Business Plan Contents and Scoring

Formatting, Cover Sheet, Table of Contents (5 points)

Business plans are limited to a maximum of 15 pages. The pages must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font. Paragraphs can be single- or double-spaced.

All plans must begin with a Cover Page and a Table of Contents. These will not be counted as part of the plan’s total pages. The typeface on these pages can be larger than 12-point if desired. The Cover Page must include:

  • the name of the business
  • the name/s of all team members
  • the name of the team’s school, extracurricular club, or other organization
  • the sponsor’s name and title
  • contact information – sponsor’s e-mail address, telephone number, and mailing address

Executive Summary (10 Points)

On one page or less, describe your company and the industry it represents (retail, healthcare, finance, agriculture, education, hospitality, utilities, construction, manufacturing, transportation, etc.). What inspired you to create the company? What markets will you target? How much money is needed to launch the business? How will the company make money?

Consider writing the Executive Summary after you have completed the other parts of the plan. Keep in mind this will be the judges’ first impression of the team and the plan. Make this summary confident, convincing, and exciting.

Company Overview (10 Points)

How did your team come up with the idea for the business? What need or “pain” is it addressing in the marketplace? What is your proposed product or service and how does it satisfy the need in the marketplace? Who would be your customer? How would your product or service bring value to your customers? Where would your company be located and why? What are the team’s vision and goals for the company?

Market and Competitive Analysis (15 Points)

What research and validation was done by the team to determine the need for the product or service? How large is the marketplace? How did the team target their customers? What are their demographics (gender, age, income, geography, etc.)? What are the growth trends and key driving forces of your industry? How will these influence the viability of your product or service? How will you promote your product or service to your customers? How and where will your product or service be sold or offered? Who are your competitors? Why would your customers buy from you rather than your competitors?

Product or Service Description (15 Points)

Further describe the product or service. What innovative features does it offer? Why is it new or different than what is currently in the marketplace? How will it meet the needs and expectations of your targeted customers? What facilities, equipment, and supplies are needed? How would it be delivered to the points to where you will sell it to your customers?

(If applicable, please include a drawing or photo to better illustrate the product or service. Please ensure images are compressed before placing them into the document.)

Management Team (10 Points)

What key leaders are needed for the company’s management? What are their duties? What management roles would the team members assume and what skills, talents, and interests do they bring to the table for these positions?

Critical Risks (5 Points)

What critical risks – real or potential – could threaten the business? How would the team address them?

Financials (10 Points)

For the 9th – 10th grade division:  Provide a narrative to answer the following questions: How much money does the team think is needed to start the company? Where would the money come from? How much does it cost to make or create the product or service? How much does it cost to get it into the marketplace? What are other costs (marketing, salaries, office equipment, etc.)? How much money – if any – does the team think the company would make in the first, second, and third years?

For the 11th – 12th grade division: How much money is needed to start the business? Where would it come from? If it is a loan or other form of credit, what are the repayment terms? Provide an Income Statement outlining projected revenue and expenses for three years. Give a brief rationale as to how the team arrived at these figures for each year.

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