The old adage is that investors don’t invest in ideas, they invest in people. More and more, prospects are using social media to learn about companies and to find out how responsive they are. If you’re a shoe company, you aren’t targeting “everyone” just because everyone has feet. What is the size of the market? Here’s a quick overview of each topic. Above all, your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you might need to raise or borrow to grow your company. How are your competitors positioning themselves? This can be a tagline, but is often more effective if the sentence describes what your company actually does. , or your ideal customer? What is it and how is it offered? Traction could be some initial sales, a successful pilot program, or a significant partnership. What this really means is that running a successful business all comes down to getting the work down. Every business will have key metrics that it watches to monitor growth and spot trouble early, and your business plan should detail the key metrics that you will be tracking in your business. Entrepreneurs are by nature confident, positive, can-do people. Price too low and people may undervalue your offering. A brief description of products and services, A high-level justification for viability (including a quick look at your competition and your competitive advantage), The economic outlook indicates fewer VA, WV, NC, and MD cycling enthusiasts will travel outside the region, The park has added a camping and lodging facilities that should attract an increased number of visitors, The park has opened up additional areas for trail exploration and construction, ensuring a greater number of single-track options and therefore a greater number of visitors, Initial growth will be moderate as we establish awareness in the market, Initial equipment purchases will stay in service for an average of three to four years; after two years we will begin investing in "new" equipment to replace damaged or obsolete equipment, Marketing costs will not exceed 14 percent of sales, Residual profits will be reinvested in expanding the product and service line. They will guide you through the details of creating a winning plan that will impress your investors: It can be very helpful to view some completed business plans as you go through the planning process. Product development? This article is part of both our Business Startup Guide and our Business Planning Guide—curated lists of our articles that will get you up and running in no time! For that reason alone, writing a business plan and then leveraging your plan for growth won’t be nearly as challenging as you think. You don’t need to go into excruciating detail here, though—if an investor is interested in more detail they will ask for it, and you can provide that information in your appendix. For a larger company, the personnel plan is typically broken down into functional groups such as “marketing” and “sales.”. It’s important here to be specific. In other words, why should a customer choose you instead of someone else? Or you might realize the fundamental idea for your business is sound, but how you implement that idea should change. Also, keep in mind that if a supplier runs out of capacity--or goes out of business altogether--you may not have a sufficient supply to meet your demand. Don't bother with copy and paste. For example, the positioning statement for LivePlan, our business planning product, is: “For the businessperson who is starting a new company, launching new products or seeking funding or partners, LivePlan is software that produces professional business plans quickly and easily. Also keep in mind you may want to include examples of marketing materials you have already prepared, like website descriptions, print ads, web-based advertising programs, etc.