Writing a Successful Business Plan

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Writing a Successful Business Plan
PURPOSE OF A BUSINESS PLAN ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PLAN TWELVE STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PLAN

Stephen Lawrence and Frank Moyes
Deming Center for Entrepreneurship College of Business and Administration University of Colorado at Boulder

Copyright © 2001 by the Regents of the University of Colorado

Page 1

Purpose of a Business Plan
A business plan has three primary functions: 1. To serve as an Action Plan 2. To serve as a Road Map 3. To serve as a Sales Tool Action Plan. A business plan can help to move you to action. You may have been thinking for years about starting a business or engaging in some venture, but the process may seem too daunting, too large and too complicated. A business plan will help you to pull apart the pieces of starting a business and examine each piece by itself. So instead of one large problem, you have a sequence of smaller problems. And by solving the small problems, the large problem is automatically solved. So writing a business plan can help to move you to action by breaking down a seemingly insurmountable task (starting a business) into many smaller, less intimidating tasks. Road Map. Once you have started your business, a business plan can be an invaluable tool to help keep you on track and moving in the direction you want to go. In the hurley-burley of daily business, it is very easy to lose sight of your objectives and goals -- a business plan can help to keep you focused. A business plan can also serve to help others to understand your vision, including suppliers, customers, employees, friends, and family. Sales Tool. Perhaps most importantly, a business plan can serve as a sales tool. You will probably need outside financing to start your business, and a business plan is the tool you need to convince investors to come on board. You may also want and need concessions from suppliers or customers -- a business plan can help you get them. Finally you may need to convince family members, or even yourself, that your ideas will bear fruit. A well-written business plan can serve to sell people close to you on the benefits of proceeding with your concept.

Copyright © 2001 by The Regents of the University of Colorado

Page 2

Elements of a Successful Business Plan

Table of Contents (1 page) Executive Summary (1 page) Company Overview (1 page) Products and Services (1 page) Industry and Market Analysis (~3 pages) Marketing Plan (~4 pages) Operations Plan (~2 pages) Development Plan (~2 pages) Management Plan (~1 page) Financial Plan (~3 pages) Offering (1 page) Appendices (no more than 15 pages)

Copyright © 2001 by The Regents of the University of Colorado

Page 3

Table of Contents
Executive Summary (1 page) • Opportunity • Solution • Competitive Advantage • Process • Positioning • Financials • Management Company Overview (~1 page) • Mission Statement • History and Current Status • Market and Products • Objectives Product or Service Description (~1 page) • Description • Market Comparison • Proprietary Rights • Stage of Development Industry and Marketplace Analysis (~2 pages) • Industry Analysis • Marketplace Analysis • Customer Analysis • Competitor Analysis Marketing Plan (~4 pages) • Target Market Strategy • Product/Service Strategy • Pricing Strategy • Distribution Strategy • Advertising and Promotion Strategy • Sales Strategy • Marketing and Sales Forecasts Operations Plan (~2 pages) • Operations Strategy • Scope of Operations • Ongoing Operations • Operations Costs Development Plan (~2 pages) • Development Strategy • Development Timeline • Development Expenses Management (~1 page) • Company Organization • Management Team • Administrative Expenses Financial Plan (~3 pages) • Financial Statements • Financial Comparables • Financial Summary • Financial Assumptions • Funding Requirements • Sources and Uses of Funds • Business Risks Offering (~1 page) • Investment Requirements • Valuation of Business • Offer • Exit...
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