If there are any important skill gaps in your team, you need to address them and mitigate them here. It could be that you are looking for someone with these skills or that you have a board member or a non executive director that can fill the gap. Try to put some pictures if you can.
It is always better when one can put a face on a name! And it helps if you are due to meet your investors at some point. Now that you have introduced the company it is time to dive into what it does.
Products and Services The key to writing a good product and services section is to be precise about the product or service you sell, the client you are targeting, and the channel you are targeting him through. After this section your reader will start thinking about how big, how crowded and how profitable your market is and try to guess what the overall strategy is going to be.
You want to send him in the right direction! So be ultra precise, don't say for example "I sell shoes" but "I sell leather boots targeted at women aged who buy online". If you can try to include pictures of your products.
By now your reader knows who you are and what business you are in. It is time you show him why this is a good opportunity. Market Analysis This part is a summary of our article on how to do a market analysis , please refer to the article for more details The objectives of the market analysis section are to show the investors that: the market is large enough to build a sustainable business you know who your customers are and why they buy despite the competition, it exists a gap in the market where your business will fit The first step of the analysis consist in assessing the size of the market.
Demographics and Segmentation The way you look at the market will depend on your type of business. If it is a small business, such as a coffee shop for example, then you need to look at the market on a local basis your town, your street. If you are targeting a wider audience, then you need to evaluate the market at a national or an international level.
When assessing the size of your market, you need to come up with two variables: the number of potential customers and the value of the market. The idea here is to get a sense of how atomised your market is. If you are in a market where there is a small set of high value customers then it might be complicated to compete against more established players and your business is likely to be dependent on a handful of customers meaning that losing one would potentially threaten your business.
Now if you are in a market with lots of low value customers it might be complicated and costly to reach enough of them to get to the minimum volume for your business to be profitable. Ideally you want to be in a market with a high number of medium value customers meaning that there is enough customers to leave room for a few players and that each customers bring a decent amount of revenues.
Once you have estimated the market size you need to explain to your reader which segment s of the market you view as your target market. Target Market The target market is the type of customers you target within the market. You need to identify the different segments in your market and explain who you are going after and why.
One way to identify the segments is to group customers by buying pattern or demographics. For example in the fashion market you could have: men vs. You know what makes people buy! You need to describe the buying pattern of your target customers.
What triggers a purchase? Is it something they need such as food? Is it a value associated with the product or a brand perception? Later in your plan you will use this analysis to justify your market positioning. Competition Here you have to explain who your competitors are, how they are positioned on the market, and what their strength and weaknesses are. Some of the items you need to cover are who are they? You should write this part in parallel with the Competitive Edge part of the Strategy section, as the idea here is to find a weakness in your competitors' positioning that your company will be able to use in its own market positioning.
Barriers to Entry Here, the objective is to show to investors that the risk of having new competitors entering the market is fairly remote.
Hence if you are writing your business plan for a start-up then this section is a bit tricky as you need to show that you will succeed where others will fail! Once again, you can find more details on this section in our market analysis article. Regulation In this section you need to details which regulation is applicable to your sector and how you are going to comply with it. Strategy Until now all the sections of the business plan outline we covered were very descriptive, this is where things get a bit more interesting.
Strategy is a big word for what is really just explaining your view of the market, how you want to attack it, and why it should work. The first part of the strategy section is the Competitive Edge sub-section which is where you explain your market positioning. Competitive Edge The competitive edge part is where you answer investors' favourite question: "what makes you different from the competition?
Competitor analysis Outline what you have learnt about your competitors and how this information will be used to drive operational efficiency. Management team This section gives key information on the key players in your business, specifically design-makers who will implement the measures outlined in the business plan. You may wish to include professional backgrounds, any academic or professional qualifications and areas of relevant interest.
Design and development strategies This outlines the types of products and services you offer and how these benefit your customers, as well as chart their development and marketing with milestones highlighted. You may wish to include a budget for development which can be linked to the more in-depth financial data revealed in the Finances section.
It is always a good idea to think in terms of customer needs and customer benefits as you define your product offerings, rather than thinking of your side of the equation how much the product or service costs, and how you deliver it to the customer.
Sometimes this part of the plan will include tables that provide more details, such as a bill of materials or detailed price lists, but more often than not this section just describes what you are selling and how your products and services fill a need for your customers. Execution Use this business plan section to outline your marketing plan, your sales plan, and the other logistics involved in actually running your business.
Company and management summary This section is an overview of who you are.
You also need to mention the main terms you have negotiated with your suppliers price, days of credit, delivery schedule, etc. For example, include customer lists, awards, and patents received among others. You should write this part in parallel with the Competitive Edge part of the Strategy section, as the idea here is to find a weakness in your competitors' positioning that your company will be able to use in its own market positioning. In each case, following the section title link will take you to an article that details how to write that particular section of the plan, while in some cases, there are also linked examples that you can use as models to write that section. You may wish to include professional backgrounds, any academic or professional qualifications and areas of relevant interest. Some of the contents will have different names and be presented in a different order but almost any business plan will cover these broad areas: Business Plan Format Contents Table of Contents Your contents page should be the very last thing you write to ensure that all the page numbers are correct.
Here you will answer questions such as when and how your organization was formed, what type of legal entity you are, and accomplishments to date.
The first thing to do is to assess if you have control over your prices. Finally, merging data from Excel spreadsheets into your Word document is harder than it looks. You must demonstrate that your team has a strong experience in your sector and the skills to run this business. Personnel Plan In the personnel plan section you must explain how many people you will employ and what will be their roles. Please search again, or click 'Find it for me' to see our whole portfolio.
Summarize the problem you are solving for customers, your solution, the target market, the founding team, and financial forecast highlights. By channel I mean both the distribution network online, owned stores, third party network, door to door, etc.
For example, are you the premium brand? Key Assets and IP The idea behind this section is to identify or dismiss any operational risks that could arise on the asset side. For example, you might choose radio advertising, or online pay-per-click ads, or press releases, and so on.