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Components of a Business Plan

Monday, November 15, 2004
We have sufficient information to get started with our Business Plan. There are missing bits and pieces, we will gather those pieces as we progress with the plan. When an entrepreneur goes to a Venture Capitalist with a Business Plan, both are strangers to each other. Business Plan has to be really impressive to break the ice and get Venture capitalist interested. I will list key components of a business plan along with brief description, then define and create each component in upcoming postings. The components are as follows:

Executive Summary: This component is so important that it is listed before Table of Contents. VC reads this summary first and if it piques his interest, he may read rest of the plan

Table of Contents: Although this is second on the list, it can be complete only when all sections are done.

Company Description: This is where you can brag about the company and it must be done factually. Be honest and remember, Venture capitalist has seen enough plans to distinguish between the plans.

Product/Service:Describe the product/service in layman terms, without any jargon. Put yourself in the shoes of VC and ask yourself if you would invest large sum of money in the product/service described to you.

Market Analysis: Here you have to demonstrate that you are a old hat who knows practically all the aspects of the business. Tonnes of research is required and VCs love the research. Demonstrate how similar products and services have done well in the market and justify your claims.

Marketing Plan: Detail your selling strategies, evaluate your competition and suggest ways to overcome that competition in this component

Operations Plan: Build a solid foundation and eliminate the vagaries, which may appear in your Executive summary. Document nuts and bolts of the business operation here.

Financial Plan:The numbers game! You have to play it right by stating cash flows, profit and loss, balance sheet and sales forecasting.

Management: Propose a strong management team with summary resumes. Remember, people make the difference.

Exit Strategy: Always propose an exit plan to safeguard a path for Investor. It gives reassurance that end-result of the proposed business is either a merger or an acquisition or more exotic result i.e. Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Appendices:This is the place to insert necessary material, like manager resumes, promotional material, product photos and independent assessments.
11/15/2004 11:18:00 PM :: ::
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