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Business Plan Outline

PRINCIPAL ________________________

NAME OF BUSINESS______________
ADDRESS __________________________ ADDRESS _________________________
PHONE _____________________________ PHONE ___________________________

BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE / SUMMARY

(Please use supplemental sheets as needed)

I. Introduction

A. Proposed Product (s) or Services (s)

Product (s) Type: _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

B. Type Of Business

_____ Sales

_____ Service

_____ Manufacturing

_____ Contract

_____ Subcontract

C. Ownership

_____ Sole Proprietorship

_____ Partnership (Type) : _________________________________________

_____ Corporation (Type) : _________________________________________

_________________________________________________

D. Description of Product (s) or Services (s)

_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________

II. Marketing

A. Research

1. Describe your market area (city, county, state, etc.)

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

2. Assess the demand for your product or service:

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

B. Pricing Philosophy and Policies

1. Describe your pricing:

___________________________________________________

___________________________________________________

III. Administration

A. Personnel (Describe staffing) - How many employees will you have?

B. Insurance- Do you have business owners insurance? If so, what limits do you carry?

C. Legal, and other consultants- Do you have a lawyer or other consultants? If so, please list:

IV. Finance

A. Who will do your bookkeeping?

B. Do you have derogatory credit? If so, please give a brief explanation.

Attachments

Projected Income Statement - At
Balance Sheet - A
Projected Start-Up Expenses - A
Personal Financial Statement -
Resume'
Cash flow Projections

  • For Existing Businesses
  • Current Quarter Balance Sheet
  • Current Quarter Profit and Loss Statement
  • Copy of all Business Licenses and Certifications
  • *Plus Attachments A thru E

Writing A Business Plan

A business pan is more than important- it's a crucial foundation to your business success. While most people ignore this time-consuming task, the businesses that survives are those with well thought out business plans. Why? because your because your business plan will help you raise money for your company and successfully plan your business strategy. In addition, it will serve as a permanent reminder of your goals and expectations.

What To Include

  1. A brief history of your company and/or field. You'll want to summarize the essence of your proposed business and use examples of successful companies in your field.
  2. An executive summary. usually written last, this section is an overview of your principle products or services. Describe what makes your business unique and provide sales projections and goals. Describe any trends in the business market or economy that may affect your company.
  3. Production and personnel. Describe your production process. List what special skills are needed. List key personnel and include brief biographies or resume's for each.
  4. Products and services. provide a clear description of what you want to sell. List your principle vendors and suppliers. Itemize materials and supplies, including storage requirements.
  5. Marketing and sales analysis. Analyze your target market, including information on niches, segmentation, and your competition. Identify your market demographics including age, sex, geography, minority group status, and/or income.
  6. Competition. Identify your competition. Is your field already saturated? Compare your prices and production with the competition.
  7. Financial reports. Have your accountant generate a projected profit and loss statement, including sales, cost of goods, overhead, marketing expenses and taxes. How much will you earn in the first year, in the first three years.
  8. Enclosures. This is where you really get to strut your stuff. Include product literature, graphs, and charts, samples exhibits, letters of recommendations, and anything else that will enhance your credibility and creditability.
  9. Be concise. It's important that your business plan be written clearly and concisely. Another must is to emphasize the uniqueness of your company. Once written, review your business plan at least once a month. You should also revise the plan as you grow.

How To Develop A Business Plan

If you were driving from South Florida to Los Angeles, you'd be sure to carry a road map. For an entrepreneur thinking about a new venture, a business plan provides a similar guide for success. " A lot of entrepreneurs want to run a company by the seat of their pants," says Jeanne Becker, president of Becker Consulting Services in Coral Gables. " Having a written plan helps you think our all the possibilities and improves your chances."

A carefully structured business plan outlines the resources needed to launch a new business and how you intend to succeed. It should include the following:

A summary, the purpose of the plan and a preview of the specifics within the plan.
Product or service description, including the features of the product or service, the results of test marketing and a comparison to your competition.


Marketing and sales strategies that allow you to reach your market, including pricing, advertising and promoting your product or service.
Operating strategies, such as how the business will be run. This section will include complete background of all key personnel, and a description of how the business will operate.
Financial projections for the next three years, including the money required to start, cash flow and income estimates and monthly and quarterly balance sheets.

"Generally, it takes 50 to 100 hours of your time to do a plan," says Marvin Nesbit, director of the Small Business Development Center at Florida International University. "But the owner should be very involved in the planning process. He will be far more inclined to use the plan if he actually develops it." Although experts say every entrepreneur should prepare a business plan, local business analysts estimate that only 10 to 20 percent actually take the time to do so. "Lack of a business plan is one of the top five reasons a small business will fail," says Martin Zients, business analyst at the Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale. Most of the time, a business plan is used to raise money, secure a loan or open a line of credit. Occasionally, it may be shown to a government agency as part of a zoning proposal or other request.

An entrepreneur who wants to put together a business plan has several options:

Write it himself. This involves the entrepreneur to the greatest extent possible, with lowest out-of-pocket expense. The disadvantage: lack of a second opinion.
Use a book or software program. For under $100.00, an entrepreneur can purchase a manual or computer program that will guide her through the process of writing a business plan. "A manual can provide an excellent guide to preparing a plan," Nesbit says. "There's not a great deal of difference in the books."

However, software programs vary widely, so an entrepreneur should shop around, Zients says. "Some programs are nothing more than fill-in-the blanks. Others force you to do some creative thinking and writing. A few programs have complex financial sections that are incomprehensible to a small business person."

Hire a consultant. An entrepreneur could work with an accountant to develop the financial projections, a marketing expert to assist with the sales strategy, or a consultant who will write the business plan. Consulting fees may range from nothing when counseling is provided by a government-supported Small Business Center to $1,500 or more when a private consultant is used. Becker says a consultant can play a valuable role as an objective third party. "Sometimes a business idea just doesn't make sense. It's far better to know that while you're still in the planning stage."

Has the consultant prepared any business plans that succeeded in generating money?
Does the consultant have experience in your business or has she ever been an entrepreneur?
Does the consultant work from a pre-formatted business plan-which may not meet your specific needs- or does the consultant start from scratch each time?
What are the fees?
Who will supply the information- the entrepreneur or consultant?

If you use a consultant, be sure the person has a background in small business. "In theory, preparing a business plan for IBM or Motorola is the same as one for a ma and-pa business," Zients says. "But the finished product is very different. A consultant needs to think in terms of small business people." Although preparing a business plan can be an important factor in the success of a new venture, the plan itself offers no guarantees. "Implementation is far more important," Nesbit says. "You can have a beautiful plan, but if you don't execute it well, it won't do you any good."

 

Business Plan Questions

  1. Do you have a business plan? (if yes, is it updated?)
  2. What type of business is this?
  3. Have you identified your competitors?
  4. Are there any partners?
  5. What will be the legal description of your business?
  6. How much cash do you have available?
  7. Have you selected a location? Have you considered its proximity to your competitors?
  8. Have you selected your management team?
  9. Do you know what equipment is needed?
  10. Have you selected the equipment needed?
  11. Do you know the city, county or government requirements for operating this type of business?
  12. Have you considered your inventory requirements?
  13. How many locations will you have immediately?
  14. What are the requirements to operate this type of business? (educational, technical, etc.)
  15. Do you know how this type of business rates in the industry?
  16. Have you decided on the type of marketing andadvertisement you will use?
  17. Do you know the minimum accounting requirements for your industry?
  18. What names were you considering?
  19. Have you done a fictitious name search with the state to see if these names were available?
  20. Have you researched the gross profits of this industry over the last two to three years? (if so, what other research have you done on your industry)
  21. Have you selected suppliers, wholesalers, vendors, etc.?
  22. Have you itemized your assets and liabilities?
  23. Have you outlined your source of revenue and marketing methods?
  24. Have you outlined your cost of doing business?
  25. Have you attended any business seminars in the last 60 days?, if not will you attend any business seminars in the next 60 days?

Section I

  • Legal description of your business?
  • How many locations do you presently have, do you plan to have any additional locations?
  • Where is your main location/Satellite Location?
  • Describe your product or service?
  • What stage is your business in (startup, expansion, growth)?
  • When were you officially open for business?
  • How did you get started in the business?
  • What made you decide to go into this type of business?
  • Describe your qualifications to run this business
  • What is the name of your accountant, attorney, bank?, if n/a, how do you handles these functions?
  • What type of marketing avenues andtools are you currently using?
  • What type of marketing avenues andtool do you plan on using in the future?
  • How many employees do you currently have?
  • Are they full time, independent contractors, subcontractors, etc.?, What are there job descriptions?
  • How long have they been with the company?
  • What are the salaries of your employees?
  • Do you have a training program for your new employees?, existing employees
  • How do you obtain new employees?
  • How many do you plan to add in the future?, What will there positions be?
  • What are the qualifications for non laborer positioned employees?
  • Describe the "character" you want for your company
  • How many customers are you averaging a week/month?
  • Describe your mobilization?
  • How do you handle transportation andequipment failure emergencies?

Section II

  • Give me a brief summary of existing conditions in the business (the "state of the art" as it is now)
  • What types of clients uses your services?
  • Describe the projections and trends for the industry or business field
  • How are you different from your competition?

Section III

  • Describe your operating procedures
  • Are you currently using computers in your business
  • Who handles payroll?, how often are your pay periods?
  • How much inventory or supplies do you normally keep on hand?
  • How do you store andsecure your inventory?
  • Are you using computers in your business?, if not are you planning on using computers in the future?
  • How are you using computers?
  • Do you have any of the following: company benefits, leave or maternity policy, retirement, profit sharing?

Section IV

  • What is the average costs for your service?
  • How does it compare with your competition?
  • What are your prices higher or lower than your competition?
  • How do you determine how much to charge a client?
  • How do you receive payment from your clients?
  • Do you give discounts to cash clients or net 10 day clients?
  • What percentage of each job is your average profit?

Section V

  • Describe the type and value of the equipment you have
  • Describe any equipment you will need in the immediate future
  • Is this the type of equipment your competitor uses?
  • Is your current equipment up to date with the technology?
  • If not, what do you need to be up to date?

Section VI

  • Describe the advantages your company has over the competition
  • Describe the special qualities of your product or service that make it unique
  • Describe your disadvantages
  • How will you address your disadvantages?
  • State your intended strategy for meeting competition

Section VII

  • State the long-range objectives and the short-range sub-objectives of your proposed business
  • Describe your day to day goals for the company

Section VIII

  • What are the licensing/certification/professional requirements for your type of business
  • Do you meet all of the requirements
  • Do you meet the minimum wage law
  • What are the minimum safety requirements for your industry? Do you meet them?
  • What are the insurance requirements?, Do you meet them?

Section IX

  • List any joint agreements you have with other companies
  • List some vendors that supply you with supplies tools, etc.

Section X

  • Summary of your proposed marketing method
  • Describe the market segment you're aiming to reach
  • What advertising avenues do you use? (retail, wholesale, distributors, mail order, or other)

Section XI

  • Describe the segment of the market you plan to reach
  • Describe the segment of the market you plan to reach in the future
  • Have you considered any international sales/marketing
  • Do you attend any trade shows, seminars, etc, related to your business, if not are you planning to?
  • What percentage of the market are you trying to reach?

Section XII

  • Describe in a technically accurate way how the product works or how the service is used
  • State briefly your concepts for follow-on (next generation) products or services

Section XIII

  • Do you have a credit policy?, if so describe, if not do you plan to establish one?
  • How do you evaluate the quality of your customers?
  • How do you handle bad debts, insufficient funds checks, etc.?
  • Do you ever use a collection agency?
  • How often do you follow up on bad debts?
  • What strategy will you use to decrease the amount of uncollectible or high risk customers?

Section XIV

  • Does the company have adequate insurance for business interruption, fidelity, fire?
  • What is your bondable limit?

Section XV

  • State the total capital you'll need and for what reason
  • Estimate when you think you'll be able to repay this amount
  • State how much profit you expect and when you expect to show it
  • Indicate the total capital you need and how it' to be made up:
  • State the dollars in sales you aim for in each of the first three years
  • State the estimated profit for each of the first three years

Section I

  • When were you officially open for business?
  • How did you get started in the business?
  • What made you decide to go into this type of business?
  • Describe your qualifications to run this business
  • What is the name of your accountant, attorney, bank?, if n/a, how do you handles these functions?
  • What type of marketing avenues andtools are you currently using?
  • What type of marketing avenues andtool do you plan on using in the future?
  • How many employees do you currently have?
  • Are they full time, independent contractors, subcontractors, etc.?, What are there job descriptions?
  • How long have they been with the company?
  • What are the salaries of your employees?
  • Do you have a training program for your new employees?, existing employees
  • How do you obtain new employees?
  • How many do you plan to add in the future?, What will there positions be?
  • What are the qualifications for non laborer positioned employees?
  • Describe the "character" you want for your company
  • How many customers are you averaging a week/month?
  • Describe your mobilization?
  • How do you handle transportation and equipment failure emergencies?

Section II

  • Give me a brief summary of existing conditions in the business (the "state of the art" as it is now)
  • What types of clients uses your services?
  • Describe the projections and trends for the industry or business field
  • How are you different from your competition?

Section III

  • Describe your operating procedures
  • Are you currently using computers in your business
  • Who handles payroll?, how often are your pay periods?
  • How much inventory or supplies do you normally keep on hand?
  • How do you store andsecure your inventory?
  • Are you using computers in your business?, if not are you planning on using computers in the future?
  • How are you using computers?
  • Do you have any of the following: company benefits, leave or maternity policy, retirement, profit sharing?

Section IV

  • What is the average costs for your service?
  • How does it compare with your competition?
  • What are your prices higher or lower than your competition?
  • How do you determine how much to charge a client?
  • How do you receive payment from your clients?
  • Do you give discounts to cash clients or net 10 day clients?
  • What percentage of each job is your average profit?

Section V

  • Describe the type and value of the equipment you have
  • Describe any equipment you will need in the immediate future
  • Is this the type of equipment your competitor uses?
  • Is your current equipment up to date with the technology?
  • If not, what do you need to be up to date?

Section VI

  • Describe the advantages your company has over the competition
  • Describe the special qualities of your product or service that make it unique
  • Describe your disadvantages
  • How will you address your disadvantages?
  • State your intended strategy for meeting competition

Section VII

  • State the long-range objectives and the short-range sub-objectives of your proposed business
  • Describe your day to day goals for the company

Section VIII

  • What are the licensing/certification/professional requirements for your type of business
  • Do you meet all of the requirements
  • Do you meet the minimum wage law
  • What are the minimum safety requirements for your industry? Do you meet them?
  • What are the insurance requirements?, Do you meet them?

Section IX

  • List any joint agreements you have with other companies
  • List some vendors that supply you with supplies tools, etc.

Section X

  • Summary of your proposed marketing method
  • Describe the market segment you're aiming to reach
  • What advertising avenues do you use? (retail, wholesale, distributors, mail order, or other)

Section XI

  • Describe the segment of the market you plan to reach
  • Describe the segment of the market you plan to reach in the future
  • Have you considered any international sales/marketing
  • Do you attend any trade shows, seminars, etc, related to your business, if not are you planning to?
  • What percentage of the market are you trying to reach?

Section XII

  • Describe in a technically accurate way how the product works or how the service is used
  • State briefly your concepts for follow-on (next generation) products or services

Section XIII

  • Do you have a credit policy?, if so describe, if not do you plan to establish one?
  • How do you evaluate the quality of your customers?
  • How do you handle bad debts, insufficient funds checks, etc.?
  • Do you ever use a collection agency?
  • How often do you follow up on bad debts?
  • What strategy will you use to decrease the amount of uncollectible or high risk customers?

Section XIV

  • Does the company have adequate insurance for business interruption, fidelity, fire?
  • What is your bondable limit?

Section XV

  • State the total capital you'll need and for what reason
  • Estimate when you think you'll be able to repay this amount
  • State how much profit you expect and when you expect to show it
  • Indicate the total capital you need and how it' to be made up:
  • State the dollars in sales you aim for in each of the first three years
  • State the estimated profit for each of the first three years

 

 

 

 

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