A Business Plan is a framework of comprehensive set of factors that drive the business. Business Plans should vary depending on the nature of your business. Though there is no hard and fast rule to present a Business Plan, typically a good Business plan for a start-up should have the following framework:
Executive Summary: This part of the Business Plan is written in the last but is usually presented first, as the investors and business partners look at this document first. Executive Summary is the highlight of the important aspects of your entire business plan.
Description of the Company: Company description will consists of the mission and the vision statements with a brief description about the nature of business of your start-up company.
Product and/or Services Description: In this part you should include the description of the product and/or services to be offered.
Details about Management Team: As the name suggests, give out complete details of the core team, highlighting their experiences and qualifications and any other profile details that would sell. You should keep in mind, that most of the time it is ‘the team’ (and next cash flow analysis) that takes away the highest weightage by the investors or business experts, before they take the decision to invest.
Business Viability Analysis: If you are a start-up, then this part of the Business Plan should be presented in-depth. A typical Business Viability Analysis (BVA) will show if the start-up business is worth pursuing or not. Some of the factors against which an in-depth BVA analysis is presented are competition, total available market, entry barriers in the industry segment, strengths and opportunities for the start-up (uniqueness of the product or service offering), target market segmentation, costs for starting-up, milestones to be achieved to reach break-even and the profile of the core team.
Implementation Strategies: In this section you should try to include the Marketing and Sales strategy as well as organizational structure with clearly defined roles for the top management or the core team.
Financial Analysis: This section will be very significant in presenting a Business Plan of a start-up to any investor or business partner. The important factor will be the cash flow analysis, which will determine the way you intend to manage the funds for a start-up when there is no revenue, and when you are going to cross the break-even and start generating profits. Though it should also have sales forecasting and P & L, but for a start-up the cash flow analysis is more important.
Why have a Business Plan?
Many wanna-be entrepreneurs have the flowcharts in their minds. Put putting it on paper and in the form of a Business Plan, will help you show the areas which need tweaking. It will help you consolidate complete perspective of your start-up business in black and white and help you to reallocate resources optimally and set business priorities such that you come to viable business solution.
At What Stage of Business do You Need a Business Plan?
A Business Plan is not just needed when you are starting out. It is needed to guide you and the other core team members as your business moves along. The Business Plan will go through versions and iterations as and when deemed reasonable as the start-up progresses. At the initial stage it typically can start with Mission Statement and Company’s Vision, Break-even Analysis, Product or Service Description, Market Analysis, Sales forecasting, Cash Flow Analysis and Core Team Division.
|About Mridula: Mridula is a freelance writer. She writes on Entrepreneurship and has worked for a start-up in the past. To know more check out her profile at LinkedIn/Mridula Velagapudi|