Step 3 Business Plan – A Breakdown

Last time we looked at the Executive Summary and how it is a summary of the key points of your business plan. However, even though the Executive Summary will be at the start of your business plan, it will only be written at the end, so you will need to research and explain the other sections well. They can be as follows:

Business and Products
What will make the business unique or different?
How will it be differentiated from other similar products or services?
What are the benefits you will offer to customers?
Will you save them time or money, make their life easier or safer?
Are there any disadvantages or problems?
How are you planning to develop and grow the business?

The Market and Competition – explaining which markets you will sell in and segment the market into groups that you will compete in.
What is the size of each market segment and your intended share of it?
Are there any noticeable market trends, changes in tastes or growing market areas?
How might these affect your business?
What drives the market?
Are there any growth forecasts for the market segments in which you operate?
What contribution to profit do you think each part of your business will make to the overall business?
Give details about the primary competition. What do and don’t they offer?
Are there any windows of opportunity?
Who supplies, distributes or partners them?
Who are their biggest customers?
How does their product or service compare to yours?
What are the key differences and how do they market their business? (Use your competitive intelligence report notes about your competition from your fact-finding mission).

Marketing and Sales – outline how you intend to reach your target markets and give details of price, product and positioning.
Where will your product or service be positioned in the marketplace – as a high quality item with a high price, or as a budget item or service?
Is there high demand?
How will you price your service/products?
What are the unique selling points of your product or service and which of these are of primary importance to your customer?
Who will be the end user?
How will you reach the end user and promote your business?
What selling methods will you be using: face to face, telesales, website sales.?
Do you think your idea has a great angle that might get you some good PR – some local or national TV, press or radio coverage?
Would the idea translate well to the internet for online selling, or would it sell best at exhibitions and events, or over the counter?

Next time: Managment and Personnel, Operations, Financial Performance, SWOT analysis and Other

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