A business plan outline is a fundamental step in organizing your ideas. Following the same will ensure your business plan is in the format that provokes investors and lenders to take action. The underneath business plan outline provides you with a 20 point checklist for raising capital.
Read below to know more about the same:
The Executive Summary is the essential part of your business plan outline. If it does not interest readers, they will never read your entire plan. Begin your Executive Summary with a concise description of what your company does. Subsequently, explain why your company is likely to achieve results. Lastly, include a summary of your financial projections in your Executive Summary. Define your anticipated revenues, expenses, and profits for the next five years, how much funding you are asking for, and the allotment of these funds.
The Business Overview segment provides a brief history of your company. Make sure to answer questions such as when and how your organization came into existence, what type of legal entity you are, and achievements to date. Your past accomplishments are perhaps the most reliable indicator of potential future success. Hence, identify and incorporate all key milestones your business has achieved to date.
The Market Overview segment explains the size and characteristics of your market. For instance, if you run an ice-cream parlor business or restaurant business, you would include the size of the restaurant market, a concise study of sectors, and market trends.
The relevant market size is a specific estimation of your market scope. It is the yearly revenue your company could attain if it attained 100% market share. Calculate your relevant market size by the following methods –
1) multiplying the number of consumers interested in acquiring your products and utilizing your services each year and
2) multiplying the amount these consumers are willing to pay – on an annual basis – on your products and services.
Customer Analysis helps you define your target audience. It precisely identifies your current and intended customers. Make sure you include as much demographic data on your target consumers as possible in your business plan outline.
This section of your business plan outlines why customers want or need your products and services.
Direct opponents or competitors are companies that supply the same products or services to fulfill customer needs. For instance, if you run a French restaurant, other French restaurants would be direct competitors. This segment of your business plan outline tells you who is your direct competition including their strengths and weaknesses.
Indirect opponents or competitors are businesses that supply the same customers with a different solution to satisfy their needs. For instance, if you operate a French restaurant, a Mexican restaurant would be an indirect competitor. This section of your business plan outline gives you an idea about your indirect competition and its strengths and weaknesses.
Identify your Competitive Advantages. State what it is about your company that will allow you to compete against direct and indirect competitors effectively.
The Marketing Plan segment has four sub-categories in your business plan outline as below:
a) Products & Services
Provide the details of the products and services your company offers.
Show your pricing here and discuss how it relates to competition. Present your anticipated pricing model.
c) Promotions Plan
Your promotions plan details how to attract new customers. For instance, you may choose influencer marketing, or press releases, or online pay-per-click ads, and so on. Give details of each form of promotion that you plan to use.
d) Distribution Plan
Your Distribution Plan describes how consumers can buy from you. They can most often buy directly from you at your physical store or web address. Otherwise, you may have distributors or partners who sell your products or services. In the second case, describe this structure.
Key Operational Processes
Your Key Operational Processes are the everyday functions your business conducts. In this segment of your business plan outline, you shall describe these functions. This section will give you clarity on the company you hope to build.
List the essential milestones you hope to accomplish in the future and the target dates for achieving them. In this segment, set goals for specific and critical undertakings, such as planning to launch a new product, plan to execute new partnerships, etc.
Management Team Members
This section of your business plan outline lists the current members of your management team and their experiences.
Management Team Gaps
You will discover loopholes in your team and roles you’d like to fill later, especially if you are a newbie or a startup business. Recognize such situations and the qualifications of the people you want to seek to fill them.
If you have a Board of Advisors or Board of Directors, describe your Board members and their bios in this section of your business plan outline.
This section of your business plan outline defines how you generate revenues.
Your complete financial model belongs in your appendix, but you will include the highlights in this section. Write down your revenues, essential expenses, and projected net income for the next five years.
Funding Requirements And Allocation
If you attempt funding for your company, describe the amount here, and most importantly, for what you will use these funds.
If you are seeking equity funding, analyze your anticipated exit strategy. The most likely exit strategy is to market your company to a more prominent firm. List the names of potential acquirers if possible.
As mentioned earlier, your complete financial model belongs in your appendix. Furthermore, include any supporting documentation that will help persuade readers your business will succeed.
In a business plan outline, you will see the 20 critical areas mentioned above – common to business plans. The following ten sections – or subheadings – can summarize our 20 point checklist into 10, for raising capital.
- a) Segment I, which comprises the Executive Summary
- b) Segment II gives us the Company Overview
- c) Segment III helps us study Industry Analysis
- d) Segment IV helps us with Customer Analysis
- e) Segment V gives us a clear view concerning Competitive Analysis
- f) Segment VI assists us in deciding on Marketing Plan
- g) Segment VII lays down our Operations Plan
- h) Segment VIII elaborates on the working pattern of our Management Team
- i) Segment IX helps us reach the right financial supporters by making a Financial Plan
- j) Segment X highlights on the Appendix
Whatever may be your reason for writing a business plan outline, you must know that planning makes your business more prosperous. We hope this business plan outline has helped you propose your thoughts and answer the crucial questions needed to build a successful business. At the same time, twenty-three sections may seem too many. Yet, if you formulate them one at a time, you can make improvements and finish your entire plan quickly and efficiently.