting your plan to an angel investor or a venture capitalist. The time to learn about business plans is right now, while you are still in the planning stages. It will encompass quite a bit of work, but it will be well worth it.

Peter

Create a Compelling Operations Section for Your Business Plan

The operations section of your business plan needs careful thought and analysis. Break it up into paragraphs with subheadings to make it easier for your potential investors to read and understand. Explain how your company delivers its services or produces the goods you sell.

Premises
Provide information on the premises your business occupies, and where you manufacture your products. Describe the physical layout and include the size of the property, the facilities and information about whether you own or rent the building. Investors will need to know what the long-term viability of the business is, and whether you have enough space to expand operations if necessary. Include details of onsite storage facilities for raw materials or finished goods, and information about bylaws that affect your business operations.

==> Download your business plan template now!

Hours of Operation
This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s very relevant to potential shareholders to understand whether you currently operate a single manufacturing shift or more. In addition, in the age of global business relationships it’s important to explain whether your services are available 24/7 to accommodate different time zones, if this applies. If you only operate during business hours, do you have backup and support teams available after hours, and is there the opportunity to increase production if demand requires it?

Equipment
Manufacturing productivity depends to a large extent on the lifespan and condition of equipment and machinery. Give details of the equipment you have with which to make your products, and include information on the age and state of repair of each major item as well as whether the machines are owned or leased. Savvy investors will want to know this to gauge the value of the company and the production capability.

Quality Controls
Quality can make or break a business. It’s no good being the only producer of widgets in the marketplace if your widgets are poor quality and customers refuse to buy them, or if you have so many returns that you lose money. Investors will need detailed information about your quality control processes, the levels of manufacturing rejects you typically experience, and what the losses are as a result.

Purchasing and Procurement
Purchasing of raw materials and other items is one of the biggest risk factors in any business. Unless buying is managed strictly it can result in huge losses for the owners and investors, so potential shareholders are likely to want details of your procurement policies. List your major suppliers and describe the criteria and processes you use to buy from them, such as requesting tenders or bids, conditions of your agreements and the methods you use to select suppliers.

Inventory Control
Stockholding can tie up more than half of a company’s assets and be a very expensive activity, particularly if it is not well-managed. Potential shareholders will want to know where you keep your surplus stocks, what the typical shelf-life is, and how you manage obsolescence. Give details of how you manage the risk of loss relating to fire, theft and natural disasters, and what the value is of your average inventory at any given time.

This should provide the educated investor with enough information to form a comprehensive picture of your operation in his or her mind.

Marketing Research and Strategy
As every business person knows, without market research you have no well-defined target market. The market research section of your business plan needs to clearly set out details of who your audience is, the industry in which you operate, your competitors, a thorough analysis of your risk and a projection of the market share you are aiming for.

Target Market
Begin by describing what your ideal customer looks like. Include his or her demographic profile, details of the geographical location, annual income, likes and dislikes. Identify the typical size of the customer’s family, the ages of the children, and the wants and needs of the family members. For example, if your product is baby clothes, you aren’t likely to be targeting baby boomers. Although many baby boomers are now grandparents and may well buy clothing for their grandchildren, they may be your secondary target market, but not the primary market.

Market Segment
Once you have explained who your target market is, identify the market segment that you believe is the best customer for your product. If your baby clothes are mainly warm designer outerwear, while your primary target market is young parents with babies, the market segment may be those young parents with babies who live in cold regions and earn more than $100,000 a year. Include statistics showing the size of your market segment in numbers or the annual spending of the segment in dollars. Your potential investors will need to know that you have done your homework regarding the target market segment.

Industry Overview
Explain the current state of the industry in which you operate, how many players there are in your targeted area, and what percentage of the market each company enjoys. Provide details of how you plan to get established in the market and what your market penetration strategy is. How do you expect to make your mark against the existing companies? Include a SWOT analysis in which you show your company’s strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats to your company in the industry.

Competitor Analysis
List the companies that you will be competing against, whether directly or indirectly. This could include other suppliers of designer baby clothing (direct) or it could include a popular local seamstress who makes similar items to order (indirect). Identify what differentiates your product from the others, and how you measure up to them in terms of quality, pricing, distribution and service.

==> Download your business plan template now!

At the end of this section, readers of your business plan should understand where your product is in relation to your competition, and whether your company has a chance of gaining a share of the market or opening a new market for the product.

Peter

How To Write A Great Business Plan For Business Success

Creating a business plan for your business can be an exciting and eye-opening time as an entrepreneur. Though many people find this process to be fun and easy, others find it difficult. Regardless of how you feel about it, having a business plan is necessary for most businesses. A business plan serves two purposes: It serves a road map and walks you through the steps necessary to run your business until reach your goals. In addition, it is essential when seeking outside funding for your business. Investors and lenders like to see a well-written business plan to help them evaluate how likely it is that the business will become lucrative over time.

==> Download your business plan template HERE!

Some essential components must be included in a business plan. Below are some elements of a good business plan.

1. Executive Summary – This section is used to summarize the most important areas of the plan. It provides a concise overview of the business plan and outlines your general idea. Even though it is the first part of the business plan, the executive summary is typically written last, after the whole plan is complete. This allows you to take one or two sentences from each section of the plan and summarize it easily. This means that someone can read the executive summary and understand what the entire plan is all about. Make sure you use strong and positive language when writing the executive summary to get the attention of investors and lenders and get them interested in your project.

2. Company Description – In this section, you should describe the general make-up of your company. You should provide the history, mission and goals of your company, its business model, and the future possibilities of your company. This section should be able to explain what you are trying to accomplish.

3. Product and Service Description – Here you should describe the products or services you offer or plan to offer. Make it clear and easy to understand by using simple language. Avoid acronyms and jargon that may only leave the reader confused.

4. Market Analysis – Use this section to demonstrate that you have good understanding of your target market. You should talk about your customers and solution that your business will provide. You should provide information about your competition as well as how you plan to provide services or products that are better and cheaper. Outline strategies you will implement to get your products or services to your customers.

5. Financials – In this section, you should include an income statement, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow and break-even analysis, as well as other pertinent financial documents. This section will help you figure out the amount of cash you will need to run the business and when it can begin to generate profits. You should get the help of an accountant or other financial expert in creating these documents.

==> Download your business plan template HERE!

6. Management Team – This is where you should highlight the background and experience of members of your management team. Demonstrate the management team’s ability to operate the business and include information about their educations, credentials, experience and skills. You can gain the trust and confidence of potential lenders and investors by listing members with highly impressive credentials and accomplishments on your management team or advisory board.

Peter

Tips for Writing a Business Plan to Draw Investors to Your Startup

A good business plan is your businesses’ blueprint and it’s essential to have one if you want to draw investors to your startup. To get your business off the ground, you need a good group of investors. While you may have a great idea, without a good business plan that looks attractive to investors, you’ll have a tougher time getting the investors that you need.

==> Download your business plan template now!

Reasons You Need to Write a Business Plan

If you’re not sure you need a good business plan, here are just a few of the big reasons you need to write one.

  • Reason #1 – Increase Your Chance of Success – When you’re writing your business plan, you’ll be paying attention to the financial and operational objectives of the startup, not to mention all the details. When you work through the business plan, you’ll be able to ensure a smoother startup and you’ll have fewer problems to deal with as well.
  • Reason #2 – Secure Funding – Writing your business plan also helps you to secure funding for your business. A good business plan can help you when working to get bank loans and other types of funding.
  • Reason #3 – Attract Investors – Last, a good business plan helps you attract investors, one of the main reasons to write one. Most investors want a well-written plan that they can carefully study before deciding to invest in the startup.

Helpful Tips to Attract Investors

Now that you understand how important your business plan is, you may be wondering how to write a good one that will attract investors to your startup. Here are a few tips that can help you create a quality business plan.

  • Tip #1 – Include a Statement of Purpose – When writing your business plan, make sure you have a statement of purpose for the business. This should be one paragraph that concisely shows the goal of your business, which will help draw investors to your startup.
  • Tip #2 – Offer Biographical Information – Your business plan also needs to offer biographical information on members of the business ownership team. A unique team often helps attract investors that are drawn in by good company dynamics.
  • Tip #3 – Include Projected Inventory Needed – Your business will probably need some equipment to get started. Within the business plan, include the projected inventory, including a description for each piece of equipment, how it will be used and the price it costs.
  • Tip #4 – Calculate Available Funds – As you work to attract investors, ensure your business plan calculates the available funds you have, such as property, savings accounts and any other assets. This can help show investors that you do have the financial ability to get a business started.
  • Tip #5 – Estimate Projected Profits – Showing projected profits for the first year of your company should also be included in a good business plan. This helps to show investors a good look at the company scale and will also serve as a good goal for everyone in the business’ first year.

==> Download your business plan template now!

Writing a quality business plan is important for so many reasons, including attracting investors. Keep these helpful tips in mind and create a quality plan that will convince investors to investor their money in your startup.

Peter

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