You have to view the 10 areas of a business plan not only as a form of due diligence, but also as a chance to grab the attention of investors.
Each area has both an important goal.
Executive Summary: This is otherwise known as the main attention grabber of your business plan. This area uses a small about of space to thoroughly describe your product, the market size, the market needs and what makes your company especially qualified to fulfil those needs.
The most outstanding executive summaries will immediately give investors reasons for reading the rest of the business plan.
Company Analysis: This is where you prominently place all company milestones and achievements. This section displays a time stamped list of items that prove the proficiency of your company and management team in both past and present situations. In addition, this section should also be utilized to discuss things such as proprietary technology, which would be viewed as the company’s unfair competitive advantage.
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Industry Analysis: This says that you have thoroughly researched your target market. This analysis might include a lot of overlapping industries and competitors. This is where you should place complete industry statistics from credible resources, as well as market specific trends.
Customer Analysis: This section will list your customers. Prove that you are knowledgeable about your customers and that you know more about them than your competitors. This is where you would list information about specific market trend numbers, demographics, psychographics and anything else of importance about your customers.
Competitive Analysis: This section will prove that you are knowledgeable about your competitors. Your competitors are not just the ones that you see out in the open. Your true competitors are the ones that your customers can go to in order to get the same things that supplied by your company.
This could consist of things that the customer does as well. Make sure that you list both the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.
Be truthful and unbiased.
Marketing Plan: List the 4 P’s, which are place, price, promotions and of course, product. Completely go into detail about your product.
Talk about how you will advertise your product. Show how you will determine the price of your product. Discuss how your product will be distributed. Provide as much detail as possible so that you investors will understand how you plan to get your product from the shelves into the hands of your customers.
Operational Plan: This is an explanation of how you will provide service for your customers. Talk about both the short-term and long-term processes of the company’s daily activity. This section should have product release date projections, revenue accomplishments, partnerships, customer contract information, plans for funding in the future, IPO info as well as hiring strategies. This is where investors will want to see information that details possible payouts for their money.
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Management Team: These are the people who will make your company successful. This section must highlight the biographies of your Board of Directors and management team. Make sure that you display previous achievements that indicate that the management team can implement a strategy and guarantee future success. Fill any management gaps that will be important to the beginning operations of the company. Ideally, this should be done before your business plan is completed.
Financial Plan: This is where a majority of investors will spend the most time. Your financial plan details how your company will make them plenty of money. The future projections must have dates for market penetration rates, operating margins, employees, new acquisitions, mergers and IPOs. Make sure this section is completely accurate.
Business Plan Appendix: This section has additional information and documents. It supports the things that were said in the executive summary, financial plan and other sections of your business plan. Include detailed drawings, patent info, testimonials from partners and customers and a complete listing of your competitors and important customers.