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How To Create A Business Succession Plan

June 28, 2021
Bill Kimball

what does a business plan look like

you do need to develop a plan to show to investors, banks, lawyers, and so forth, you can follow this simple business plan outline and decide on how in-depth or concise your business plan needs to be. If you’d like to see several additional example business roadmaps—for marketing, development, corporate IT, and product-related strategic initiatives—view our Roadmap Templates page. A Marketing Strategy Roadmap, to help the marketing team capture and communicate its department’s high-level goals and plans. An easy-to-digest overview of her business’s strategic objectives and plans—which would help her more quickly and compellingly communicate her business idea to investors, partners, and new employees. Consider how strategically useful a properly built business roadmap could be for an entrepreneur organizing her initial thoughts for starting a new business.

what does a business plan look like

A thorough description of your proposed product or service that alleviates the problem of your customer base. A summary of the problem you are solving and an identifiable need in the market you are filling. Business Strategy – Write on this part your marketing as well as promotional strategy. In this section, you must define the position you wish to get on the market. Research – This is the part where you will demonstrate your understanding of your target market.

Within three years we intend to create the area’s premier destination for cycling enthusiasts. Since a business plan should above all help you start and grow your business, your Executive Summary should first and foremost help you do the following. Creating a business plan lets you spot opportunities and challenges without risk. It’s the perfect way to review and revise your ideas and concepts before you ever spend a penny.

How Much Is The Business Worth?

For the most part, service companies can skip this piece and move on. You don’t have to give away trade secrets in your business plan, but you do need to describe how your technology is different and better than other solutions out there. At a high level, you will want to describe how your technology works.

what does a business plan look like

That’s because many aspiring entrepreneurs see a business plan as simply a tool–filled with strategies and projections and hyperbole–that will convince lenders or investors the business makes sense. You may also want to address any areas of perceived weakness by explaining how you’ll overcome them or compensate. No matter which type of business plan you choose, you’ll need to include a company summary. The U.S. Small Business Administration website has a lot of information available if you’ve never written a business plan before. The SBA provides examples of business plans for different types of companies. You’ll need a business plan if you’re seeking financing.

Personnel Plan

If you’re contemplating buying or selling a business, your business plan can provide you with a handy tool to establish a value—and to support that value if challenged. The background of your management team and key employees. Having information about key personnel is an important but often misrepresented portion of a business plan. It’s not a long and detailed biography of each person involved but an accurate account of what they’ve done and what they bring to the table for this specific business opportunity.

what does a business plan look like

Don’t assume every city or locality is the same in terms of spending power. A service that is viable in New York City may not be viable in your town.

2 Management Team

Blue Mountain Cycle Rentals is a new retail venture that will be located at 321 Mountain Drive, directly adjacent to an extremely popular cycling destination. Our initial goal is to become the premier provider for bicycle rentals.

The shorter, more basic plans get to the heart of your business immediately. These also tend to put things into simple terms, making it easy for the layperson to understand.

Maybe the existing solutions to your customer’s problem are very expensive or cumbersome. For a business with a physical location, perhaps there aren’t any existing solutions within reasonable driving distance. Don’t bother to include terms of a potential investment, as that will always be negotiated later. Instead, just include a short statement indicating how much money you need to raise. Provide a brief overview of your team and a short explanation of why you and your team are the right people to take your idea to market. For example, if your company is developing a complex scientific process, but your prospective investors aren’t scientists, avoid jargon, or acronyms that won’t be familiar. The Yearly Total Sales chart summarizes our ambitious sales forecast.

However, sellers of new equipment do indirectly compete with our business since a customer who buys equipment no longer needs to rent equipment. While these questions may seem like a lot of work to answer, in reality the process should be fairly easy. You should already have a feel for the competition’s strengths and weaknesses–if you know your market and your industry. The key is to show you understand your market and you understand how you will reach your market. Marketing and promotions must result in customers–your goal is to thoroughly describe how you will acquire and keep your customers. Access to the forest is restricted to a few primary entrances, and visitors reach those entrances after traveling on one of several main roadways.

For years, we have supported both Windows and Macintosh technology for CPUs, although we’ve switched vendors many times for the Windows lines. We are also supporting Novell, Banyon, and Microsoft networking, Xbase database software, and Claris application products. Copies of our brochure and advertisements are attached as appendices. Of course, one of our first tasks will be to change the messaging of our literature to make sure we are selling the company, rather than the product. These are complex products that require serious knowledge and experience to use, which we have, while our competitors sell only the products themselves. We sell the assurance to small business people that their business will not suffer any information technology disasters or critical downtimes. AMT sells personal computer technology for small business including personal computer hardware, peripherals, networks, software, support, service, and training.

If you are writing a business plan for an existing company, it’s appropriate to include a brief history of the company and highlight major historical achievements. Again, keep this section short—no more than a few paragraphs at most. intellectual property that is proprietary to your business and helps your business defend itself against competitors, you should detail that information here. If you have patents or are in the patent application process, this is the place to highlight those patents.

  • Our initial goal is to become the premier provider for bicycle rentals.
  • With a startup, these elements might be more speculative.
  • A snapshot of the potential market based on the last few sections and how your business strategy works within it.
  • Even retirement often seems like a distant speck on the horizon, let alone plans to hand over the business.
  • Investors like to call this “traction.” What this means is that your company has shown some evidence of early success.
  • A detailed roadmap of specific goals and objectives you plan to achieve that will help you manage and steer your business.

The operating plan gives information on how your business will be run. The U.S. Small Business Administration takes a middle-of-the-road approach recognizing that not all businesses need a comprehensive business plan. Instead, it suggests a lean, simple business plan for startups that highlights the basics, or for businesses to focus on parts of a business plan that make the most sense for their business. Remember that your business plan should be only as big as what you need to run your business. A repository for any additional information, including charts and graphs, to support your business plan. A summary of your company’s history and how it relates to planning your business. If you’re looking for greater insight into what goes into specific planning sections, check out the following outline.

Keep in mind competitive analysis does more than help you understand your competition. Competitive analysis can also help you identify changes you should make toyourbusiness strategies. Learn from competitor strengths, take advantage of competitor’s weaknesses, and apply the same analysis to your own business plan. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competition–or potential competition–is critical to making sure your business survives and grows. While you don’t need to hire a private detective, you do need to thoroughly assess your competition on a regular basis even if you plan to run only a small business.

Marketing And Sales Plan

We’ll include our thoughts below each word, but no peeking. Before we look at some example business roadmaps, and roadmap templates, try this word-association exercise. As you read a word in the list below, think of the first word that pops into your head to form a two-word description of a standard business document.

It’s a document that tells the story of what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you’ve written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan. Boosting sales in a particular product, market or price range. An exit strategy is your plan for eventually selling your business, either to another company or to the public in an IPO. If you have investors, they will want to know your thoughts on this. If you’re running a business that you plan to maintain ownership of indefinitely, and you’re not seeking angel investment or VC funding, you can skip the exit strategy section. After all, your investors will want to get a return on their investment, and the only way they will get this is if the company is sold to someone else.

In fact, I don’t recommend writing the plan in the same order that you present it as a finished document. Use this business plan section to outline your marketing plan, your sales plan, and the other logistics involved in actually running your business. In the opportunity section of your business plan, describe the problem that you solve for your customers and the solution that you are selling. And, truthfully, a business plan doesn’t really offer a high-level, at-a-glance strategic view of anything. It’s typically a detailed document, often running dozens of pages, that explains down to a granular level what the business plans to do to achieve its goals. Keila spent over a decade in the government and private sector before founding Little Fish Accounting. She holds a BS in Accounting from Georgia State University – J.