What is a Business Plan?
The Business Plan is perhaps the most important document an entrepreneur can create. The business plan helps guide the direction of the start-up company's first several years, as well as giving potential investors an idea of the company structure, goals and future plans. What are the parts of a Business Plan?
The following information is taken from the "Business Plan Development Guide", written by Alex F. DeNoble and Audrey B. Voyles. Section 1 - The Executive Summary
The purpose of the executive summary is to capture the interest of the investors/lenders so they will want to find out more about the venture. These investors are likely to spend no more than 3 to 5 minutes before making a preliminary decision about your proposal. Therefore, this section is first, and in some ways is most important. This section should emphasize key issues and be no longer than 2 to 3 pages. The following information should be addressed in the executive summary: * Company profile
* Nature of the product/service being offered
* Size and growth trend of the market
* Make-up and background of the management team
* Financing requirements
* Key projections (sales, gross profits, net income)
* Proposed use of funds
* Proposed exit strategy including projected ROI
The executive summary is written last, after the rest of the plan is completed. Section 2 - Business Description
This section of the business plan should provide the reader with a more detailed overview of the company and the nature of the product/service offering. It should include the following: * Mission Statement
* History behind the idea or current business
* Company's current or proposed legal form
* Proposed entry strategy and time line of events
* Description of the initial product/service (including any anticipated competitive advantage) * Product research and development
Section 3 - Market...