In this section you will explain the fundamentals of the proposed business: What will your product be? Who will your customers be? Who are the owners? What do you think the future holds for your business and your industry? The Executive Summary is a summary of the whole business plan in one page or less, and it is often easier to complete this section last.
The Executive Summary should be realistic, professional, accurate, complete and concise. Utilize the information gathered in the following business plan sections to create this general business summary. The Executive Summary will allow your readers to quickly understand the overall plan and purpose for the proposed business.
For more information about the Executive Summary and Business Planning, go to:
Company Description: This is a section in the business plan where you work out the details of what your business will look like, how it will behave, what it will value and how it will be set up legally. In this section, you will answer questions like: What business will you be in? What will you do?
Mission Statement: This is a component of the overall Company Description as it is used as a guiding principal for the organization as well as a means to describe the business in one or two sentences. Many companies have a brief mission statement, usually in 30 words or fewer, explaining their reason for being and their guiding principles. If you want to draft a mission statement, this is a good place to put it in the plan.
Company Goals and Objectives: Goals are destinations—where you want your business to be. Objectives are progress markers along the way to goal achievement. For example, a goal might be to have a healthy, successful company that is a leader in customer service and that has a loyal customer following. Objectives might be annual sales targets and some specific measures of customer satisfaction.
Industry: In this component, describe what industry/market you are trying to enter. Is it a growth industry? What changes do you foresee in the industry, short term and long term? How will your company be poised to take advantage of them? Describe your most important company strengths and core competencies. What factors will make the company succeed? What do you think your major competitive strengths will be? What background experience, skills, and strengths do you personally bring to this new venture?
Legal Form of Ownership: Sole proprietor, Partnership, Corporation, Limited liability corporation (LLC)? Why have you selected this form?
Product/Service Description: Here is where you give detailed information about the products or services your company is offering to your market. Here is the place to answer the following:
- Describe in depth your products or services.
- What factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantages? Examples include level of quality or unique or proprietary features.
- What are the pricing, fee, or leasing structures of your products or services?
Businesses do not run themselves, and businesses often need others for guidance and input. This section is necessary to help the entrepreneur develop strategic plan of talent to engage in starting and growing the business. SCORE offers the following advice for this section: Ask yourself who will manage the business on a day-to-day basis? What experience does that person bring to the business? What special or distinctive competencies? Is there a plan for continuation of the business if this person is lost or incapacitated? If you’ll have more than 10 employees, create an organizational chart showing the management hierarchy and who is responsible for key functions. Include position descriptions for key employees. If you are seeking loans or investors, include resumes of owners and key employees.
List the following for Professional and Advisory Support:
- Board of directors
- Management advisory board
- Insurance agent
- Mentors and key advisors