Business Plan Template for a Startup Business

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Business Plan Template for a Startup Business

Transcript Of Business Plan Template for a Startup Business

Business Plan Template for a Startup Business
A startup business plan serves several purposes. It can help convince investors or lenders to finance your business. It can persuade partners or key employees to join your company. Most importantly, it serves as a roadmap guiding the launch and growth of your new business.
Writing a business plan is an opportunity to carefully think through every step of starting your company so you can prepare for success. This is your chance to discover any weaknesses in your business idea, identify opportunities you may not have considered, and plan how you will deal with challenges that are likely to arise. Be honest with yourself as you work through your business plan. Don’t gloss over potential problems; instead, figure out solutions.
A good business plan is clear and concise. A person outside of your industry should be able to understand it. Avoid overusing industry jargon or terminology.
Most of the time involved in writing your plan should be spent researching and thinking. Make sure to document your research, including the sources of any information you include.
Avoid making unsubstantiated claims or sweeping statements. Investors, lenders and others reading your plan will want to see realistic projections and expect your assumptions to be supported with facts.
This template includes instructions for each section of the business plan, followed by corresponding fillable worksheet/s.
The last section in the instructions, “Refining Your Plan,” explains ways you may need to modify your plan for specific purposes, such as getting a bank loan, or for specific industries, such as retail.
Proofread your completed plan (or have someone proofread it for you) to make sure it’s free of spelling and grammatical errors and that all figures are accurate.

Business Plan
[Insert Date]
Company name Street address 1 Street address 2 City, state, ZIP Business phone Website URL Email address
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Confidentiality Agreement
The undersigned reader acknowledges that any information provided by _________________________ in this business plan, other than information that is in the public domain, is confidential in nature, and that any disclosure or use of same by the reader may cause serious harm or damage to ________________________. Therefore, the undersigned agrees not to disclose it without express written permission from ________________________________. Upon request, the undersigned reader will immediately return this document to ___________________________.
___________________ Signature ___________________ Name (typed or printed) ___________________ Date This is a business plan. It does not imply an offering of securities.
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Table of Contents
Confidentiality Agreement..........................................................................................................................3 I. Instructions: Executive Summary............................................................................................................5
Executive Summary ..............................................................................................................................................................................................6 II. Instructions: Company Description .......................................................................................................7
Company Description Worksheet ....................................................................................................................................................................8 III. Instructions: Products & Services .........................................................................................................9
Product & Service Description Worksheet ................................................................................................................................................. 10 IV. Instructions: Marketing Plan ...............................................................................................................11
SWOT Analysis Worksheet ............................................................................................................................................................................. 12 Competitor Data Collection Plan ................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Competitive Analysis Worksheet ................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Marketing Expenses Strategy Chart.............................................................................................................................................................17 Pricing Strategy Worksheet ............................................................................................................................................................................. 19 Distribution Channel Assessment Worksheet ............................................................................................................................................ 21 V. Instructions: Operational Plan .............................................................................................................23 VI. Instructions: Management & Organization........................................................................................25 Management Worksheet.................................................................................................................................................................................26 Organization Chart ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 27 VII. Instructions: Startup Expenses & Capitalization..............................................................................28 VIII. Instructions: Financial Plan ...............................................................................................................29 IX. Instructions: Appendices .....................................................................................................................31 X. Instructions: Refining the Plan .............................................................................................................32 Now That You’re (Almost) Finished . . . ..................................................................................................34
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I. Instructions: Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is the most important part of your business plan. Often, it’s the only part that a prospective investor or lender reads before deciding whether or not to read the rest of your plan. It should convey your enthusiasm for your business idea and get readers excited about it, too. Write your Executive Summary LAST, after you have completed the rest of the business plan. That way, you’ll have thought through all the elements of your startup and be prepared to summarize them. The Executive Summary should briefly explain each of the below.
1. An overview of your business idea (one or two sentences). 2. A description of your product and/or service. What problems are you solving for your
target customers? 3. Your goals for the business. Where do you expect the business to be in one year, three years,
five years? 4. Your proposed target market. Who are your ideal customers? 5. Your competition and what differentiates your business. Who are you up against, and
what unique selling proposition will help you succeed? 6. Your management team and their prior experience. What do they bring to the table that
will give your business a competitive edge? 7. Financial outlook for the business. If you’re using the business plan for financing purposes,
explain exactly how much money you want, how you will use it, and how that will make your business more profitable. Limit your Executive Summary to one or two pages in total. After reading the Executive Summary, readers should have a basic understanding of your business, should be excited about its potential, and should be interested enough to read further. After you’ve completed your business plan, come back to this section to write your executive summary on the next page.
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Executive Summary
(Write after you’ve completed the rest of the business plan.)
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II. Instructions: Company Description
This section explains the basic elements of your business. Include each of the below:
1. Company mission statement A mission statement is a brief explanation of your company’s reason for being. It can be as short as a marketing tagline (“MoreDough is an app that helps consumers manage their personal finances in a fun, convenient way”) or more involved: (“Doggie Tales is a dog daycare and grooming salon specializing in convenient services for urban pet lovers. Our mission is to provide service, safety and a family atmosphere, enabling busy dog owners to spend less time taking care of their dog’s basic needs and more time having fun with their pet.”) In general, it’s best to keep your mission statement to one or two sentences.
2. Company philosophy and vision a. What values does your business live by? Honesty, integrity, fun, innovation and community are values that might be important to your business philosophy. b. Vision refers to the long-term outlook for your business. What do you ultimately want it to become? For instance, your vision for your doggie day-care center might be to become a national chain, franchise or to sell to a larger company.
3. Company goals Specify your long- and short-term goals as well as any milestones or benchmarks you will use to measure your progress. For instance, if one of your goals is to open a second location, milestones might include reaching a specific sales volume or signing contracts with a certain number of clients in the new market.
4. Target market You will cover this in-depth in the Marketing Plan section. Here, briefly explain who your target customers are.
5. Industry Describe your industry and what makes your business competitive: Is the industry growing, mature or stable? What is the industry outlook long-term and short-term? How will your business take advantage of projected industry changes and trends? What might happen to your competitors and how will your business successfully compete?
6. Legal structure a. Is your business a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or corporation? Why did you choose this particular form of business? b. If there is more than one owner, explain how ownership is divided. If you have investors, explain the percentage of shares they own. This information is important to investors and lenders.
After reading the Company Description, the reader should have a basic understanding of your business’s mission and vision, goals, target market, competitive landscape and legal structure.
Use the Company Description worksheet on the next page to help you complete this section.
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Company Description Worksheet
Business Name
Company Mission Statement
Company Philosophy/
Values
Company Vision
1. Goals & Milestones
2.
3.

Target Market

1.

Industry/

2.

Competitors

3.

Legal Structure/ Ownership

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III. Instructions: Products & Services
This section expands on the basic information about your products and services included in the Executive Summary and Company Description. Here are some items to consider:
1. Your company’s products and/or services: What do you sell, and how is it manufactured or provided? Include details of relationships with suppliers, manufacturers and/or partners that are essential to delivering the product or service to customers.
2. The problem the product or service solves: Every business needs to solve a problem that its customers face. Explain what the problem is and how your product or service solves it. What are its benefits, features and unique selling proposition? Yours won’t be the only solution (every business has competitors), but you need to explain why your solution is better than the others, targets a customer base your competitors are ignoring, or has some other characteristic that gives it a competitive edge.
3. Any proprietary features that give you a competitive advantage: Do you have a patent on your product or a patent pending? Do you have exclusive agreements with suppliers or vendors to sell a product or service that none of your competitors sell? Do you have the license for a product, technology or service that’s in high demand and/or short supply?
4. How you will price your product or service: Describe the pricing, fee, subscription or leasing structure of your product or service. How does your product or service fit into the competitive landscape in terms of pricing—are you on the low end, mid-range or high end? How will that pricing strategy help you attract customers? What is your projected profit margin?
Include any product or service details, such as technical specifications, drawings, photos, patent documents and other support information, in the Appendices. After reading the Products & Services section, the reader should have a clear understanding of what your business does, what problem it solves for customers, and the unique selling proposition that makes it competitive. Use the Product and Service Description Worksheet on the next page to help you complete this section.
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Product & Service Description Worksheet
Business Name
Product/ Service Idea
Special Benefits
Unique Features
Limits and Liabilities
Production and Delivery
Suppliers
Intellectual Property Special Permits
Product/ Service Description
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