Business Plan

WRITING A BUSINESS PLANII.Outline of the Business PlanA.Exploring Each Section of the Plan1.Cover Page and Table of Contents2.Executive Summary3.Industry Analysis4.Company Description5.Market Analysis6.The Economics of the Business7.Marketing Plan8.Product (or Service)Design and Development Plan9.Operations Plan10.Management Team and Company Structure11.Overall Schedule12.Financial Projections13.Appendices14.Putting It All TogetherIII.Presenting the Business Plan to InvestorsA.The Oral Presentation of the Business PlanB.Questions and Feedback to Expect from InvestorsA.Exploring Each Section of the Plan1.Cover Page and Table of Contents.The cover page should include the name of the company, its address, its phone number, the date, and contactinformation for the lead entrepreneur.2.Executive Summary.The executive summary is a short overview of theentire business plan; it provides a busy reader with everything that needsto be known about the new venture’s distinctive nature.a.Although the executive summary appears at the beginning of thebusiness plan, it should be created after the plan is finished.Only thencan an accurate overview of the plan be written.b.An executive summary shouldn’t exceed two single-spaced pages.Thecleanest format for an executive summary is to provide an overview ofthe business plan on a section-by-section basis.3.Industry Analysis.This section should begin by describing the industrythe new business will enter in terms of its size, growth rate, and salesprojections. It is important to focus strictly on the business’s industry andnot its industry Chapter 6: Writing a Business PlanCopyright ©2016Pearson Education, Inc. 119and target market simultaneously. Before a business selects its target market, it should have a good grasp on its industry—including where its industry’s promising areas are and where its points of vulnerability are located. a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include: IndustrySize, Growth Rate and Sales Projections, Industry Structure, Natureof Participants, Key Success Factors, Industry Trends, and Long-TermProspects.b.Industry structure refers to how concentrated or fragmented an industry is.Fragmented industries are more receptive to new entrants.c.Industry trends should be discussed, which include both environmentaland business trends.This is arguably the most important section of anindustry analysis because it often lays the foundation for a new business idea in an industry.4.Company Description. This section begins with a general description ofthe company.Although at first glance this section may seem less criticalthan the others, it is extremely important.It demonstrates to your reader that you know how to translate an idea into a business. a.The company description should start with a brief introduction, which provides an overview of the company and reminds the readerof the reason it is starting.b.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include: CompanyHistory, Mission Statement, Products and Services, Current Status,Legal Status and Ownership, and Key Partnerships (if any).5.Market Analysis. While the industry analysis focuses on the industry thata firm will participate in, the market analysis breaks the industry into segments and zeroes in on the specific segment (or target market) to which the firm will try to appeal.a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include MarketSegmentation and Target Market Selection, Buyer Behavior, andCompetitor Analysis.b.Market segmentation is the process of dividing the market into distinct segments. Markets can be segmented in many ways, such asby geography, demographic variables, psychographic variables, andso forth.c.A competitor analysis is a detailed analysis of a firm’s competitors.Chapter 6: Writing a Business PlanCopyright ©2016Pearson Education, Inc. 1206.The Economics of the Business.This section begins the financial analysisof the business, which is further fleshed out in the financial projections.Itaddresses the basic logic of how profits are earned in the business and howmany units of a business’s product or service must be sold for the businessto “break even” and then start earning a profit.a.Revenue drivers and profit margins.Summarize the major revenuedrivers of the business in proportion to where you expect to make yourmoney.Describe the size of the overall gross margins and margins foreach of the major revenue drivers of the business.Then determine theweighted average contribution margins.b.Fixed and variable costs.Provide a detailed summary of fixed andvariable costs for the venture.c.Operating leverage and its implications. Characterize whether your cost structure is predominantly fixed or variable and then indicate the implications. d.Start-up costs.Distinguish the one-time start-up costs of the business.e.Overall economic model.Put the pieces above together.Indicate howyou will make money in termsof the combination of margins, volumes,operating leverage, and revenue source flexibility.How attractive is the combination?f.Breakeven chart and calculations. Compute the number of units the business has to sell to “break even” prior to earning a profit.g.Profit durability.Address the issue of how solid or vulnerable the profit stream appears to be.7.Marketing Plan.The marketing plan focuses on how the business willmarket and sell its product or service.It deals with the nuts and bolts ofmarketing in terms of price, promotion, distribution, and sales.a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include OverallMarketing Strategy and Product, Price, Promotions, and Distribution.b.A firm’s marketing strategy refers to its overall approach for marketingits products and services. A firm’s overall approach typically boilsdown to how it positions itself in its market and how it differentiates itself from its competitors.c.The next section should deal with your company’s approach toproduct, price, promotion, and distribution.Chapter 6: Writing a Business PlanCopyright ©2016Pearson Education, Inc. 121d.The final section should describe the company’s sales process or cycleand specific sales tactics it will employ.8.Product (or Service) Design and Development Plan.If you’re developinga completely new product or service, you need to include a section in yourbusiness plan that focuses on the status of your development efforts.a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include: DevelopmentStatus and Tasks, Challenges and Risks, and Intellectual Property.b.Most products follow a logical path of development that includesproduct conception, prototyping, initial production, and full production.You should describe specifically the point that your product or serviceis at and provide a timeline that describes the remaining steps.c.A prototype is the first physical depiction of a new product. A virtual prototype is a computer-generated 3-D image of an idea. It displays an invention as a 3-D model that can be viewed from all sides and rotated 360 degrees.9.Operations Plan.The operations plan outlines how your business will berun and how your product or service will be produced.a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include: General Approach to Operations, Business Location, Facilities, and Equipment.b.A useful way to illustrate how your business will be run is to first articulate your general approach to operations in terms of what’s most important and what the make-or-break issues are. You can then frame the discussion in terms of “back stage,” or behind the scenes and “front stage,” or what the customer sees and experiences. 10.Management Team and Company Structure. This is a critical section of abusiness plan.Many investors and others who read business plans look first at the executive summary and then go directly to the management team section to assess the strength of the people starting the firm. a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include: Management Team, Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, and Company Structure.b.A board of directors is a panel of individuals elected by a corporation’s shareholders to oversee the management of the firm, as explained in more detail in Chapter 9.Chapter 6: Writing a Business PlanCopyright ©2016Pearson Education, Inc. 122c.A board of advisors is a panel of experts asked by a firm’s managementto provide counsel and advice on an ongoing basis. (Also covered inmore detail in Chapter 9.)d.An organizational chart, which is often included in this section of the business plan, is a graphic representation of how authority and responsibility are distributed within the company.11.Overall Schedule.A schedule should be prepared that shows the majorevents required to launch the business.The schedule should be in the format of milestones critical to the business’s success.12.Financial Projections. The final section of a business plan presents a firm’s pro forma (or projected) financial projections.Having completed the previous sections of the plan, it’s easy to see why the financial projections come last.They take the plans you’ve developed and expressthem in financial terms.a.The sections to include in this portion of the plan include: Sources and Uses of Funds Statement, Assumptions Sheet, Pro Forma Income Statements, Pro FormaBalance Sheets, Pro FormaCash Flows,and Ratio Analysis.b.A sources and uses of funds statement is a document that lays out specifically how much money a firm needs, where the money will come from, and what the money will be used for.c.Pro forma (or projected) financial statements are the heart of the financial section of a business plan.A firm’s pro forma financial statements are similar to the historical statements an establishedfirm would normally prepare, except they look forward rather thantrack the past.d.Ratio analysis—Mostbusiness plan writers interpret or make senseof a firm’s historical and/or pro forma financial statements through ratio analysis. Ratios, such as return on assets (ROA) and return onsales (ROS),are computed by taking numbers out of financialstatementsand forming ratios with them.13.Appendix.Any material that does not easily fit into the body of a businessplan should appear in an appendix.14.Putting It All Together.In evaluating and reviewing the completedbusiness plan, the writers should putthemselves in the reader’s shoes to determine if the most important questions about the viability of theirbusiness venture have been answered.Chapter 6: Writing a Business PlanCopyright ©2016Pearson Education, Inc. 123a.Table 6.4 lists the 10 most important questions a business plan should answer.It’s a good checklist of anybusiness plan writer.III.Presenting the Business Plan to InvestorsA.The Oral Presentation of a Business Plan1.When asked to meet with an investor, the founders of a new venture shouldprepare a set of PowerPoint slides that will fill the time slot allowed for thepresentation portion of the meeting.2.The first rule in making an oral presentation is to follow instructions.If aninvestor tells an entrepreneur that he or she has one hour and that the hourwill consist of a 30-minute presentation and a 30-minute question-and-answer period, the presentation shouldn’t last more than 30 minutes.3.The presentation should be smooth and well-rehearsed.The slides shouldbe sharp and not cluttered with material.B.Questions and Feedback to Expect from Investors1.Whether in the initial meeting or on subsequent occasions, anentrepreneur will be asked a host of questions by potential investors.The smart entrepreneur has a good idea of what to expect and is prepared for these queries.2.In the first meeting, investors typically focus on whether a real opportunityexists and whether the management team has the experience and skillsto pull off the venture

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