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Sections of a Business Plan

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Chapter 1 - Executive Summary

1.- Description: We describe your business and highlight the key features of your products and services.

2.- Ownership and Management: We describe the organizational structure, ownership, and key management team of your business.

3.- Key Initiatives and Objectives: We highlight the key initiatives and objectives that are outlined in your business plan.

4.- Marketing Opportunities: We provide an overview of the marketing opportunities for your business.

5.- Competitive Advantages: We summarize the main competitive advantages of your business.

6.- Marketing Strategy: We describe the key components of your marketing strategy.

7.- Summary of Financial Projections: We summarize the highlights of your financial plan such as your projected revenues and net income.

Chapter 2 - Business Overview

1.- Business History: Readers will first want to know about the history of your business. If you have an existing business, we describe when and by whom the business was started and any major changes that have occurred in the business. If this is a new business, we highlight some of the reasons why you would like to start this specific business.

2.- Vision and Mission Statements: It is important to have a long-term vision of what you want your business to become. Some businesses use their vision and mission statement to highlight their business strategies and philosophies or to show the importance that their business places on developing good relationships with customers and employees.

3.- Objectives: It is also important to have objectives so that you can measure how well your business is doing in the short term. You can set objectives for desired market position (for example, we want to be the largest repair shop in town), sales (we want sales to increase by 25% over the next twelve months), profitability (we want to improve profitability by 5% this year), or any other goal which is important to your business. Your objectives should be simple factual statements that are measurable.

4.- Ownership: Is your business a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation? What is the legal name of your business and who are the principal owners?

5.- Location and Facilities: We discuss where your business is located and what facilities you have. You may wish to include the company address and a description of your site, the size of your facility, your equipment, and your lease arrangements. In addition, explain how the location of your business adds to the success of the business.

Chapter 3 - Products and Services

1.- Description of Products and Services: We describe the products and/or services that your business will be selling.

2.- Key Features of the Products and Services: Why will customers buy your products and/or services instead of another company's? We explain what makes your products and/or services unique in the marketplace and how they will differ from those of your competitors.

3.- Production of Products and Services: We describe how your products or services will be produced. You may wish to highlight the resources used (both human resources and materials) and the process involved in the production of your products and services.

4.- Future Products and Services: Do you have any plans to update existing products or to offer new products and/or services in the next three to five years? If yes, we provide a brief description of what you plan to do.

5.- Comparative Advantages in Production: Is there anything about your production capabilities that may give you an advantage over your competition? For example, do you have specialized skills, new technology, access to cheaper materials, or low overhead costs? If nothing comes to mind, we leave this question blank.

Chapter 4 - Industry Overview

1.- Market Research: When writing a business plan, it is important to have a good understanding of the industry in which you will operate. We discuss what research you did to write your business plan. For example, have you surveyed current and potential customers, reviewed research reports and statistics prepared by others, read magazine and newspaper articles, or spoken to people particularly knowledgeable about the industry?

2.- Size of the Industry: How big is the industry your business will operate in? Size can be defined in many ways including sales, the number of units sold, number of producers, and/or total employment. We highlight any statistics you have on how fast the industry is growing and discuss the size of the industry in the particular area that will be served by your business.

3.- Key Product Segments: Industries can be divided into a number of product segments. For example, product segments within the automobile industry includes cars, trucks, vans, and recreational vehicles. We divide your industry into key product segments, highlighting the size and characteristics of the segments your business will compete in.

4.- Key Market Segments: Industries can also be divided by market segments. Who do the businesses within your industry sell products and/or services to? We divide the market into customer groups, highlighting the size and characteristics of those groups. For example, markets can be grouped by type of customer, geography, or other characteristics. Segment the markets on the basis that makes the most sense for your business.

5.- Purchase Process and Buying Criteria: It is important to know how and why customers purchase products like yours. For example, how important are price, quality, warranties and/or service support important in customer buying decisions? We discuss how the purchase process and buying criteria may vary by each of the market segments or product segments.

6.- Description of Industry Participants: We describe the types of businesses that compete in your industry. For example, where are they located, how broad are their product and service lines, how large are they, and how do they distribute their products?

7.- Key Industry Trends: The only thing that is constant in business is change. What are the key trends in your industry? These trends could include changes in technology, products, markets, regulations, or economic conditions. What trends will affect the supply of, or demand for, your products/services? We highlight the factors and trends that could have the largest impact on your business.

8.- Industry Outlook: For your industry, we discuss what types of products have the greatest opportunities for growth over the next three to five years and why? What products or product groups are expected to see a decline in sales?

Chapter 5 - Marketing Strategy

1.- Target Markets: In the last section we described the key market segments within your industry. Which of these customer groups or market segments will your business specifically target? You can define your target markets both by type of customer and by geographic region. We explain how your target markets may change during the term of the business plan.

2.- Description of Key Competitors: There will be other businesses or competitors who are also competing for these target markets. We list your key competitors and provide a brief description of their businesses in terms of location, products and services, marketing strategies, and market position.

3.- Analysis of Competitive Position: Now we want to compare your business to your competitors. In what ways you will have an advantage over your competitors and in what ways will you be at a competitive disadvantage? In which markets will you have the greatest competitive advantage?

4.- Pricing Strategy: We discuss how you will price your products and services. How will the pricing of your products and services compare to that of your competitors? For example, will you follow a penetration pricing policy (where you offer low prices in order to generate higher sales volumes)?

5.- Promotion Strategy: Having a good product and/or service is no guarantee of success. You have to make potential customers aware of your products and tell them how and where they can buy them. Here, we describe how you will create awareness of your products and services. We also highlight the types of promotional activities you will undertake such as media advertising, trade shows, direct mail, sales calls and any other means of promotion that you will use to reach your target markets.

6.- Placement and Distribution Strategy: How will you distribute your products and/or services to your target markets? We discuss where your customers will be able to buy your product and/or service, and how you will provide customer service and after sales support.

Chapter 6 - Operations, Management and Staffing

1.- Manufacturing Processes: We explain the manufacturing process of your product. If necessary, we add graphs, charts and pictures to illustrate this process.

2.- Retail Processes: We explain the manufacturing process of your product. If necessary, we add graphs, charts and pictures to illustrate this process.

3.- Procurement: We discuss the insights of your purchasing processes.

4.- Organizational Structure: We describe the management and staffing structure of your business. We discuss how many employees you currently have and how many you expect to have over the next three years. What are the key positions within your business and what are the reporting relationships between those positions?

5.- Management Team: Who are the key people on your management team? We list and give a brief description of each member of your management team including their position, key functions, and relevant experience. We attach resumes for each member of the management team to the end of the business plan. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the management team (including any positions which are not currently filled) and how these weaknesses will be dealt with.

6.- Staffing: We discuss how you will fill the key non-management jobs within your business. We highlight the qualifications and level of experience you will require, the wage rates and benefits you will pay, and what training you will provide.

7.- Labour Market Issues: We discuss any factors that could affect your ability to find, hire and keep employees.

Chapter 7 - Regulatory Issues

1.- Intellectual Property Protection: Will your products, services or processes be protected by patents, copyrights, and trademarks? If so, we describe what is covered. If no, we leave this section blank.

2.- Regulatory Issues: What other regulatory issues could directly affect your operations? For example, are you in a regulated industry? Will your business require licenses and permits? What steps are you taking to address these issues?

Chapter 8 - Contingency Plan

1.- Market Risks: Are there any events that could affect your customers' need or demand for your products and/or services during the term of the business plan? If yes, we discuss how likely it is that these events will occur and what steps you will take to limit the impact should these events occur.

2.- Other Risks: Discuss any other risks that could affect the success of your business and how you will overcome them.

3.- SWOT Analysis: We provide a very thorough analysis of your strengths, weakenesses, opportunities and threats to the business.

Chapter 9 - Implementation Plan

1.- Implementation Activities and Dates: When will the key activities and initiatives in your business plan be implemented and who will be responsible for their implementation?

Chapter 10 - Financial Plan

1.- Pro-Forma Income Statement: The Income Statement is one of the financial statements of a company and shows the company's revenues and expenses during a particular period. It indicates how the revenues are transformed into the net income. It displays the revenues recognized for a specific period, and the cost and expenses charged against these revenues, including write-offs (e.g., depreciation and amortization of various assets) and taxes. The purpose of the income statement is to show managers and investors whether the company made or lost money during the period being reported.

2.- Monthly and Yearly Projected Cash Flow Statement: The Cash Flow Statement is a financial statement that shows how changes in balance sheet accounts and income affect cash and cash equivalents, and breaks the analysis down to operating, investing, and financing activities. Essentially, the cash flow statement is concerned with the flow of cash in and out of the business. As an analytical tool, the statement of cash flows is useful in determining the short-term viability of a company, particularly its ability to pay bills.

3.- Pro-Forma Balance Sheet: In financial accounting, a balance sheet or statement of financial position is a summary of the financial balances of a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation or other business organization, such as an LLC or an LLP. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity are listed as of a specific date, such as the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a "snapshot of a company's financial condition".

4.- Financial Ratios: A financial ratio is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from the financial statements. Often used in accounting, there are many standard ratios used to try to evaluate the overall financial condition of a corporation or other organization.

Appendix A - Additional Information

Resumes

Floor Plans

Indirect Competition

Company Website

Business Stationary

Product Packaging

Target Retail Locations

Break Even Analysis

Equipment

Etc.

Appendix B - Financial Assumptions

Revenue Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your revenues assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Assumptions Regarding the Collection of Sales Revenue: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your collection of sales assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Cost of Sales Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your cost of sales assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Sales and Marketing Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your sales and marketing assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Property and Utilities Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your property and utilities assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Operations Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your operations assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Administrative Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your administrative assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Wage Assumptions: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your wage assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Other Sources of Funding: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your sources of funding assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Other Uses of Funding: We provide background information explaining the rationale behind your uses of funding assumptions. This supporting information is presented in layman terms so that your target audience can easily understand the rationale behind your data.

Appendix C - References

Reference #1

Reference #2

Reference #3

Etc.

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