The Elements that Comprise a Great Business Plan

You should always compile the 10 sections of a business not only with proper due diligence but also in a manner that creates an opportunity to completely hook an investor. Ultimately, every section of the business plan has a unique purpose.

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Executive Summary: This is the business plan’s main hook. The section will clearly detail your product, the scope and needs of your market, and the unique qualifications your company possesses to fill said needs. Solid executive summaries will be good enough they convince even the busiest investor to take time out to read the entire plan.

Company Analysis: This would be your chance to place all your business’ accomplishments at the forefront. A clear timeline of milestones shows that your business or management team succeed in its past performances and also maintains an “unfair advantage” an example of which would be proprietary technology.

Industry Analysis: This provides the clear proof you know the entire industry inside and out and that comprises the many other overlapping industries in which your business can be found. The analysis will also include full industry data from reputable sources and also info on niche trends. Just be sure to be specific.

Customer Analysis: Your customer relationships are presented in a clear map. On this map you must demonstrate that you understand you customer better than any other company around. You will demonstrate a working knowledge of niche markets, demographics, psychological profiles, and many other critically helpful bits of customer info.

Competitive Analysis: You could consider this component to be your statement of proof that you know your opponent. Remember, your competition is not only the public companies operating in your industry. The truth is that any product or service which can deliver on the same needs as what you offer can be considered competition and this includes any actions taken on the part of the customers themselves. So, be sure to effectively describe the strengths and weaknesses of your competition in this section.

Marketing Plan: The marketing plan needs to be defined by the Four P’s: product, promotions, price and place.

You need to totally explain the product,, how you intend to promote said product, detail the pricing, and point out your distribution channels. It is critical to be as specific as possible in order to show all your investors you can sell your product to interested customers.

Operations Plan: This plan details how you will service customers. You will also present your company’s day to day activities and the long term processes it engages in. You must present the projected dates of product releases, milestones for revenue, formations of partnerships, the securing of customer contracts, IPO and future funding rounds, and the hiring process. Within this plan, investors are looking for the payouts on their capital which are sometimes referred to as exits.

Management Team: A strong management team can be considered the true engine of a company success. Within this section you can include bios of your team members and even the Board Members. Your info should include prior accomplishments that have shown the company has succeeded in its endeavors and is on a path towards growth. Be sure to take the steps of filling in any management gaps with an explanation of how things were run during the transmission from one manager to another.

Financial Plan: Investors will spend an enormous amount of time looking over a business financial plan since it will detail how a business will provide the profit generating rewards they seek. Future projections (via a pro forma statement) need to include data such as operating margins, dates for the rates of market penetration, employee head counts, mergers and IPOs, and acquisitions. Be sure everything on such a statement is as close to actual reality as possible.

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Business Plan Appendix: Overflow documentation. When you wish to back up the claims you made on your executive summary, financial plan, and other parts of the document, you will want to detail such proof on this section. You will find technical drawings, letters from clients and business associates, patent information, and a complete list of customers or competitors.

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