A standard business plan has ten sections and each section is crucial to the final product. If you want to intrigue investors and compel them to read your plan front to back, craft all of these sections with great care.
If your business plan is your introduction to investors, the executive summary is the initial handshake. You want to grab the investor’s attention and convince them that reading to the end would be a wise investment of their time. Hopefully, investment of their time will lead to investment of their money.
Who are you? Who are your customers? Why are you qualified to reach those customers? Give this brief information here.
Show that you and your executives have a proven history of success and plan to make this business a success as well. Reveal your unfair competitive advantage and let all of your past accomplishments shine in this section.
How well do you know your industry? How well do you understand the many different industries your company could compete in at the same time? This is the section to give hard facts and data to show your knowledge of the industries you will be competing in. This includes larger industries and smaller niche industries. Be as specific as possible and give all the details right here.
Show that you know who your customers are in this section. Get specific and show that you have done your research and know your potential customers inside and out.
Show that you also know who you are competing against. This includes other companies offering services or products similar to yours as well as natural or organic products and old wives tales. Anything that a customer could choose instead of your products or services must be revealed in this section.
Reveal the 4 PΓÇÖs in this section: Price, Place, Promotions, and Product. Describe in detail what your product is, what it will cost, how you will market it and what distribution channels are open to you.
This is a detailed explanation of how you are operating your business now and how you plan on operating in the future. This can include what products you want to release in the future and employees you plan to hire, but it all must have a plan and timeline. Make sure investors will see potential to get out of the investment with profit at some point in this plan.
This is the place to introduce all of your board of directors or executives. If they are going to contribute to the success of your business and have an impressive business history, make sure they are introduced in this section.
This is the place for your projection forms and the hard facts about where your business stands today and where it is headed in the future, from a financial perspective. You have to be as realistic and honest as possible in this section or you lose credibility. Your investors will spend most of their time on this section, so make sure every bit of data is accurate and real.
This is a collection area where you can put all kinds of valuable information and data referred to throughout your business plan. It should be a nicely created section with charts and graphs, letters, and other interesting information.