Business/Industry Overview contains an overview of the industry and how your business will compete in the sector. Describe the overall nature of the industry, including sales and other statistics. Include trends and demographic, economic, cultural, and governmental influences. Describe your business and how it fits into the industry. Describe the existing competition. Describe what area(s) of the market you will target and what unique, improved or lower cost services you will offer.
Market Analysis and the Competition. In this section, you need to demonstrate that you have thoroughly analyzed the target market and that there is enough demand for your product or service to make your business viable. The competitive analysis includes an assessment of your competition and how your business will compete in the sector.
Financial Plan. The financial plan section is the most important section of the business plan, especially if you need debt financing or wish to attract investors. The financial plan has to demonstrate that your business will grow and be profitable. To do this you will need to create projected income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets. For a new business, these are forecasts, and a good rule of thumb is to underestimate revenues and overestimate expenses.
Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan? A corporate business plan for a large organization can be hundreds of pages long, but for a small business it is best to keep the plan as short and concise as possible, especially if you intend to submit it to bankers or investors — 25-30 pages should be sufficient unless you need to include photos of products, equipment, logos, business premises or site plans, etc. Potential money-lenders or investors will be looking for solid research and analysis in your plan rather than long, wordy descriptions.
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