Your Start Up Business Plan should be crisp, hard hitting and get you results. This is how you need to create it:
This is the most important part of any business plan. Probably the best way to explain it is to say what it isn’t. It is not a preface or a random collection of your thoughts as a new entrepreneur. It is neither an introduction nor an abstract of your business plan. Confused already? Well, let’s see what we can do about that.
An executive summary is a miniature of your start up business plan It stands alone and explains all the aspects of your business plan in brief. It’s important for the summary to be interesting and exciting as this will encourage investors. After reading this, you might be eager to write a fantastic executive summary. But remember, a well written summary should not exceed three pages. If you are successful in focusing on the essentials in the summary, you have made a perfect beginning.
Table of Contents
While this follows the executive summary, the table of contents should be made only after you finalize all other sections. Double check that the contents are well organized and that the pages are correctly numbered. Try to fit it into a single page.
Now here’s your chance to make those rah-rah statements. Describe the mission and vision of the company in this section. Also, it’s very important to introduce the key people behind the business, when you write a start up business plan. If the business has been around for a while, this is a good place to remind readers of past highlights – for example patented inventions or product innovations which the company may be known for.
Products and Services
Cover important aspects of product features and resulting benefits. Differentiate your products from the “me-toos” in the market. Put yourself in the investors’ shoes and be sure to present all the information that they will be looking for. Again, talk about patents and copyrights if any.
Present incisive analyses of the market in terms of growth, competitors, customers, demand/supply and future trends. Then share your views on how you would like to position your business. Take particular care with this section when you write a start up business plan, as this along with the capability of the leadership team will determine whether the investors will bite or not. Put in a variety of graphs and tables to facilitate quicker understanding and also break the monotony.
You will now have to throw light on your marketing strategies. The marketing plan should include a description of the target segment and a road map of how the company will sell to it. It’s a wise idea to always put the cost effective marketing tactic first before presenting an expensive alternative.
Time to talk about the nuts and bolts of the business. The investor will want to sniff around this for sure. Talk specifics – machinery and equipment needed, labor requirement, manufacturing and service processes etc.
Naturally, the financial plan is of extreme importance to potential investors. So far, you’ve talked ideas, strategies and concepts. Nows the time to put your money where your mouth is! Include detailed financial statements and projections of payback period and returns. Talk about how you intend to fund the business, and how much you will personally invest.
Most investors base their decision on the quality of leadership, so never underestimate the collective worth of your team. Investors expect a good team of professionals with experience and expertise in the current field of business. Your chances of earning brownie points are higher if somebody in the team has enjoyed a well-known entrepreneurial success.
Strange place to talk about this, isn’t it? But this is a very important consideration for investors like venture firms, who don’t intend to remain invested forever. Unless you present them with a viable and attractive exit route, chances of attracting a million dollar investment are slim.
Put together all those necessary extra bits here. Include supporting documents like management resumes, product and location photographs, promotional material etc.
Lastly, don’t panic! You’re just about getting started. When you write your start up business plan, initially make an outline and fill the details by and by. Its easier than you think!