It is important for the reader to thoroughly understand your product offering or the services you currently provide or plan on providing. However, it is important to explain this section in layman's terms to avoid confusion.
Do not overwhelm the reader with technical explanations or industry jargon that he or she will not be familiar with.
It is important to discuss the competitive advantage your product or service has over the competition. Or, if you are entering a new market, you should answer why there is a need for your offering. If appropriate, discuss any patents, copyrights and trademarks the company currently owns or has recently applied for and discuss any confidential and non-disclosure protection the company has secured.
Discuss any barriers that you face in bringing the product to market, such as government regulations, competing products, high product development costs, the need for manufacturing materials, etc. Areas that should be covered in this section include: Is your product or service already on the market or is it still in the research and development stage? If you are still in the development stage, what is the roll out strategy or timeline to bring the product to market?
What makes your product or service unique? What competitive advantage does the product or service have over its competition? Can you price the product or service competitively and still maintain a healthy profit margin?
Investors look for management teams with a thorough knowledge of their target market. If you are launching a new product, include your marketing research data. If you have existing customers, provide an analysis of who your customers are, their purchasing habits, their buying cycle.
For more information, see these companion articles: This section of the plan is extremely important, because if there is no need or desire for your product or service there won't be any customers. If a business has no customers, there is no business.
This section of the plan should include: A general description of your market The niche you plan on capitalizing on and why The size of the niche market. Include supporting documentation A statement and supporting documentation as to why you believe there is a need for your product or offering by this market What percentage of the market do you project you can capture?
What is the growth potential of the market? Include supporting documentation Will your share of the market increase or decrease as the market grows? How will you satisfy the growth of the market? How will you price your goods or services in the growing competitive market? Once you have identified who your market is, you'll need to explain your strategy for reaching the market and distributing your product or service.
Potential investors will look at this section carefully to make sure there is a viable method to reach the target market identified at a price point that makes sense. Analyze your competitors' marketing strategies to learn how they reach the market. If their strategy is working, consider adopting a similar plan.
If there is room for improvement -- work on creating an innovative plan that will position your product or service in the minds of your potential customers. The most effective marketing strategies typically integrate multiple mediums or promotional strategies to reach the market. The following are some promotional options to consider. For more in-depth information on these media, see the article called Create a Promotional Package.
TV Radio Print Web Direct mail Trade shows Public relations Promotional materials Telephone sales One-on-one sales Strategic alliances If you have current samples of marketing materials or strategies that have proved successful, make sure you include them with your plan.
Developing an innovative marketing plan is critical to your company's success. Investors look favorably upon creative strategies that will put your product or service in front of potential customers. Spend time developing this section.
Once you have identified how you will reach the market, discuss in detail your strategy for distributing the product or service to your customers. Will you mail order, personally deliver, hire sales reps, contract with distributors or resellers, etc.? Understanding your competition's strengths and weaknesses is critical for establishing your product's or service's competitive advantage.
If you find a competitor is struggling, you need to know why, so you don't make the same mistake. If your competitors are highly successful, you'll want to identify why. You'll also want to explain why there is room for another player in the market. Specific areas to address in this section are: Identify your closest competitors. Where are they located? What are their revenues? How long have they been in business? Define their target market. What percentage of the market do they currently have?
How do your operations differ from your competition? What do they do well? Where is there room for improvement? In what ways is your business superior to the competition? How is their business doing? Is it scaling back? How are their operations similar to yours and how do they differ? Are there certain areas of the business where the competition surpasses you? If so, what are those areas and how do you plan on compensating?
Analyzing your competitors should be an ongoing practice. Knowing your competition will allow you to become more motivated to succeed, efficient and effective in the marketplace. Now that you have had an opportunity to really sell your idea and wow potential investors, the next question on their mind is how will you implement the idea.
What resources and processes are necessary to get the product to market? You'll want to provide a roll out strategy as to when these requirements need to be purchased and implemented. Your financials should reflect your roll out plan. In addition, describe the vendors you will need to build the business. Do you have current relationships or do you need to establish new ones? Who will you choose and why? For most investors the experience and quality of the management team is the most important aspect they evaluate when investing in a company.
Investors must feel confident that the management team knows its market, product and has the ability to implement the plan. In essence, your plan must communicate management's capabilities in obtaining the objectives outlined in the plan. If this area is lacking, your chances for obtaining financing are bleak. If your team lacks in a critical area, identify how you plan on compensating for the void. Whether it is additional training required or additional management staff needed, show that you know the problem exists, and provide your options for solutions.
When preparing this section of the business plan you should address the following five areas: Personal history of the principals: Business background of the principals Past experience -- tracking successes, responsibilities and capabilities Educational background formal and informal Personal data: Who will do what and why Organizational chart with chain of command and listing of duties Who is responsible for the final decisions? A simple statement of what management will be paid by position Listing of bonuses in realistic terms Benefits medical, life insurance, disability Resources available to your business: Insurance broker s Lawyer Accountant Consulting group s Small Business Association Local business information centers Chambers of Commerce Local colleges and universities Federal, state, and local agencies Board of Directors World Wide Web various search engines Banker Personnel The success of a business can often be measured by its employees.
Seventy percent of consumers will go elsewhere if they don't receive prompt and courteous service. You must consider the following questions in completing this section of the business plan: What are your current personnel needs full or part-time?
How many employees do you envision in the near future and then in the next three to five years? What skills must your employees have? What will their job descriptions be?
Are the people you need readily available and how will you attract them? Will you be paying salaries or hourly wages? We offer several different business plan packages that meet most needs; however, please contact us if you do not see what you need. EB5 Visa Business Plan. E-2 Visa Business Plan. L-1 Visa Business Plan. Showing all 8 results. I agree to the Terms of Service. Showing all 8 results Sort by popularity Sort by newness Sort by price: Question or Need Contact?
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This easy-to-use ONLINE Business Planning guide will take you through the steps needed to create a business plan. It can help you prepare a business plan for your company, no matter what size. It can help you prepare a business plan for your company, no matter what size.
This is especially true if you are seeking financing. A thorough business plan will have the information to serve as a financial proposal and should be accepted by most lenders. Back to Outline. II. Who Should Write the Business Plan? You, the owner of the business, should write the plan.
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