The Business Plan

The general approach to the development of the Business Plan is to start with the following outline and to complete each section in detail as it pertains to the requirements of the business.  See example Business Plan.

Executive Summary

  • Highlight key attributes of the Business Plan.

The Enterprise

  • The Company – What will the business do, who will it be composed of and how will it generate revenues?
  • The Vision/The Founders – What is the long term/high-level objective of the business? Highlight the accomplishments and aptitude of key management personnel (when available).
  • The Product – This will serve to present the value proposition of the business’ product or service.
  • Competitive Advantage – What makes the value proposition of the business unique and how can this be used to the greatest advantage?

The Market

  • The Industry – What industry is the business most closely aligned with?  
  • Market Size and Growth Rate – The industry with which the business is aligned is intended to serve this market.  The market is identified here.
  • Target Market – This section will provide specifics about a sub-section of the market which will be particular receptive to the business’s value proposition.
  • The Competition – Who will the business be competing with for customers?
  • Sales Approach – How will the business’s products be presented to the market?
  • Valuations – How will the business’s products be valued?
  • Promotion and Advertising – What tools will be employed in order to drive demand for the business’s products?


  • Development Efforts to Date – Describe any relevant activities up to the present.
  • Facilities – Estimate of the space required by the business and where this will be located.
  • Information Systems – Estimate of the IT requirements of the business and associated costs.

The Organization

  • Executives of the Company – Identification of the roles and requirements needed implement the business plan.
  • Officer Compensation – Amount of compensation and type of compensation, i.e. cash, stock options.
  • Supporting Professionals – Type of outside support required and cost.
  • Headcount Forecast – Estimate of projected staff growth.

Key Risks/Time Line

  • Key Risks – Present general as well as specific risks to the value of the business, what would cause it to be abandoned at a later date.
  • Time Line – Provide key milestones to determine the progress envisioned for the business and when these milestones will be accomplished.

Financial Projection

  • Assumptions – Identify the major assumptions that were used in making the projection.
  • Balance Sheets – Projected balance sheets for five years from the establishment of the business.
  • Income Statements – Projected income statement for five years from the establishment of the business.
  • Cash Flow Statements – Projected cash flows for five years from the establishment of the business.