Business Plan - Kit

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This kit provides the tools and guidelines for developing your company’s Business Plan. For use in all states.

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One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of starting a business is preparing a Business Plan. It is through the preparation of a formal Business Plan than you begin the process of refining what your business will actually be and, more importantly, how you can make it successful from the start. You will use your Business Plan for many purposes: for your own use to continually fine-tune your actual business start-up; for the purposes of obtaining financing, even it is only from family members; and for presenting your business ideas to potential shareholders, employees, investors, suppliers, and anyone else with whom you may do business. With the information you will have gathered and set down in your Plan, starting a successful business will be simplified and streamlined.

Included in this kit are the following:
· Business Plan Worksheet
· Marketing Plan Worksheet, with Instructions
· Financing Plan Worksheet, with Instructions
· Sample Executive Summary, with Instructions
· Instructions for Completing Your Business Plan

This Kit can be used in all states.
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.












Business Plan Kit







This Packet Includes:
1. General Information
2. Business Plan Worksheet
3. Marketing Plan Worksheet, with Instructions
4. Financing Plan Worksheet, with Instructions
5. Sample Executive Summary, with Instructions
6. Instructions for Completing Your Business Plan





General Information
Business Plan - Kit

This kit provides the tools and guidelines for developing your companys Business Plan.

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of starting a business is preparing a Business Plan.  It is through the preparation of a formal Business Plan than you begin the process of refining what your business will actually be and, more importantly, how you can make it successful from the start.  You will use your Business Plan for many purposes: for your own use to continually fine-tune your actual business start-up; for the purposes of obtaining financing, even it is only from family members; and for presenting your business ideas to potential shareholders, employees, investors, suppliers, and anyone else with whom you may do business.

This kit includes three worksheets to aid you in developing your Business Plan.  The first addresses the businesss overall concept and structure; the second addresses plans to market your business service or product; and the third addresses your strategy for financing your business.  Together, the three plans that you create will comprise your total Business Plan package.  Once you have completed these worksheets, you will be ready to prepare your companys Executive Summary, a concise description of your overall vision of your company.  Finally, you will then compile all of these components into a completed Business Plan package.






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Business Plan Worksheet


Preliminary Business Concept Analysis
In one sentence, describe your business concept:   
   

What is your business service or product?   

How long do you estimate that it will take to develop this service or product to the point of being ready for the public?   

What are the estimated costs of development of this product or service?   
   

Why do you think that this business concept will succeed?   
   

Who is your target market?   
   

Is this market readily identifiable?   

What are the buying patterns of this market?   
   

Is there sufficient advance interest in this type of product or service?   
   

What are your expected annual sales/revenue volumes?
   Year one:   $    
   Year two:   $    
   Year three:   $    
   Year four:   $    
   Year five:   $    


Company Description
What is your companys mission?   

What is the type of business entity of your company?   

Who will be the directors of the company?   
Who will serve as the officers of the company?
   President:      
   Vice President:      
   Treasurer:      
   Secretary:      

What will the physical location of your company be?   

Where will be the companys main place of doing business?   

Will there be any additional locations for the company?   

What geographic areas will your company serve?   

What are the long-term plans for the business? (Expand, go public, sell to competitor, etc.)      


Industry Analysis
In what industry will your company operate?   

What is the overall size of the industry?   

What is the growth rate of the industry?   

What are any seasonal or business cycles in the industry?   

What have been the main technological advances in the past five years?   
   

What are projected technological advances in the industry for the next five years?      

Do any industry standards apply to your business?   

Are there any government regulatory approvals or requirements?   
   

Are there any local or state licenses necessary for the service or product?   
   

What are the main trade or business associations in your industry?   
   

To which associations do you currently belong?   
Product or Service Analysis
Description of product or service:   

What is the main purpose of the product or service?   

Is it a luxury item or a necessity?   

What are the unique features of your product or service? (Cost, design, quality, capabilities, etc.)      

What is the life of the product or service?   

How does this product/service compare with the state-of-the-art for the industry?      

In what stage is the development of the product? (Idea, model, prototype, full production, etc.)   

Describe the companys facilities:   

How will the product be produced or the service provided?   

Is it labor or material intensive to produce or supply?   

What components or supplies are necessary to produce or supply this product?   
   

Has the service or product been the subject of any engineering or design tests?   
   

What types of quality control will be in place in the business?   
   

Are there any special technical considerations?   

What are the maintenance or updating requirements for the product/service?   
   

Can the product be copyrighted, patented, or trade- or service-marked?   

Are there other products, services, or spin-offs that will be developed and marketed in future years?   

Are there any known dangers associated with the manufacture, supply, or use of the product/service?   

What types of liabilities are posed by the product, service, or any other business operations?
   To employees:      
   To customers:      
   To suppliers:      
   To distributors:      
   To the public:      

Are there any litigation threats posed by this business?   

Are there any other problems or risks inherent in this type of business?   
   

What types of insurance coverage will be necessary for the business?   
   

What are the costs of the needed insurance coverage?   

What steps will be taken to minimize any potential liabilities, dangers, or risks?      


Business Operations
Describe the type of facilities that your business will need to operate:         

Estimate the cost of acquiring and maintaining the facilities for two years:   
   

Describe your production plan or service plan:   
   

How will orders be filled and your product or service delivered?   
   

Will you work through any wholesalers or distributors?   

Who will be the main wholesalers/distributors?   

Describe the equipment or machinery that you will need for your business:   
   

Who will be the main suppliers of this equipment?   

What are the estimated costs of obtaining this equipment?   

What type of inventory will you need?   

Who will be the main suppliers of the inventory?   

Estimate the costs of obtaining sufficient inventory for the first two years of operation:      


Management Analysis
What will be the organizational structure of the company? (Include an organizational chart)   

Who will manage the day-to-day affairs of the company?   

Describe the management style of the central manager:   
   

What are the qualifications of the main management?   

What type of workforce will be necessary for your business?   

How many employees will be needed?
   Initially:      
   First year:      
   Second year:      
   Third year:      
   Fourth year:      
   Fifth year:      

What are the job descriptions of the employees?   

What job skills will the employees need?   

Are employment and hiring/firing procedures and guidelines in place?   

What will be the hourly wages or salaries of the employees?
   Salaried:      
   Full-time:      
   Part-time:      

Will any fringe benefits be provided to employees?
   Sick pay:      
   Vacation pay:      
   Bonuses:      
   Health insurance or benefits:      
   Profit-sharing or stock options:         
   Other benefits:      

Estimate the annual cost for employee compensation for the first two years of operations:      

Will you need to contract with lawyers, accountants, consultants, designers, or specialists?      

Who will be the outside contractors you will use?   

Estimate the annual cost of outside contractors for the first two years of operations:   
   

Is the business bookkeeping system set up and working?   

Are business bank accounts set up?   

Are there administrative policies set up for billings, payments, accounts, etc.?   
   


Supporting Documentation
Do you have any professional photos of the product, equipment, or facilities?   
   

What contracts have already been signed?   

Does the company hold any patents, trademarks, or copyrights?   

Have the companys incorporation papers been filed with the state and received?   

Do you have any samples of advertising or marketing materials?   

Do you have references and resumes from each of the principals in the business?      

Do you have personal financial statements from each of the principals in the business?   

Have you prepared a time line for the companys development for the first five years?   

Have you prepared a list of the necessary equipment, with a description, supplier, and cost of each item noted?   

Have you prepared current and projected balance sheets and profit/loss statements?   

Instructions for Marketing Plan Worksheet

An integral part of the process of starting a business is preparing a Marketing Plan. Whether the business will provide a service or sell a product, it will need customers in some form. Who those customers are, how they will be identified and located, and how they will be attracted to the business are crucial to the success of any small business.  Unfortunately, it is also one part of a business start-up that is given less than its due in terms of time and effort spent to fully investigate the possibilities.  

A Business Marketing Worksheet is provided below to assist you in thinking about your business in terms of who the customers may be and how to reach them.  In many ways, looking honestly at who your customers may be and how to attract them may be the most crucial part of starting your business because if your understanding of this issue is ill-defined or unclear, your business will have a difficult time succeeding.

The Marketing Plan Worksheet is divided into four sections:

      Target Market Analysis
      Competitive Analysis
      Sales and Pricing Analysis
      Marketing Strategy


Marketing Plan Worksheet


Target Market Analysis
What is the target market for your product/service?    

What types of market research have you conducted to understand your market?    
   

What is the geographic market area you will serve?    

Describe a typical customer:
   Sex:      
   Marital status:      
   Age:      
   Income:      
   Geographic location:      
   Education:      
   Employment:      

Estimate the number of potential people in the market in your area of service:    
   

What is the growth potential for this market?    

How will you satisfy the customers needs with your product/service?    
   

Will your product/service make your customers life more comfortable?    

Will your product/service save your customers time or money or stress?    


Competitive Analysis
Who are your main competitors?    

Are there competitors in the same geographic area as your proposed business?    
   

Are the competitors successful and what is their market share?    

How long have they been in business?    
Describe your research into your competitors business operations:    
   

Are there any foreseeable new competitors?    

What are the strengths and/or weaknesses of your competitors product/service?    
   

Why is your product/service different or better than that of your competitors (or worse!)?    
   

What is the main way that you will compete with your competitors (price, quality, technology, advertising, etc.)?    

How will your customers know that your product/service is available?    
   

What is the main message that you want your potential customers to receive?    
   

Why is your product/service unique?    

How will you be able to expand your customer base over time?    


Sales and Pricing Analysis
What are your competitors prices for similar products/services?    

Are your prices higher or lower, and why?    

Will you offer any discounts for quantity or other factors?    

Will you accept checks for payment?    

Will you accept credit cards for payment?    

Will you have a sales force? Describe:    

What skills or education will the sales force need?    

Will there be sales quotas?    

Will the sales force be paid by salary, wages, or commission?    

Are there any geographic areas or limitations on your sales or distribution?    
   

Will you sell through distributors or wholesalers? Describe:    

Will there be dealer margins or wholesale discounts?    

Do you have any plans to monitor customer feedback? Describe:       

Do you have warranty, guarantee, and customer return policies? Describe:    
   

Will  any customer service be provided? Describe:    

What is your expected sales volume for the first five years?
   Year one:      
   Year two:      
   Year three:      
   Year four:      
   Year five:      


Marketing Strategy
What is your annual projected marketing budget?    

Have your companys logo, letterhead, and business cards already been designed?
    

Do you have a company slogan or descriptive phrase?    

Has packaging for your product/service been designed?    

Has signage for your facility been designed?    

Describe your advertising plans:
   Signs:      
   Brochures:      
   Catalogs:      
   Yellow Pages:      
   Magazines:      
   Trade journals:      
   Radio:      
   Television:      
   Newspapers:      
   Internet:      
   Trade shows:      
   Videos:      
   Billboards:      
   Newsletters:      
   
Have advertisements already been designed?    

Have you prepared a media kit for publicity?    

Describe your plans to receive free publicity in the media via news releases or new product/service releases:
   Radio:      
   Television:      
   Newspapers:      
   Magazines:      
   Internet:      

Have you requested inclusion in any directories, catalogs, or other marketing vehicles for your industry?    

Describe any planned direct mail campaigns:    

Describe any planned telemarketing campaigns:    

Describe any Internet-based marketing plans:
   E-mail account:      
   Web site:      

Will there be any special or seasonal promotions of your product/service?    
   

How will your customers actually receive the product/service?    
   


Instructions for Financial Plan Worksheet

The third crucial part of your initial Business Plan entails how your business will obtain enough money to actually survive until it is successful.  The failure of many small businesses relates directly to underestimating the amount of money needed to start and continue the business.  Most business owners can, with relative ease, estimate the amount of money needed to start a business.  The problem comes with arriving at a clear estimate of how much money will be necessary to keep the business operating until it is able to realistically support itself.  If you can honestly determine how much is actually necessary to allow the business time to thrive before you can take out profits or pay, the next challenge is to figure out where to get that amount of money.  

To help you arrive at a clear picture of your businesss finances, a Business Financial Worksheet follows.  This worksheet will lead you through a number of questions to help you determine the amount of money needed and where it might be obtained.  Following the Worksheet are instructions on preparing both an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement and a Current Balance Sheet.  Both of these financial forms will help you actually put some real numbers into your plans.

When you have completed the Business Financial Worksheet and your two financial forms, you will need to prepare a written Financial Plan from your worksheet answers and the data that you have compiled on your Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet.


Financial Plan Worksheet

Describe the current financial status of your company:    

Income and Expenses
Estimate the annual expenses for the first year in the following categories:
   Advertising expenses:      
   Auto expenses:      
   Cleaning and maintenance expenses:      
   Charitable contributions:      
   Dues and publications:      
   Office equipment expenses:      
   Freight and shipping expenses:      
   Business insurance expenses:      
   Business interest expenses:      
   Legal and accounting expenses:      
   Business meals and lodging:      
   Miscellaneous expenses:      
   Postage expenses:      
   Office rent/mortgage expenses:      
   Repair expenses:      
   Office supplies:      
   Sales taxes:      
   Federal unemployment taxes:      
   State unemployment taxes:      
   Telephone/Internet expenses:      
   Utility expenses:      
   Wages and commissions:      

Estimate the first years annual income from the following sources:
   Sales Income:      
   Service Income:      
   Miscellaneous Income:      

Estimate the amount of inventory necessary for the first year:    

Estimate the amount of inventory that will be sold during the first year:    
   

Estimate the Cost of Goods Sold for the first year:    

Using the above information, complete the Estimated Profit and Loss Statement as explained later.
Assets and Liabilities
What forms of credit have already been used by the business?    
   

How much cash is available to the business?    

What are the sources of the cash?    

What types of bank accounts are in place for the business and what are the balances?    
      

What types of assets are currently owned by the business?
   Current assets:      
   Inventory:      
      Cash in bank:      
      Cash on hand:      
   Accounts receivable:      
   Fixed and depreciable:      
   Autos/trucks:      
      Buildings:      
      Equipment:      
      Amount of depreciation taken on any of above:   
   Fixed non-depreciable:      
      Land:      
   Miscellaneous:      
      Stocks/bonds:      

What types of debts does the business currently have?
   Current liabilities:      
      Taxes due:      
      Accounts payable:      
      Short-term loans/notes payable:   
      Payroll accrued:      
      Miscellaneous:      
   Long-term liabilities:      
      Mortgage:      
      Other loans/notes payable:      


Financial NeedsFinancial Needs
Based on the estimated profits and losses of the business, how much credit will be necessary for the business?
   Initially:      
   First year:      
   Second year:      
   Third year:      
   Fourth year:      
   Fifth year:      

Estimate the cash flow for the business for the first five years:
   First year:      
   Second year:      
   Third year:      
   Fourth year:      
   Fifth year:      

From what sources are the necessary funds expected to be raised?
   Cash on hand:      
   Personal funds:      
   Family:      
   Friends:      
   Conventional bank financing:      
   Finance companies:      
   Equipment manufacturers:      
   Leasing companies:      
   Venture capital:      
   U.S. Small Business Administration:      
   Equity financing (check with current
      Securities and Exchange rules
      on sales of shares):      

Preparing a Profit and Loss Statement

A Profit and Loss Statement is the key financial statement for presenting how your business is performing over a period of time.  The Profit and Loss Statement illuminates both the amounts of money that your business has spent on expenses and the amounts of money that your business has taken in over a specific period of time.  Along with the Balance Sheet, the Profit and Loss Statement should become an integral part of both your short and long range business planning.

This section will explain how to prepare an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement for use in your Business Plan.  The Estimated Profit and Loss Statement can serve a valuable business planning service by allowing you to project estimated changes in your business over various time periods and examine what the results may be.  Projections of various business plans can be examined in detail and decisions can then be made on the basis of clear pictures of future scenarios.  Your estimates of your business profits and losses can take into account industry changes, economic factors, and personal business decisions.  Your estimates are primarily for internal business planning purposes, although it may be useful to use an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement to convey your future Business Plans to others.  As a trial exercise, you should prepare an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement using your best estimates before you even begin business.  You may wish to prepare such pre-business statements for monthly, quarterly, and annual time periods.  You may also desire to prepare Estimated Profit and Loss Statements for the first several years of your businesss existence.

The Estimated Profit and Loss Statement differs from the other type of Profit and Loss Statements in that the figures that you will use are projections based on expected business income and expenses for a time period in the future.  The value of this type of financial planning tool is to allow you to see how various scenarios will affect your business.  You may prepare this form as either a monthly, quarterly, or annual projection.  To prepare this form, use the data that you have collected for the above Business Financial Worksheet.

1.   The first figure that you will need will be your Estimated Gross Sales Income.  If your business is a pure service business, put your estimated income on the Estimated Service Income Total line.  If your business income comes from part sales and part service, place the appropriate figures on the correct lines.

2.   If your business will sell items from inventory, you will need to calculate your Estimated Cost of Goods Sold.  In order to have the necessary figures to make this computation, you will need to prepare a projection of your inventory costs and how many items you expect to sell.  Fill in the Estimated Cost of Goods Sold figure on the Estimated Profit and Loss Statement.  If your business is a pure service business, skip this line.  Determine your Estimated Net Sales Income by subtracting your Estimated Cost of Goods Sold from your Estimated Gross Sales Income.

3.   Calculate your Estimated Total Income for the period by adding your Estimated Net Sales Income and your Estimated Service Income and any Estimated Miscellaneous Income (for example: interest earned on a checking account).

4.   Fill in the appropriate Estimated Expense Account categories on the Estimated Profit and Loss Statement.  If you have a large number of categories, you may need to prepare a second sheet.  Based on your future projections, fill in the totals for each of your separate expense accounts.  Add in any Estimated Miscellaneous Expenses.

5.   Total all of your expenses and subtract your Estimated Total Expenses figure from your Estimated Total Income figure to determine your Estimated Pre-Tax Profit for the time period.

ESTIMATED PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT
For the period of:    

ESTIMATED INCOME
Estimated Gross Sales Income

Less Estimated Cost of Goods Sold

Estimated Net Sales Income Total

Estimated Service Income Total

Estimated Miscellaneous Income Total

Estimated Total Income

ESTIMATED EXPENSES
Advertising expenses

Auto expenses

Cleaning and maintenance expenses

Charitable contributions

Dues and publications

Office equipment expenses

Freight and shipping expenses

Business insurance expenses

Business interest expenses

Legal and accounting expenses

Business meals and lodging

Miscellaneous expenses

Postage expenses

Office rent/mortgage expenses

Repair expenses

Office supplies

Sales taxes

Federal unemployment taxes

State unemployment taxes

Telephone/Internet expenses

Utility expenses

Wages and commissions

Estimated General Expenses Total

Estimated Miscellaneous Expenses

Estimated Total Expenses


Estimated Pre-Tax Profit (Income less Expenses)


Preparing a Balance Sheet

A Profit and Loss Statement provides a view of business operations over a particular period of time.  It allows a look at the income and expenses and profits or losses of the business during the time period.  In contrast, a Balance Sheet is designed to be a look at the financial position of a company on a specific date.  It shows what the business owns and owes on a fixed date.  Its purpose is to depict the financial strength of a company as shown by its assets and liabilities.  It is merely a visual representation of the basic business financial equation: assets - liabilities = equity (or net worth).  Essentially, the Balance Sheet shows what the company would be worth if all of the assets were sold and all of the liabilities were paid off.  A value is placed on each asset and each liability.  These figures are then balanced by adjusting the value of the owners equity figure in the equation.  Your Balance Sheet will total your current and fixed assets and your current and long-term liabilities.  Even if your business is very new, you will need to prepare a Balance Sheet of where it currently stands financially.  Use the figures that you have gathered for the above Business Financial Worksheet, and follow these instructions to prepare your Current Balance Sheet for your Business Financial Plan:

1.   Your Current Assets consist of the following items.
   Cash in Bank (from your business bank account balance)
   Cash on Hand
   Accounts Receivable (if you have any yet)
   Inventory (if you have any yet)
   Prepaid expenses (These may be rent, insurance, prepaid supplies, or similar items that have been paid for prior to their actual use).

2.   Total all of your Current Assets on your Current Balance Sheet.

3.   Your Fixed Assets consist of the following items:
   Equipment
   Autos and Trucks
   Buildings

4.   Total your Fixed Assets (except land) on your Current Balance Sheet.  Total all of the depreciation that you have previously deducted for all of your fixed assets (except land). Include in this figure any business deductions that you have taken for Section 179 write-offs on business equipment.  Enter this total depreciation figure under Depreciation and subtract this figure from the figure for Total Fixed Assets (except land).

5.   Enter the value for any land that your business owns.  Land may not be depreciated.  Add Fixed Assets amount (less Depreciation) and the value of the land.  This is your total Fixed Assets value.

6.   Add any Miscellaneous Assets not yet included. These may consist of stocks, bonds, or other business investments. Total your Current, Fixed, and Miscellaneous Assets to arrive at your Total Assets figure.

7.   Your Current Liabilities consist of the following items:
   Accounts Payable (if you have any yet).
   Miscellaneous Payable.  Include here the principal due on any short-term notes payable.  Also include any interest on credit purchases, notes, or loans that has accrued but not been paid.  Also list the current amounts due on any long-term liabilities.  Finally, list any payroll or taxes that have accrued but not yet been paid.

8.   Your Fixed Liabilities consist of the principal of any long-term note, loan, or mortgage due. Any current amounts due should be listed as Current Liabilities.

9.   Total your Current and Fixed Liabilities to arrive at Total Liabilities.

10.   Subtract your Total Liabilities from your Total Assets to arrive at your Owners Equity.  For a corporation, this figure represents the total of contributions by the owners or stockholders plus earnings after paying any dividends.  Total Liabilities and Owners Equity will always equal Total Assets.

CURRENT BALANCE SHEET
As of:    
ASSETS
Current Assets
Cash in Bank

Cash on Hand

Accounts Receivable

Inventory

Prepaid Expenses

Total Current Assets

Fixed Assets
Equipment (cost)

Autos and Trucks (cost)

Buildings (cost)

Total

(Less Depreciation)

Net Total

Add Land (cost)

Total Fixed Assets

Total Miscellaneous Assets

Total Assets

LIABILITIES
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable

Miscellaneous Payable

Total Current Liabilities

Fixed Liabilities
Loans Payable (long-term)

Total Fixed Liabilities

Total Liabilities

Owners Equity
Net Worth or Capital Surplus + Stock Value

Instructions for Executive Summary

It is in the Executive Summary that you will need to convey your vision of the company and its potential for success.  It is with this document that you will convince investors, suppliers, bankers, and others to take the risks necessary to back your dreams and help you to make them a reality.  

The Executive Summary portion of your Business Plan should be about one to three pages long.  It should be concise, straightforward, and clearly written.  Dont use any terms or technical jargon that the average person cannot understand.  You may go into more detail in the body of the Business Plan itself, but keep the Executive Summary short and to the point.  This document will be a distillation of the key points in your entire Business Plan.  It is in the Executive Summary that you will need to infuse your potential backers with your enthusiasm and commitment to success.  However, you will need to remain honest and forthright in the picture that you paint of your business and its competition.  

Use the following outline as a guide to assist you in preparing your Executive Summary.  You will, of course, be using the information that you have included in your written Business, Marketing, and Financial Plans to prepare the Executive Summary.

Sample Executive Summary

Business Plan of _______________________

Executive Summary
In the year ________, ___________________ was incorporated as a corporation in the State of ___________.

The purpose of the company is to:    
   
   .

Our mission statement is as follows: This company is dedicated to providing the highest quality _______________ to a target market of _____________.  Our long-term goals are to:   
   .


Industry Analysis
The industry in which this company will operate is:   
   .

The annual gross sales of the _________________ industry are approximately $    .

Continue with a brief explanation of how your company will fit into this industry:   
   .


Product/Service Analysis
The product/service that this company will provide is:   .

It is unique in its field because:   .

Continue with a brief explanation of product/service:   .


Business Operations
Prepare a brief explanation of how the business will operate to obtain and deliver the product/service to the market.  Include short explanations of strategies you will use to beat the competition:   
   .
Management of the Company
The company will be managed by:   .

Include a brief summary of the management structure and the qualifications of the key management personnel and how their expertise will be the key to the success of the company:    
   .


Market Strategy
The target market for this product/service is:   .

Prepare a brief analysis of your market research and marketing plans and why your product/service is better than any competitors:   
   .


Financial Plans
In this section, briefly review the data on your Current Balance Sheet and Estimated Profit and Loss Statements and describe both the annual revenue projections and the companys immediate and long-term needs for financing:   .
    
Compiling Your Business Plan

Once you have completed the previous Worksheets, you will need to prepare your final Business Plan.  To prepare your Business Plan, carefully read through the answers you have prepared for these Worksheets to obtain a complete overview of your proposed business.  Your task will be to carefully put the answers to the questions on the Worksheets into a narrative format.  If you have taken the time to fully answer the questions, this will not be a difficult task.  

Keep the Plan to the point but try to convey both a broad outline of the industry that you will be operating in and a clear picture of how your particular company will fit into that industry and succeed.  Emphasize the uniqueness of your company, product, or service, but dont intentionally avoid the potential problems that your business will face.  An honest appraisal of your companys risks and potential problems at this stage of the development of your company will convey to investors and bankers that you have thoroughly and carefully investigated the potential for your company to succeed.

For each subsection of the Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Financial Plan Worksheets, use the answers to the questions to prepare your written Plan.  You may rearrange the answers within each section if you feel that it will present a clearer picture to those who will be reading your Business Plan.  Try, however, to keep the information for each section in its own discreet portion of the Business Plan.

A brief outline of the contents of your completed Business Plan is included below to assist you in completing your entire Business Plan package.

Compiling Your Business Plan

1.   Prepare a Title page stating:
      Business Plan of X Corporation,    
      Incorporated in the State of:
      Address:
      Phone:
      Fax:
      Internet:
      E-mail:
      Date:
      Prepared by:

2.   Include a Table of Contents noting that you have the following:
      Executive Summary
      Business Plan
         Business Concept and Objectives
         Industry Analysis
         Product/Service Analysis
         Business Operations
         Management Analysis
      Marketing Plan
         Target Market Analysis
         Competitive Analysis
         Sales and Pricing Analysis
         Marketing Strategy
            Advertising and Promotion
            Publicity and Public Relations
      Financial Plan
         Financial Analysis
         Estimated Profit/Loss Statement
         Current Balance Sheet
      Appendix
         Photos of Product/Service/Facilities
         Contracts
         Incorporation Documents
         Bank Account Statements
         Personal Financial Statements of Principals
         Proposed List of Equipment/Supplies/Inventory
         Proposed Time Line for Corporate Growth

3.   Neatly print or type the necessary Business/Marketing/Financial Plans.

4.   Compile all of the parts of your Plan and have multiple photocopies made.

5.   Assemble all of the parts into a neat and professional folder or notebook.

Congratulations! Your completed Business Plan will serve as an essential guide to understanding your business and will allow potential backers, investors, bankers, and others to quickly see the reality behind your business goals.
Number of Pages29
DimensionsDesigned for Letter Size (8.5" x 11")
EditableYes (.doc, .wpd and .rtf)
UsageUnlimited number of prints
Product number#27083
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.












Business Plan Kit







This Packet Includes:
1. General Information
2. Business Plan Worksheet
3. Marketing Plan Worksheet, with Instructions
4. Financing Plan Worksheet, with Instructions
5. Sample Executive Summary, with Instructions
6. Instructions for Completing Your Business Plan





General Information
Business Plan - Kit

This kit provides the tools and guidelines for developing your companys Business Plan.

One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of starting a business is preparing a Business Plan.  It is through the preparation of a formal Business Plan than you begin the process of refining what your business will actually be and, more importantly, how you can make it successful from the start.  You will use your Business Plan for many purposes: for your own use to continually fine-tune your actual business start-up; for the purposes of obtaining financing, even it is only from family members; and for presenting your business ideas to potential shareholders, employees, investors, suppliers, and anyone else with whom you may do business.

This kit includes three worksheets to aid you in developing your Business Plan.  The first addresses the businesss overall concept and structure; the second addresses plans to market your business service or product; and the third addresses your strategy for financing your business.  Together, the three plans that you create will comprise your total Business Plan package.  Once you have completed these worksheets, you will be ready to prepare your companys Executive Summary, a concise description of your overall vision of your company.  Finally, you will then compile all of these components into a completed Business Plan package.






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Business Plan Worksheet


Preliminary Business Concept Analysis
In one sentence, describe your business concept:   
   

What is your business service or product?   

How long do you estimate that it will take to develop this service or product to the point of being ready for the public?   

What are the estimated costs of development of this product or service?   
   

Why do you think that this business concept will succeed?   
   

Who is your target market?   
   

Is this market readily identifiable?   

What are the buying patterns of this market?   
   

Is there sufficient advance interest in this type of product or service?   
   

What are your expected annual sales/revenue volumes?
   Year one:   $    
   Year two:   $    
   Year three:   $    
   Year four:   $    
   Year five:   $    


Company Description
What is your companys mission?   

What is the type of business entity of your company?   

Who will be the directors of the company?   
Who will serve as the officers of the company?
   President:      
   Vice President:      
   Treasurer:      
   Secretary:      

What will the physical location of your company be?   

Where will be the companys main place of doing business?   

Will there be any additional locations for the company?   

What geographic areas will your company serve?   

What are the long-term plans for the business? (Expand, go public, sell to competitor, etc.)      


Industry Analysis
In what industry will your company operate?   

What is the overall size of the industry?   

What is the growth rate of the industry?   

What are any seasonal or business cycles in the industry?   

What have been the main technological advances in the past five years?   
   

What are projected technological advances in the industry for the next five years?      

Do any industry standards apply to your business?   

Are there any government regulatory approvals or requirements?   
   

Are there any local or state licenses necessary for the service or product?   
   

What are the main trade or business associations in your industry?   
   

To which associations do you currently belong?   
Product or Service Analysis
Description of product or service:   

What is the main purpose of the product or service?   

Is it a luxury item or a necessity?   

What are the unique features of your product or service? (Cost, design, quality, capabilities, etc.)      

What is the life of the product or service?   

How does this product/service compare with the state-of-the-art for the industry?      

In what stage is the development of the product? (Idea, model, prototype, full production, etc.)   

Describe the companys facilities:   

How will the product be produced or the service provided?   

Is it labor or material intensive to produce or supply?   

What components or supplies are necessary to produce or supply this product?   
   

Has the service or product been the subject of any engineering or design tests?   
   

What types of quality control will be in place in the business?   
   

Are there any special technical considerations?   

What are the maintenance or updating requirements for the product/service?   
   

Can the product be copyrighted, patented, or trade- or service-marked?   

Are there other products, services, or spin-offs that will be developed and marketed in future years?   

Are there any known dangers associated with the manufacture, supply, or use of the product/service?   

What types of liabilities are posed by the product, service, or any other business operations?
   To employees:      
   To customers:      
   To suppliers:      
   To distributors:      
   To the public:      

Are there any litigation threats posed by this business?   

Are there any other problems or risks inherent in this type of business?   
   

What types of insurance coverage will be necessary for the business?   
   

What are the costs of the needed insurance coverage?   

What steps will be taken to minimize any potential liabilities, dangers, or risks?      


Business Operations
Describe the type of facilities that your business will need to operate:         

Estimate the cost of acquiring and maintaining the facilities for two years:   
   

Describe your production plan or service plan:   
   

How will orders be filled and your product or service delivered?   
   

Will you work through any wholesalers or distributors?   

Who will be the main wholesalers/distributors?   

Describe the equipment or machinery that you will need for your business:   
   

Who will be the main suppliers of this equipment?   

What are the estimated costs of obtaining this equipment?   

What type of inventory will you need?   

Who will be the main suppliers of the inventory?   

Estimate the costs of obtaining sufficient inventory for the first two years of operation:      


Management Analysis
What will be the organizational structure of the company? (Include an organizational chart)   

Who will manage the day-to-day affairs of the company?   

Describe the management style of the central manager:   
   

What are the qualifications of the main management?   

What type of workforce will be necessary for your business?   

How many employees will be needed?
   Initially:      
   First year:      
   Second year:      
   Third year:      
   Fourth year:      
   Fifth year:      

What are the job descriptions of the employees?   

What job skills will the employees need?   

Are employment and hiring/firing procedures and guidelines in place?   

What will be the hourly wages or salaries of the employees?
   Salaried:      
   Full-time:      
   Part-time:      

Will any fringe benefits be provided to employees?
   Sick pay:      
   Vacation pay:      
   Bonuses:      
   Health insurance or benefits:      
   Profit-sharing or stock options:         
   Other benefits:      

Estimate the annual cost for employee compensation for the first two years of operations:      

Will you need to contract with lawyers, accountants, consultants, designers, or specialists?      

Who will be the outside contractors you will use?   

Estimate the annual cost of outside contractors for the first two years of operations:   
   

Is the business bookkeeping system set up and working?   

Are business bank accounts set up?   

Are there administrative policies set up for billings, payments, accounts, etc.?   
   


Supporting Documentation
Do you have any professional photos of the product, equipment, or facilities?   
   

What contracts have already been signed?   

Does the company hold any patents, trademarks, or copyrights?   

Have the companys incorporation papers been filed with the state and received?   

Do you have any samples of advertising or marketing materials?   

Do you have references and resumes from each of the principals in the business?      

Do you have personal financial statements from each of the principals in the business?   

Have you prepared a time line for the companys development for the first five years?   

Have you prepared a list of the necessary equipment, with a description, supplier, and cost of each item noted?   

Have you prepared current and projected balance sheets and profit/loss statements?   

Instructions for Marketing Plan Worksheet

An integral part of the process of starting a business is preparing a Marketing Plan. Whether the business will provide a service or sell a product, it will need customers in some form. Who those customers are, how they will be identified and located, and how they will be attracted to the business are crucial to the success of any small business.  Unfortunately, it is also one part of a business start-up that is given less than its due in terms of time and effort spent to fully investigate the possibilities.  

A Business Marketing Worksheet is provided below to assist you in thinking about your business in terms of who the customers may be and how to reach them.  In many ways, looking honestly at who your customers may be and how to attract them may be the most crucial part of starting your business because if your understanding of this issue is ill-defined or unclear, your business will have a difficult time succeeding.

The Marketing Plan Worksheet is divided into four sections:

      Target Market Analysis
      Competitive Analysis
      Sales and Pricing Analysis
      Marketing Strategy


Marketing Plan Worksheet


Target Market Analysis
What is the target market for your product/service?    

What types of market research have you conducted to understand your market?    
   

What is the geographic market area you will serve?    

Describe a typical customer:
   Sex:      
   Marital status:      
   Age:      
   Income:      
   Geographic location:      
   Education:      
   Employment:      

Estimate the number of potential people in the market in your area of service:    
   

What is the growth potential for this market?    

How will you satisfy the customers needs with your product/service?    
   

Will your product/service make your customers life more comfortable?    

Will your product/service save your customers time or money or stress?    


Competitive Analysis
Who are your main competitors?    

Are there competitors in the same geographic area as your proposed business?    
   

Are the competitors successful and what is their market share?    

How long have they been in business?    
Describe your research into your competitors business operations:    
   

Are there any foreseeable new competitors?    

What are the strengths and/or weaknesses of your competitors product/service?    
   

Why is your product/service different or better than that of your competitors (or worse!)?    
   

What is the main way that you will compete with your competitors (price, quality, technology, advertising, etc.)?    

How will your customers know that your product/service is available?    
   

What is the main message that you want your potential customers to receive?    
   

Why is your product/service unique?    

How will you be able to expand your customer base over time?    


Sales and Pricing Analysis
What are your competitors prices for similar products/services?    

Are your prices higher or lower, and why?    

Will you offer any discounts for quantity or other factors?    

Will you accept checks for payment?    

Will you accept credit cards for payment?    

Will you have a sales force? Describe:    

What skills or education will the sales force need?    

Will there be sales quotas?    

Will the sales force be paid by salary, wages, or commission?    

Are there any geographic areas or limitations on your sales or distribution?    
   

Will you sell through distributors or wholesalers? Describe:    

Will there be dealer margins or wholesale discounts?    

Do you have any plans to monitor customer feedback? Describe:       

Do you have warranty, guarantee, and customer return policies? Describe:    
   

Will  any customer service be provided? Describe:    

What is your expected sales volume for the first five years?
   Year one:      
   Year two:      
   Year three:      
   Year four:      
   Year five:      


Marketing Strategy
What is your annual projected marketing budget?    

Have your companys logo, letterhead, and business cards already been designed?
    

Do you have a company slogan or descriptive phrase?    

Has packaging for your product/service been designed?    

Has signage for your facility been designed?    

Describe your advertising plans:
   Signs:      
   Brochures:      
   Catalogs:      
   Yellow Pages:      
   Magazines:      
   Trade journals:      
   Radio:      
   Television:      
   Newspapers:      
   Internet:      
   Trade shows:      
   Videos:      
   Billboards:      
   Newsletters:      
   
Have advertisements already been designed?    

Have you prepared a media kit for publicity?    

Describe your plans to receive free publicity in the media via news releases or new product/service releases:
   Radio:      
   Television:      
   Newspapers:      
   Magazines:      
   Internet:      

Have you requested inclusion in any directories, catalogs, or other marketing vehicles for your industry?    

Describe any planned direct mail campaigns:    

Describe any planned telemarketing campaigns:    

Describe any Internet-based marketing plans:
   E-mail account:      
   Web site:      

Will there be any special or seasonal promotions of your product/service?    
   

How will your customers actually receive the product/service?    
   


Instructions for Financial Plan Worksheet

The third crucial part of your initial Business Plan entails how your business will obtain enough money to actually survive until it is successful.  The failure of many small businesses relates directly to underestimating the amount of money needed to start and continue the business.  Most business owners can, with relative ease, estimate the amount of money needed to start a business.  The problem comes with arriving at a clear estimate of how much money will be necessary to keep the business operating until it is able to realistically support itself.  If you can honestly determine how much is actually necessary to allow the business time to thrive before you can take out profits or pay, the next challenge is to figure out where to get that amount of money.  

To help you arrive at a clear picture of your businesss finances, a Business Financial Worksheet follows.  This worksheet will lead you through a number of questions to help you determine the amount of money needed and where it might be obtained.  Following the Worksheet are instructions on preparing both an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement and a Current Balance Sheet.  Both of these financial forms will help you actually put some real numbers into your plans.

When you have completed the Business Financial Worksheet and your two financial forms, you will need to prepare a written Financial Plan from your worksheet answers and the data that you have compiled on your Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet.


Financial Plan Worksheet

Describe the current financial status of your company:    

Income and Expenses
Estimate the annual expenses for the first year in the following categories:
   Advertising expenses:      
   Auto expenses:      
   Cleaning and maintenance expenses:      
   Charitable contributions:      
   Dues and publications:      
   Office equipment expenses:      
   Freight and shipping expenses:      
   Business insurance expenses:      
   Business interest expenses:      
   Legal and accounting expenses:      
   Business meals and lodging:      
   Miscellaneous expenses:      
   Postage expenses:      
   Office rent/mortgage expenses:      
   Repair expenses:      
   Office supplies:      
   Sales taxes:      
   Federal unemployment taxes:      
   State unemployment taxes:      
   Telephone/Internet expenses:      
   Utility expenses:      
   Wages and commissions:      

Estimate the first years annual income from the following sources:
   Sales Income:      
   Service Income:      
   Miscellaneous Income:      

Estimate the amount of inventory necessary for the first year:    

Estimate the amount of inventory that will be sold during the first year:    
   

Estimate the Cost of Goods Sold for the first year:    

Using the above information, complete the Estimated Profit and Loss Statement as explained later.
Assets and Liabilities
What forms of credit have already been used by the business?    
   

How much cash is available to the business?    

What are the sources of the cash?    

What types of bank accounts are in place for the business and what are the balances?    
      

What types of assets are currently owned by the business?
   Current assets:      
   Inventory:      
      Cash in bank:      
      Cash on hand:      
   Accounts receivable:      
   Fixed and depreciable:      
   Autos/trucks:      
      Buildings:      
      Equipment:      
      Amount of depreciation taken on any of above:   
   Fixed non-depreciable:      
      Land:      
   Miscellaneous:      
      Stocks/bonds:      

What types of debts does the business currently have?
   Current liabilities:      
      Taxes due:      
      Accounts payable:      
      Short-term loans/notes payable:   
      Payroll accrued:      
      Miscellaneous:      
   Long-term liabilities:      
      Mortgage:      
      Other loans/notes payable:      


Financial NeedsFinancial Needs
Based on the estimated profits and losses of the business, how much credit will be necessary for the business?
   Initially:      
   First year:      
   Second year:      
   Third year:      
   Fourth year:      
   Fifth year:      

Estimate the cash flow for the business for the first five years:
   First year:      
   Second year:      
   Third year:      
   Fourth year:      
   Fifth year:      

From what sources are the necessary funds expected to be raised?
   Cash on hand:      
   Personal funds:      
   Family:      
   Friends:      
   Conventional bank financing:      
   Finance companies:      
   Equipment manufacturers:      
   Leasing companies:      
   Venture capital:      
   U.S. Small Business Administration:      
   Equity financing (check with current
      Securities and Exchange rules
      on sales of shares):      

Preparing a Profit and Loss Statement

A Profit and Loss Statement is the key financial statement for presenting how your business is performing over a period of time.  The Profit and Loss Statement illuminates both the amounts of money that your business has spent on expenses and the amounts of money that your business has taken in over a specific period of time.  Along with the Balance Sheet, the Profit and Loss Statement should become an integral part of both your short and long range business planning.

This section will explain how to prepare an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement for use in your Business Plan.  The Estimated Profit and Loss Statement can serve a valuable business planning service by allowing you to project estimated changes in your business over various time periods and examine what the results may be.  Projections of various business plans can be examined in detail and decisions can then be made on the basis of clear pictures of future scenarios.  Your estimates of your business profits and losses can take into account industry changes, economic factors, and personal business decisions.  Your estimates are primarily for internal business planning purposes, although it may be useful to use an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement to convey your future Business Plans to others.  As a trial exercise, you should prepare an Estimated Profit and Loss Statement using your best estimates before you even begin business.  You may wish to prepare such pre-business statements for monthly, quarterly, and annual time periods.  You may also desire to prepare Estimated Profit and Loss Statements for the first several years of your businesss existence.

The Estimated Profit and Loss Statement differs from the other type of Profit and Loss Statements in that the figures that you will use are projections based on expected business income and expenses for a time period in the future.  The value of this type of financial planning tool is to allow you to see how various scenarios will affect your business.  You may prepare this form as either a monthly, quarterly, or annual projection.  To prepare this form, use the data that you have collected for the above Business Financial Worksheet.

1.   The first figure that you will need will be your Estimated Gross Sales Income.  If your business is a pure service business, put your estimated income on the Estimated Service Income Total line.  If your business income comes from part sales and part service, place the appropriate figures on the correct lines.

2.   If your business will sell items from inventory, you will need to calculate your Estimated Cost of Goods Sold.  In order to have the necessary figures to make this computation, you will need to prepare a projection of your inventory costs and how many items you expect to sell.  Fill in the Estimated Cost of Goods Sold figure on the Estimated Profit and Loss Statement.  If your business is a pure service business, skip this line.  Determine your Estimated Net Sales Income by subtracting your Estimated Cost of Goods Sold from your Estimated Gross Sales Income.

3.   Calculate your Estimated Total Income for the period by adding your Estimated Net Sales Income and your Estimated Service Income and any Estimated Miscellaneous Income (for example: interest earned on a checking account).

4.   Fill in the appropriate Estimated Expense Account categories on the Estimated Profit and Loss Statement.  If you have a large number of categories, you may need to prepare a second sheet.  Based on your future projections, fill in the totals for each of your separate expense accounts.  Add in any Estimated Miscellaneous Expenses.

5.   Total all of your expenses and subtract your Estimated Total Expenses figure from your Estimated Total Income figure to determine your Estimated Pre-Tax Profit for the time period.

ESTIMATED PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT
For the period of:    

ESTIMATED INCOME
Estimated Gross Sales Income

Less Estimated Cost of Goods Sold

Estimated Net Sales Income Total

Estimated Service Income Total

Estimated Miscellaneous Income Total

Estimated Total Income

ESTIMATED EXPENSES
Advertising expenses

Auto expenses

Cleaning and maintenance expenses

Charitable contributions

Dues and publications

Office equipment expenses

Freight and shipping expenses

Business insurance expenses

Business interest expenses

Legal and accounting expenses

Business meals and lodging

Miscellaneous expenses

Postage expenses

Office rent/mortgage expenses

Repair expenses

Office supplies

Sales taxes

Federal unemployment taxes

State unemployment taxes

Telephone/Internet expenses

Utility expenses

Wages and commissions

Estimated General Expenses Total

Estimated Miscellaneous Expenses

Estimated Total Expenses


Estimated Pre-Tax Profit (Income less Expenses)


Preparing a Balance Sheet

A Profit and Loss Statement provides a view of business operations over a particular period of time.  It allows a look at the income and expenses and profits or losses of the business during the time period.  In contrast, a Balance Sheet is designed to be a look at the financial position of a company on a specific date.  It shows what the business owns and owes on a fixed date.  Its purpose is to depict the financial strength of a company as shown by its assets and liabilities.  It is merely a visual representation of the basic business financial equation: assets - liabilities = equity (or net worth).  Essentially, the Balance Sheet shows what the company would be worth if all of the assets were sold and all of the liabilities were paid off.  A value is placed on each asset and each liability.  These figures are then balanced by adjusting the value of the owners equity figure in the equation.  Your Balance Sheet will total your current and fixed assets and your current and long-term liabilities.  Even if your business is very new, you will need to prepare a Balance Sheet of where it currently stands financially.  Use the figures that you have gathered for the above Business Financial Worksheet, and follow these instructions to prepare your Current Balance Sheet for your Business Financial Plan:

1.   Your Current Assets consist of the following items.
   Cash in Bank (from your business bank account balance)
   Cash on Hand
   Accounts Receivable (if you have any yet)
   Inventory (if you have any yet)
   Prepaid expenses (These may be rent, insurance, prepaid supplies, or similar items that have been paid for prior to their actual use).

2.   Total all of your Current Assets on your Current Balance Sheet.

3.   Your Fixed Assets consist of the following items:
   Equipment
   Autos and Trucks
   Buildings

4.   Total your Fixed Assets (except land) on your Current Balance Sheet.  Total all of the depreciation that you have previously deducted for all of your fixed assets (except land). Include in this figure any business deductions that you have taken for Section 179 write-offs on business equipment.  Enter this total depreciation figure under Depreciation and subtract this figure from the figure for Total Fixed Assets (except land).

5.   Enter the value for any land that your business owns.  Land may not be depreciated.  Add Fixed Assets amount (less Depreciation) and the value of the land.  This is your total Fixed Assets value.

6.   Add any Miscellaneous Assets not yet included. These may consist of stocks, bonds, or other business investments. Total your Current, Fixed, and Miscellaneous Assets to arrive at your Total Assets figure.

7.   Your Current Liabilities consist of the following items:
   Accounts Payable (if you have any yet).
   Miscellaneous Payable.  Include here the principal due on any short-term notes payable.  Also include any interest on credit purchases, notes, or loans that has accrued but not been paid.  Also list the current amounts due on any long-term liabilities.  Finally, list any payroll or taxes that have accrued but not yet been paid.

8.   Your Fixed Liabilities consist of the principal of any long-term note, loan, or mortgage due. Any current amounts due should be listed as Current Liabilities.

9.   Total your Current and Fixed Liabilities to arrive at Total Liabilities.

10.   Subtract your Total Liabilities from your Total Assets to arrive at your Owners Equity.  For a corporation, this figure represents the total of contributions by the owners or stockholders plus earnings after paying any dividends.  Total Liabilities and Owners Equity will always equal Total Assets.

CURRENT BALANCE SHEET
As of:    
ASSETS
Current Assets
Cash in Bank

Cash on Hand

Accounts Receivable

Inventory

Prepaid Expenses

Total Current Assets

Fixed Assets
Equipment (cost)

Autos and Trucks (cost)

Buildings (cost)

Total

(Less Depreciation)

Net Total

Add Land (cost)

Total Fixed Assets

Total Miscellaneous Assets

Total Assets

LIABILITIES
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable

Miscellaneous Payable

Total Current Liabilities

Fixed Liabilities
Loans Payable (long-term)

Total Fixed Liabilities

Total Liabilities

Owners Equity
Net Worth or Capital Surplus + Stock Value

Instructions for Executive Summary

It is in the Executive Summary that you will need to convey your vision of the company and its potential for success.  It is with this document that you will convince investors, suppliers, bankers, and others to take the risks necessary to back your dreams and help you to make them a reality.  

The Executive Summary portion of your Business Plan should be about one to three pages long.  It should be concise, straightforward, and clearly written.  Dont use any terms or technical jargon that the average person cannot understand.  You may go into more detail in the body of the Business Plan itself, but keep the Executive Summary short and to the point.  This document will be a distillation of the key points in your entire Business Plan.  It is in the Executive Summary that you will need to infuse your potential backers with your enthusiasm and commitment to success.  However, you will need to remain honest and forthright in the picture that you paint of your business and its competition.  

Use the following outline as a guide to assist you in preparing your Executive Summary.  You will, of course, be using the information that you have included in your written Business, Marketing, and Financial Plans to prepare the Executive Summary.

Sample Executive Summary

Business Plan of _______________________

Executive Summary
In the year ________, ___________________ was incorporated as a corporation in the State of ___________.

The purpose of the company is to:    
   
   .

Our mission statement is as follows: This company is dedicated to providing the highest quality _______________ to a target market of _____________.  Our long-term goals are to:   
   .


Industry Analysis
The industry in which this company will operate is:   
   .

The annual gross sales of the _________________ industry are approximately $    .

Continue with a brief explanation of how your company will fit into this industry:   
   .


Product/Service Analysis
The product/service that this company will provide is:   .

It is unique in its field because:   .

Continue with a brief explanation of product/service:   .


Business Operations
Prepare a brief explanation of how the business will operate to obtain and deliver the product/service to the market.  Include short explanations of strategies you will use to beat the competition:   
   .
Management of the Company
The company will be managed by:   .

Include a brief summary of the management structure and the qualifications of the key management personnel and how their expertise will be the key to the success of the company:    
   .


Market Strategy
The target market for this product/service is:   .

Prepare a brief analysis of your market research and marketing plans and why your product/service is better than any competitors:   
   .


Financial Plans
In this section, briefly review the data on your Current Balance Sheet and Estimated Profit and Loss Statements and describe both the annual revenue projections and the companys immediate and long-term needs for financing:   .
    
Compiling Your Business Plan

Once you have completed the previous Worksheets, you will need to prepare your final Business Plan.  To prepare your Business Plan, carefully read through the answers you have prepared for these Worksheets to obtain a complete overview of your proposed business.  Your task will be to carefully put the answers to the questions on the Worksheets into a narrative format.  If you have taken the time to fully answer the questions, this will not be a difficult task.  

Keep the Plan to the point but try to convey both a broad outline of the industry that you will be operating in and a clear picture of how your particular company will fit into that industry and succeed.  Emphasize the uniqueness of your company, product, or service, but dont intentionally avoid the potential problems that your business will face.  An honest appraisal of your companys risks and potential problems at this stage of the development of your company will convey to investors and bankers that you have thoroughly and carefully investigated the potential for your company to succeed.

For each subsection of the Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Financial Plan Worksheets, use the answers to the questions to prepare your written Plan.  You may rearrange the answers within each section if you feel that it will present a clearer picture to those who will be reading your Business Plan.  Try, however, to keep the information for each section in its own discreet portion of the Business Plan.

A brief outline of the contents of your completed Business Plan is included below to assist you in completing your entire Business Plan package.

Compiling Your Business Plan

1.   Prepare a Title page stating:
      Business Plan of X Corporation,    
      Incorporated in the State of:
      Address:
      Phone:
      Fax:
      Internet:
      E-mail:
      Date:
      Prepared by:

2.   Include a Table of Contents noting that you have the following:
      Executive Summary
      Business Plan
         Business Concept and Objectives
         Industry Analysis
         Product/Service Analysis
         Business Operations
         Management Analysis
      Marketing Plan
         Target Market Analysis
         Competitive Analysis
         Sales and Pricing Analysis
         Marketing Strategy
            Advertising and Promotion
            Publicity and Public Relations
      Financial Plan
         Financial Analysis
         Estimated Profit/Loss Statement
         Current Balance Sheet
      Appendix
         Photos of Product/Service/Facilities
         Contracts
         Incorporation Documents
         Bank Account Statements
         Personal Financial Statements of Principals
         Proposed List of Equipment/Supplies/Inventory
         Proposed Time Line for Corporate Growth

3.   Neatly print or type the necessary Business/Marketing/Financial Plans.

4.   Compile all of the parts of your Plan and have multiple photocopies made.

5.   Assemble all of the parts into a neat and professional folder or notebook.

Congratulations! Your completed Business Plan will serve as an essential guide to understanding your business and will allow potential backers, investors, bankers, and others to quickly see the reality behind your business goals.
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