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Business Plan for a Startup Business
The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 15 !uestions divided into several sections. "ork through the sections in any order that you like# e$cept for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. %kip any !uestions that do not apply to your type of business. "hen you are finished writing your first draft# you&ll have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you&ll want to edit them into a smooth'flowing narrative. The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand( rather# the value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly# study and research if you are not sure of the facts# and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now# but avoids costly# perhaps disastrous# mistakes later. This business plan is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. )owever# you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances. *efore you begin# review the section titled Refining the Plan# found at the end. It suggests emphasi+ing certain areas depending upon your type of business ,manufacturing# retail# service# etc.-. It also has tips for fine'tuning your plan to make an effective presentation to investors or bankers. If this is why you&re creating your plan# pay particular attention to your writing style. .ou will be /udged by the !uality and appearance of your work as well as by your ideas. It typically takes several weeks to complete a good plan. 0ost of that time is spent in research and re'thinking your ideas and assumptions. *ut then# that&s the value of the process. %o make time to do the /ob properly. Those who do never regret the effort. 1nd finally# be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions underlying your financial data. If you need assistance with your business plan# contact the %2345 office in your area to set up a business counseling appointment with a %2345 volunteer or send your plan for review to a %2345 counselor at www.score.org. 2all 1'8 '678' 285 to get the contact information for the %2345 office closest to you.
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.our *usiness 9ame 1ddress :ine 1 1ddress :ine 2 2ity# %T ;IP 2ode Telephone <a$ 5'0ail
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Table of Contents
I.Table of 2ontents..............................................................................................................7 II.5$ecutive %ummary.........................................................................................................8 III.=eneral 2ompany >escription.......................................................................................5 I?.Products and %ervices.....................................................................................................6 ?.0arketing Plan.................................................................................................................@ ?I.3perational Plan...........................................................................................................18 ?II.0anagement and 3rgani+ation...................................................................................18 ?III.Personal <inancial %tatement.....................................................................................1A IB.%tartup 5$penses and 2apitali+ation............................................................................2 B.<inancial Plan................................................................................................................21 BI.1ppendices...................................................................................................................28 BII.4efining the Plan.........................................................................................................25
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"rite this section last.
"e suggest that you make it two pages or fewer. Include everything that you would cover in a five'minute interview. 5$plain the fundamentals of the proposed businessC "hat will your product beD "ho will your customers beD "ho are the ownersD "hat do you think the future holds for your business and your industryD 0ake it enthusiastic# professional# complete# and concise. If applying for a loan# state clearly how much you want# precisely how you are going to use it# and how the money will make your business more profitable# thereby ensuring repayment.
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eneral Company !escription
"hat business will you be inD "hat will you doD 0ission %tatementC 0any companies have a brief mission statement# usually in 7 words or fewer# e$plaining their reason for being and their guiding principles. If you want to draft a mission statement# this is a good place to put it in the plan# followed byC 2ompany =oals and 3b/ectivesC =oals are destinationsEwhere you want your business to be. 3b/ectives are progress markers along the way to goal achievement. <or e$ample# a goal might be to have a healthy# successful company that is a leader in customer service and that has a loyal customer following. 3b/ectives might be annual sales targets and some specific measures of customer satisfaction. *usiness PhilosophyC "hat is important to you in businessD To whom will you market your productsD ,%tate it briefly hereEyou will do a more thorough e$planation in the Marketing Plan section-. >escribe your industry. Is it a growth industryD "hat changes do you foresee in the industry# short term and long termD )ow will your company be poised to take advantage of themD >escribe your most important company strengths and core competencies. "hat factors will make the company succeedD "hat do you think your ma/or competitive strengths will beD "hat background e$perience# skills# and strengths do you personally bring to this new ventureD :egal form of ownershipC %ole proprietor# Partnership# 2orporation# :imited liability corporation ,::2-D "hy have you selected this formD
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Pro#ucts an# Services
>escribe in depth your products or services ,technical specifications# drawings# photos# sales brochures# and other bulky items belong in Appendices-. "hat factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantagesD 5$amples include level of !uality or uni!ue or proprietary features. "hat are the pricing# fee# or leasing structures of your products or servicesD
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$ar%et researc' ( W'y)
9o matter how good your product and your service# the venture cannot succeed without effective marketing. 1nd this begins with careful# systematic research. It is very dangerous to assume that you already know about your intended market. .ou need to do market research to make sure you&re on track. Fse the business planning process as your opportunity to uncover data and to !uestion your marketing efforts. .our time will be well spent.
$ar%et researc' ( *o+)
There are two kinds of market researchC primary and secondary. %econdary research means using published information such as industry profiles# trade /ournals# newspapers# maga+ines# census data# and demographic profiles. This type of information is available in public libraries# industry associations# chambers of commerce# from vendors who sell to your industry# and from government agencies. %tart with your local library. 0ost librarians are pleased to guide you through their business data collection. .ou will be ama+ed at what is there. There are more online sources than you could possibly use. .our chamber of commerce has good information on the local area. Trade associations and trade publications often have e$cellent industry'specific data. Primary research means gathering your own data. <or e$ample# you could do your own traffic count at a proposed location# use the yellow pages to identify competitors# and do surveys or focus'group interviews to learn about consumer preferences. Professional market research can be very costly# but there are many books that show small business owners how to do effective research themselves. In your marketing plan# be as specific as possible( give statistics# numbers# and sources. The marketing plan will be the basis# later on# of the all'important sales pro/ection.
<acts about your industryC • • • • • "hat is the total si+e of your marketD "hat percent share of the market will you haveD ,This is important only if you think you will be a ma/or factor in the market.2urrent demand in target market. Trends in target marketEgrowth trends# trends in consumer preferences# and trends in product development. =rowth potential and opportunity for a business of your si+e.
Page 8 of 28 • "hat barriers to entry do you face in entering this market with your new companyD %ome typical barriers areC o )igh capital costs o )igh production costs o )igh marketing costs o 2onsumer acceptance and brand recognition o Training and skills o Fni!ue technology and patents o Fnions o %hipping costs o Tariff barriers and !uotas • • 1nd of course# how will you overcome the barriersD )ow could the following affect your companyD o 2hange in technology o 2hange in government regulations o 2hange in the economy o 2hange in your industry
In the Products and Services section# you described your products and services as you see them. 9ow describe them from your customers& point of view. ,eatures an# Benefits :ist all of your ma/or products or services. <or each product or serviceC • • >escribe the most important features. "hat is special about itD >escribe the benefits. That is# what will the product do for the customerD
Page A of 28 9ote the difference between features and benefits# and think about them. <or e$ample# a house that gives shelter and lasts a long time is made with certain materials and to a certain design( those are its features. Its benefits include pride of ownership# financial security# providing for the family# and inclusion in a neighborhood. .ou build features into your product so that you can sell the benefits. "hat after'sale services will you giveD %ome e$amples are delivery# warranty# service contracts# support# follow'up# and refund policy.
Identify your targeted customers# their characteristics# and their geographic locations# otherwise known as their demographics. The description will be completely different depending on whether you plan to sell to other businesses or directly to consumers. If you sell a consumer product# but sell it through a channel of distributors# wholesalers# and retailers# you must carefully analy+e both the end consumer and the middleman businesses to which you sell. .ou may have more than one customer group. Identify the most important groups. Then# for each customer group# construct what is called a demographic profileC • • • • • • • • 1ge =ender :ocation Income level %ocial class and occupation 5ducation 3ther ,specific to your industry3ther ,specific to your industry-
<or business customers# the demographic factors might beC • • • • Industry ,or portion of an industry:ocation %i+e of firm Guality# technology# and price preferences
Page 1 of 28 • • 3ther ,specific to your industry3ther ,specific to your industry-
"hat products and companies will compete with youD :ist your ma/or competitorsC ,9ames and addresses"ill they compete with you across the board# or /ust for certain products# certain customers# or in certain locationsD "ill you have important indirect competitorsD ,<or e$ample# video rental stores compete with theaters# although they are different types of businesses.)ow will your products or services compare with the competitionD Fse the 2ompetitive 1nalysis table below to compare your company with your two most important competitors. In the first column are key competitive factors. %ince these vary from one industry to another# you may want to customi+e the list of factors. In the column labeled $e# state how you honestly think you will stack up in customersH minds. Then check whether you think this factor will be a strength or a weakness for you. %ometimes it is hard to analy+e our own weaknesses. Try to be very honest here. *etter yet# get some disinterested strangers to assess you. This can be a real eye'opener. 1nd remember that you cannot be all things to all people. In fact# trying to be causes many business failures because efforts become scattered and diluted. .ou want an honest assessment of your firmHs strong and weak points. 9ow analy+e each ma/or competitor. In a few words# state how you think they compare. In the final column# estimate the importance of each competitive factor to the customer. 1 I critical( 5 I not very important.
Table -. Competitive /nalysis
,actor Pro#ucts Price 0uality Selection $e Stren&t' Wea%ness Competitor / Competitor B Importance to Customer
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Importance to Customer
Service Reliability Stability Expertise Company Reputation 1ocation /ppearance Sales $et'o# Cre#it Policies /#vertisin& Ima&e
9ow# write a short paragraph stating your competitive advantages and disadvantages.
9ow that you have systematically analy+ed your industry# your product# your customers# and the competition# you should have a clear picture of where your company fits into the world. In one short paragraph# define your niche# your uni!ue corner of the market.
9ow outline a marketing strategy that is consistent with your niche. Promotion )ow will you get the word out to customersD 1dvertisingC "hat media# why# and how oftenD "hy this mi$ and not some otherD
Page 12 of 28 )ave you identified low'cost methods to get the most out of your promotional budgetD "ill you use methods other than paid advertising# such as trade shows# catalogs# dealer incentives# word of mouth ,how will you stimulate itD-# and network of friends or professionalsD "hat image do you want to pro/ectD )ow do you want customers to see youD In addition to advertising# what plans do you have for graphic image supportD This includes things like logo design# cards and letterhead# brochures# signage# and interior design ,if customers come to your place of business-. %hould you have a system to identify repeat customers and then systematically contact themD Promotional Bu#&et )ow much will you spend on the items listed aboveD *efore startupD ,These numbers will go into your startup budget.3ngoingD ,These numbers will go into your operating plan budget.Pricin& 5$plain your method or methods of setting prices. <or most small businesses# having the lowest price is not a good policy. It robs you of needed profit margin( customers may not care as much about price as you think( and large competitors can under price you anyway. Fsually you will do better to have average prices and compete on !uality and service. >oes your pricing strategy fit with what was revealed in your competitive analysisD 2ompare your prices with those of the competition. 1re they higher# lower# the sameD "hyD )ow important is price as a competitive factorD >o your intended customers really make their purchase decisions mostly on priceD "hat will be your customer service and credit policiesD Propose# 1ocation Probably you do not have a precise location picked out yet. This is the time to think about what you want and need in a location. 0any startups run successfully from home for a while. .ou will describe your physical needs later# in the Operational Plan section. )ere# analy+e your location criteria as they will affect your customers. Is your location important to your customersD If yes# howD If customers come to your place of businessC
Page 17 of 28 Is it convenientD ParkingD Interior spacesD 9ot out of the wayD Is it consistent with your imageD Is it what customers want and e$pectD "here is the competition locatedD Is it better for you to be near them ,like car dealers or fast food restaurants- or distant ,like convenience food stores-D !istribution C'annels )ow do you sell your products or servicesD 4etail >irect ,mail order# "eb# catalog"holesale .our own sales force 1gents Independent representatives *id on contracts
9ow that you have described your products# services# customers# markets# and marketing plans in detail# it&s time to attach some numbers to your plan. Fse a sales forecast spreadsheet to prepare a month'by'month pro/ection. The forecast should be based on your historical sales# the marketing strategies that you have /ust described# your market research# and industry data# if available. .ou may want to do two forecastsC 1- a Jbest guessJ# which is what you really e$pect# and 2- a Jworst caseJ low estimate that you are confident you can reach no matter what happens. 4emember to keep notes on your research and your assumptions as you build this sales forecast and all subse!uent spreadsheets in the plan. This is critical if you are going to present it to funding sources.
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5$plain the daily operation of the business# its location# e!uipment# people# processes# and surrounding environment.
)ow and where are your products or services producedD 5$plain your methods ofC • • • • • Production techni!ues and costs Guality control 2ustomer service Inventory control Product development
"hat !ualities do you need in a locationD >escribe the type of location you&ll have. Physical re!uirementsC • • • • 1mount of space Type of building ;oning Power and other utilities
1ccessC Is it important that your location be convenient to transportation or to suppliersD >o you need easy walk'in accessD "hat are your re!uirements for parking and pro$imity to freeway# airports# railroads# and shipping centersD Include a drawing or layout of your proposed facility if it is important# as it might be for a manufacturer.
Page 15 of 28 2onstructionD 0ost new companies should not sink capital into construction# but if you are planning to build# costs and specifications will be a big part of your plan. 2ostC 5stimate your occupation e$penses# including rent# but also including maintenance# utilities# insurance# and initial remodeling costs to make the space suit your needs. These numbers will become part of your financial plan. "hat will be your business hoursD
>escribe the followingC • • • • • • • :icensing and bonding re!uirements Permits )ealth# workplace# or environmental regulations %pecial regulations covering your industry or profession ;oning or building code re!uirements Insurance coverage Trademarks# copyrights# or patents ,pending# e$isting# or purchased-
• • • • • • • • • 9umber of employees Type of labor ,skilled# unskilled# and professional"here and how will you find the right employeesD Guality of e$isting staff Pay structure Training methods and re!uirements "ho does which tasksD >o you have schedules and written procedures preparedD )ave you drafted /ob descriptions for employeesD If not# take time to write some. They really help internal communications with employees.
Page 16 of 28 • <or certain functions# will you use contract workers in addition to employeesD
• • • • • "hat kind of inventory will you keepC raw materials# supplies# finished goodsD 1verage value in stock ,i.e.# what is your inventory investment-D 4ate of turnover and how this compares to the industry averagesD %easonal buildupsD :ead'time for orderingD
Identify key suppliersC • • • • 9ames and addresses Type and amount of inventory furnished 2redit and delivery policies )istory and reliability
%hould you have more than one supplier for critical items ,as a backup-D >o you e$pect shortages or short'term delivery problemsD 1re supply costs steady or fluctuatingD If fluctuating# how would you deal with changing costsD
• • • • • • >o you plan to sell on creditD >o you really need to sell on creditD Is it customary in your industry and e$pected by your clienteleD If yes# what policies will you have about who gets credit and how muchD )ow will you check the creditworthiness of new applicantsD "hat terms will you offer your customers( that is# how much credit and when is payment dueD "ill you offer prompt payment discountsD ,)intC >o this only if it is usual and customary in your industry.-
Page 1@ of 28 • >o you know what it will cost you to e$tend creditD )ave you built the costs into your pricesD
$ana&in& 2our /ccounts Receivable If you do e$tend credit# you should do an aging at least monthly to track how much of your money is tied up in credit given to customers and to alert you to slow payment problems. 1 receivables aging looks like the following tableC
Total /ccounts Receivable /&in& Current 34 !ays 54 !ays 64 !ays Over 64 !ays
.ou will need a policy for dealing with slow'paying customersC • • • "hen do you make a phone callD "hen do you send a letterD "hen do you get your attorney to threatenD
$ana&in& 2our /ccounts Payable .ou should also age your accounts payable# what you owe to your suppliers. This helps you plan whom to pay and when. Paying too early depletes your cash# but paying late can cost you valuable discounts and can damage your credit. ,)intC If you know you will be late making a payment# call the creditor before the due date.>o your proposed vendors offer prompt payment discountsD 1 payables aging looks like the following table.
Total /ccounts Payable /&in& Current 34 !ays 54 !ays 64 !ays Over 64 !ays
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"II. $ana&ement an# Or&ani7ation
"ho will manage the business on a day'to'day basisD "hat e$perience does that person bring to the businessD "hat special or distinctive competenciesD Is there a plan for continuation of the business if this person is lost or incapacitatedD If you&ll have more than 1 employees# create an organi+ational chart showing the management hierarchy and who is responsible for key functions. Include position descriptions for key employees. If you are seeking loans or investors# include resumes of owners and key employees.
Professional an# /#visory Support
:ist the followingC • • • • • • • • *oard of directors 0anagement advisory board 1ttorney 1ccountant Insurance agent *anker 2onsultant or consultants 0entors and key advisors
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"III. Personal ,inancial Statement
Include personal financial statements for each owner and ma/or stockholder# showing assets and liabilities held outside the business and personal net worth. 3wners will often have to draw on personal assets to finance the business# and these statements will show what is available. *ankers and investors usually want this information as well.
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Startup Expenses an# Capitali7ation
.ou will have many startup e$penses before you even begin operating your business. It&s important to estimate these e$penses accurately and then to plan where you will get sufficient capital. This is a research pro/ect# and the more thorough your research efforts# the less chance that you will leave out important e$penses or underestimate them. 5ven with the best of research# however# opening a new business has a way of costing more than you anticipate. There are two ways to make allowances for surprise e$penses. The first is to add a little KpaddingL to each item in the budget. The problem with that approach# however# is that it destroys the accuracy of your carefully wrought plan. The second approach is to add a separate line item# called contingencies# to account for the unforeseeable. This is the approach we recommend. Talk to others who have started similar businesses to get a good idea of how much to allow for contingencies. If you cannot get good information# we recommend a rule of thumb that contingencies should e!ual at least 2 percent of the total of all other start'up e$penses. 5$plain your research and how you arrived at your forecasts of e$penses. =ive sources# amounts# and terms of proposed loans. 1lso e$plain in detail how much will be contributed by each investor and what percent ownership each will have.
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The financial plan consists of a 12'month profit and loss pro/ection# a four'year profit and loss pro/ection ,optional-# a cash'flow pro/ection# a pro/ected balance sheet# and a break'even calculation. Together they constitute a reasonable estimate of your companyHs financial future. 0ore important# the process of thinking through the financial plan will improve your insight into the inner financial workings of your company.
-9($ont' Profit an# 1oss Pro:ection
0any business owners think of the 12'month profit and loss pro/ection as the centerpiece of their plan. This is where you put it all together in numbers and get an idea of what it will take to make a profit and be successful. .our sales pro/ections will come from a sales forecast in which you forecast sales# cost of goods sold# e$penses# and profit month'by'month for one year. Profit pro/ections should be accompanied by a narrative e$plaining the ma/or assumptions used to estimate company income and e$penses. 4esearch 9otesC Meep careful notes on your research and assumptions# so that you can e$plain them later if necessary# and also so that you can go back to your sources when it&s time to revise your plan.
,our(2ear Profit Pro:ection ;Optional<
The 12'month pro/ection is the heart of your financial plan. The <our'.ear Profit pro/ection is for those who want to carry their forecasts beyond the first year. 3f course# keep notes of your key assumptions# especially about things that you e$pect will change dramatically after the first year.
Pro:ecte# Cas' ,lo+
If the profit pro/ection is the heart of your business plan# cash flow is the blood. *usinesses fail because they cannot pay their bills. 5very part of your business plan is important# but none of it means a thing if you run out of cash. The point of this worksheet is to plan how much you need before startup# for preliminary e$penses# operating e$penses# and reserves. .ou should keep updating it and using it afterward. It will enable you to foresee shortages in time to do something about themEperhaps cut e$penses# or perhaps negotiate a loan. *ut foremost# you shouldn&t be taken by surprise. There is no great trick to preparing itC The cash'flow pro/ection is /ust a forward look at your checking account. <or each item# determine when you actually e$pect to receive cash ,for sales- or when you will actually have to write a check ,for e$pense items-.
Page 22 of 28 .ou should track essential operating data# which is not necessarily part of cash flow but allows you to track items that have a heavy impact on cash flow# such as sales and inventory purchases. .ou should also track cash outlays prior to opening in a pre'startup column. .ou should have already researched those for your startup e$penses plan. .our cash flow will show you whether your working capital is ade!uate. 2learly# if your pro/ected cash balance ever goes negative# you will need more start'up capital. This plan will also predict /ust when and how much you will need to borrow. 5$plain your ma/or assumptions# especially those that make the cash flow differ from the Profit and Loss Pro ection. <or e$ample# if you make a sale in month one# when do you actually collect the cashD "hen you buy inventory or materials# do you pay in advance# upon delivery# or much laterD )ow will this affect cash flowD 1re some e$penses payable in advanceD "henD 1re there irregular e$penses# such as !uarterly ta$ payments# maintenance and repairs# or seasonal inventory buildup# that should be budgetedD :oan payments# e!uipment purchases# and ownerHs draws usually do not show on profit and loss statements but definitely do take cash out. *e sure to include them. 1nd of course# depreciation does not appear in the cash flow at all because you never write a check for it.
Openin& !ay Balance S'eet
1 balance sheet is one of the fundamental financial reports that any business needs for reporting and financial management. 1 balance sheet shows what items of value are held by the company ,assets-# and what its debts are ,liabilities-. "hen liabilities are subtracted from assets# the remainder is owners& e!uity. Fse a startup e$penses and capitali+ation spreadsheet as a guide to preparing a balance sheet as of opening day. Then detail how you calculated the account balances on your opening day balance sheet. 3ptionalC %ome people want to add a pro/ected balance sheet showing the estimated financial position of the company at the end of the first year. This is especially useful when selling your proposal to investors.
1 break'even analysis predicts the sales volume# at a given price# re!uired to recover total costs. In other words# it&s the sales level that is the dividing line between operating at a loss and operating at a profit. 5$pressed as a formula# break'even isC
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<i$ed 2osts 1' ?ariable 2osts
,"here fi$ed costs are e$pressed in dollars# but variable costs are e$pressed as a percent of total sales.Include all assumptions upon which your break'even calculation is based.
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Include details and studies used in your business plan( for e$ampleC • • • • • • • • • • • *rochures and advertising materials Industry studies *lueprints and plans 0aps and photos of location 0aga+ine or other articles >etailed lists of e!uipment owned or to be purchased 2opies of leases and contracts :etters of support from future customers 1ny other materials needed to support the assumptions in this plan 0arket research studies :ist of assets available as collateral for a loan
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8II. Refinin& t'e Plan
The generic business plan presented above should be modified to suit your specific type of business and the audience for which the plan is written.
,or Raisin& Capital
,or Ban%ers • *ankers want assurance of orderly repayment. If you intend using this plan to present to lenders# includeC o 1mount of loan o )ow the funds will be used o "hat this will accomplishEhow will it make the business strongerD o 4e!uested repayment terms ,number of years to repay-. .ou will probably not have much negotiating room on interest rate but may be able to negotiate a longer repayment term# which will help cash flow. o 2ollateral offered# and a list of all e$isting liens against collateral ,or Investors • Investors have a different perspective. They are looking for dramatic growth# and they e$pect to share in the rewardsC o <unds needed short'term o <unds needed in two to five years o )ow the company will use the funds# and what this will accomplish for growth. o 5stimated return on investment o 5$it strategy for investors ,buyback# sale# or IP3o Percent of ownership that you will give up to investors o 0ilestones or conditions that you will accept o <inancial reporting to be provided o Involvement of investors on the board or in management
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,or Type of Business
$anufacturin& • • • • • • • • Planned production levels 1nticipated levels of direct production costs and indirect ,overhead- costsEhow do these compare to industry averages ,if available-D Prices per product line =ross profit margin# overall and for each product line ProductionNcapacity limits of planned physical plant ProductionNcapacity limits of e!uipment Purchasing and inventory management procedures 9ew products under development or anticipated to come online after startup
Service Businesses • %ervice businesses sell intangible products. They are usually more fle$ible than other types of businesses# but they also have higher labor costs and generally very little in fi$ed assets. "hat are the key competitive factors in this industryD .our prices 0ethods used to set prices %ystem of production management Guality control procedures. %tandard or accepted industry !uality standards. )ow will you measure labor productivityD Percent of work subcontracted to other firms. "ill you make a profit on subcontractingD 2redit# payment# and collections policies and procedures %trategy for keeping client base
• • • • • • • • •
Page 2@ of 28 *i&' Tec'nolo&y Companies • • • • 5conomic outlook for the industry "ill the company have information systems in place to manage rapidly changing prices# costs# and marketsD "ill you be on the cutting edge with your products and servicesD "hat is the status of research and developmentD 1nd what is re!uired toC o *ring productNservice to marketD o Meep the company competitiveD • )ow does the companyC o Protect intellectual propertyD o 1void technological obsolescenceD o %upply necessary capitalD o 4etain key personnelD )igh'tech companies sometimes have to operate for a long time without profits and sometimes even without sales. If this fits your situation# a banker probably will not want to lend to you. ?enture capitalists may invest# but your story must be very good. .ou must do longer'term financial forecasts to show when profit take'off is e$pected to occur. 1nd your assumptions must be well documented and well argued. Retail Business • • 2ompany image PricingC o 5$plain markup policies. o Prices should be profitable# competitive# and in accordance with company image. • InventoryC o %election and price should be consistent with company image. o Inventory levelC <ind industry average numbers for annual inventory turnover rate ,available in 401 book-. 0ultiply your initial inventory investment by the
Page 28 of 28 average turnover rate. The result should be at least e!ual to your pro/ected first yearHs cost of goods sold. If it is not# you may not have enough budgeted for startup inventory. • • • • 2ustomer service policiesC These should be competitive and in accord with company image. :ocationC >oes it give the e$posure that you needD Is it convenient for customersD Is it consistent with company imageD PromotionC 0ethods used# cost. >oes it pro/ect a consistent company imageD 2reditC >o you e$tend credit to customersD If yes# do you really need to# and do you factor the cost into pricesD