Features of a Business Plan
A business plan is a document outlining the goals of a business and the strategies to achieve these goals. It is mainly prepared by new businesses or by ones making major changes.
The Executive Summary is a synopsis of the full business plan. It presents the salient points of the plan. It contains information on the purpose of the business, its methods of operation and future expectations.
History of the business
This section gives full details on previous operations of a business. For a new business it will explain where the idea came from and the reasons for starting the business.
The Mission Statement gives the overall goal of a business as well as its values. It serves as a guide to the operation o the business. For example: providing the highest quality goods and services.
Business goals and objectives
The firms’ short-term, medium-term and long-term goals and the time in which these are to be achieved is outlined in this section.
The business must state the ownership structure and give details of the management team.
Looks at the strength and weaknesses of the business
E.g. Strengths – strategic location, years of experience
Weakness – Loans at affordable interest rates,
How has the industry changed in the past few years and who are the other firms in the industry.
Product /Service Description
Describe clearly the product or service that you will be offering.
Describe your target market and your competitors.
Explain the various promotional, pricing and distribution strategies.
Explain how the business will function on a day-to-day basis. For example: Procurement of raw materials, the use of technology and operating methods.
What amount of sales the business expects to make on a monthly basis.
Start –up Cost
The total amount needed to start the new business, giving a detailed description of what the money will be used for.
E.g. fixed Costs (rent, insurance and salary) and variable costs (utilities and wages)
Projected Cash Flow
An estimate of how much you expect to earn periodically once you start operating.
Acquisition of Funds
Information on how funds will be obtained e.g. personal savings, borrowing from friends and family, borrowing from financial institutions or by selling shares