within this subheading, you can briefly explain your statement of
purpose, such as: Our surveys have found most entrepreneurs to be
"sadly" lacking in basic information that will enable them to
achieve success. This market is estimated at more than 100 million
persons, with at least half of these people actively
"searching" for sources that provide the kind of information
they want, and need.
business, advertising and publishing experience, it is our goal to
capture at least half of this market of information seekers, with our
publication, MONEY MAKING MAGIC !
Our market research indicates
we can achieve this goal, and realise a profit of $1,000,000 per year
within the next 5 years ... The above example is generally the way you
should write your "explanation of purpose," and in subtle
definition, why you need such an explanation.
remember: Keep it short. Very few business purpose explanations are
justifiably more than a half page long.
your table of contents page. Don't really worry about this one until
you've got the entire plan completed and ready for final typing. It's a
good idea though, to list the subjects (chapter titles) as I have, and
then check off each one as you complete that part of your plan.
By having a
list of the points you want to cover, you'll also be able to skip around
and work on each phase of your business plan as the idea or the interest
in organising that particular phase, stimulates you. In other words, you
won't have to make your thinking or your planning conform to the
chronological order of the "chapters" of your business plan -
another reason for the loose leaf notebook ...
describing your business, it's best to begin where your statement of
purpose leaves off. Describe your product, the production process, who
has responsibility for what, and most importantly, what makes you
product or service unique - what gives it an edge in your market. You
can briefly summarise your business beginnings, present position and
potential for future success, as well.
describe the buyers you're trying to reach - why they need and want or
will buy your product - and the results of any tests or surveys you may
have conducted. Once you've defined your market, go on to explain how
you intend to reach that market - how you'll alert these prospects to
your product or service and induce them to buy.
want to break this chapter down into sections such as publicity and
promotions, advertising plans, direct sales force, and dealer /
distributor programs. Each section would then be an outline of your
plans and policies.
the chapter on competition, identify who your competitors are their
weaknesses and strong points - explain how you intend to capitalise on
those weaknesses and match or better the strong points. Talk to as many
of your "indirect" competitors as possible - those operating
in different cities and states.
One of the
easiest ways of gathering a lot of useful information about your
competitors is by developing a series of survey questions and sending
these questionnaires out to each of them.
you might want to compile the answers to these questionnaires into some
form of directory or report on this type of business.
advisable to contact the trade associations and publications serving
your proposed type of, business. For information on trade associations
and specific trade publications, visit your public library, and after
explaining what you want, ask for the librarian's help.
on management should be an elaboration on the people operating the
business. Those people that actually run the business - their job
titles, duties, responsibilities and backfilled resumes.
important that you "paint" a strong picture of your top
management people because the people coming to work for you or investing
in your business, will be "investing in these people" as much
as your product ideas. Individual tenacity, mature judgement under fire,
and innovative problem-solving have "won over" more people
than all the AAA Credit Ratings and astronomical sales figures put
becoming involved with any new venture want to know that the person in
charge - the guy running the business knows what he's doing, will not
lose his cool when problems arise, and has what it takes to make money
for all of them. After showing the "muscle" of this person, go
on to outline the other key positions within your business; who the
persons are you've selected to handle those jobs and the sources as well
as availability of any other help you might need.
been in business on any kind of scale, the next chapter is a picture of
your financial status, a review of your operating costs and income from
the business to date. Generally, this is a listing of your profit &
loss statements for the past six months, plus copies of your business
income tax: records for each of the previous three years the business
has been an entity.
on the explanation of your plans for the future growth of your business
is just that an explanation of how you plan to keep your business
growing - a detailed guide of what you're going to do, and how you're
going to increase your profits.
should show your goals for the coming year, two years, and three years.
By breaking your objectives down into annual milestones, your plans will
be accepted as more realistic &, be more understandable as a part of
your ultimate success.
this explanation, you'll need to itemise the projected cost and income
figures of your three year plan. It'll take a lot of research, and
undoubtedly a good deal of erasing, but it's very important that you
list these figures based upon thorough investigation. You may have to
adjust some of your plans downward, but once you've got these two
chapters on paper, your whole business plan will fall into line and
begin to make sense. You'll have a precise "map" of where
you're headed, how much it's going to cost, when you can expect to start
making money, and how much.
you know where you're going, how much it's going to cost and how long
it's going to be before you begin to recoup your investment, you're
ready to talk about how and where you're going to get the money to
finance your journey. Unless you're independently wealthy, you'll want
to use this chapter to list the possibilities and alternatives.
Make a list
of friends you can approach, and perhaps induce to put up some money as
silent partners. Make a list of those people you might be able to sell
as stockholders in your company - in many cases you can sell up to
$300,000 worth of stock on a "private issue" basis without
filing papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Check with a
corporate or tax attorney in your area for more details. Make a list of
relatives and friends that might help you with an outright loan to
furnish money for the development of your business.
out and make a list of venture capital organizations. Visit the Small
Business Administration office in your area - pick up the loan
application papers they have - read them, study them, and even fill them
out on a preliminary basis - and finally, check the costs, determine
which business publications would be best to advertise in, if you were
to advertise for a partner or investor, and write an ad you'd want to
use if you did decide to advertise for monetary help.
listing of all the options available to your needs, all that's left is
the arranging of these options in the order you would want to use them
when the time comes to ask for money. When you're researching these
money sources, you'll save time by noting the "contact" to
deal with when you want money, and whenever possible, by developing a
working relationship with these people.
documentation section, you should have a credit report on yourself. Use
the yellow pages or check at the credit department in your bank for the
nearest credit reporting office. When, you get your credit report, look
it over ant take whatever steps are necessary to eliminate any negative
have been taken care of, ask for a revised copy of your report &
include a copy of that in your business plan.
If you own
any patents or copyrights, include copies of these. Any licenses to use
someone else's patent or copyright should also be included. If you own
distribution, wholesale or exclusive sales rights to a product, include
copies of this documentation. You should also include copies of any
leases, special agreements or other legal papers that might be pertinent
to your business.
conclusion, write out a brief, overall summary of your business - when
the business was started, the purpose of the business, what makes your
business different, how you're going to gain a profitable share of the
market, and your expected success during the coming 5-years ...
page of your business plan is a "courtesy page" listing the
names, addresses and phone numbers of personal and business references -
persons who have known you closely for the past five years or longer -
and companies or firms you've had business or credit dealings with
during the past five years.
it - your complete business plan. Before you send it out for formal
typing, read it over once a day for a week or ten days. Take care of any
changes or corrections, and then have it reviewed by a solicitor and
then, an accountant.
also be a good idea to have it reviewed by a business consultant serving
the business community to which your business will be related. After
these reviews, and any last-minute changes you want to make, it'll be
ready for formal typing.
- Hire a professional typist to type the
entire plan on ordinary white bond paper.
- Make sure you proof-read it against the
Check for and correct any
typographical errors then one more time - read it through for
clarity and the perfection you want of it.
ready to have it printed and published for whatever use you have planned
for it - distribution amongst your partners or stockholders, as the
business plan for putting together a winning financial proposal, or as a
business operating manual.
to a quality printed in your area, and have three copies printed. Don't
settle for photocopying (Have it printed!) Photocopying leaves a
slight film on the paper, and will detract from the overall
professionalism of your business plan, when presented to someone you're
trying to impress. So, after going to all this work to put it together
properly, go all the way and have it duplicated properly.
by a stationery store, variety store, and pick up an ordinary,
inexpensive bind-in theme cover for each copy of your business plan.
Have the holes punched in the pages of your business report to fit these
binders & then slip each copy into a binder of its own.