Building Your Business Plan: Part 1 – Introduction
Building Your Business Plan: Part 2 – Business Overview
Building Your Business Plan: Part 3 – Products and Services
Building Your Business Plan: Part 4 – Studying the Market
Building Your Business Plan: Part 5 – Identify Your Market
Building Your Business Plan: Part 6 – Competition and Industry SWOT
This article is written to provide you with the tools required to assist in starting you with the development of your Business Plan. Are you Ready?
Starting the business planning process can be challenging when you are not aware of where to begin. In this article, we are going to discuss the first step of this plan which is developing a Business Description. In this step, you will define the ownership and management team, including the various types of business relationships, and plan the business proposal.
However, intimidating all that may seem, we are going to provide you with the tools and resources you need in order to alleviate some of that stress. Remember that developing a business plan is not always going to be a simple walk in the park, there will be a steep learning curve involved… even for those who have gone through the process before! So be patient with yourself and try to remain confident throughout the learning experience as each business plan will encounter its own bumps and obstacles down the road.
Pro Tip: As you complete each section of this process by answering questions and filling out the form, maintain the mindset that you are creating a business plan for an investor, as this is your opportunity to sell your business idea and why it would be in their best interest to invest into your business plan.
Section I. Business Description
This is just the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, the following questionnaire will assist you with defining your business and help you to determine the viability of your idea, offering the necessary options you need in order to create a business.
We recommend using this form and creating a centralized location to store your documents, so you can track your progress while you continue into the next sections of developing a Business Overview.
Business Overview – Business Description
Here is where you will outline who the main point of contact for the business is.
It is crucial that if your business has yet to be established by the proper provincial regulators, that you have this completed. For information on this process, please see our article series on Starting a Business from Scratch.
Business Overview – Industry Type
Here you will take the time to define the industry in which you are conducting business.
For more information of what type of businesses fall under each industry type, please Click Here.
Business Overview – Headcount
If your business is new, chances are that you do not have a headcount. In instances like this, you can skip this section. If you have an existing business and you are acquiring financial support, it would be helpful to provide details relating to your current employee headcount and plans for the future.
Now that you have provided an executive summary relating to the business’s description, industry type, and headcount, it is important to provide potential lenders with details on the ownership type and who the management team is.
Business Overview – Ownership and Management
Financial Lenders such as banks or investors look to obtain critical information about business types in order to assess the risks they may incur when providing businesses with financial support. Each business ownership type has its own risks they carry, which is why it is crucial that you understand each type and that your business is set up accurately. For more information on these, please see our article series on Starting a Business from Scratch.
Now that you have defined the business ownership type, it is time to disclose who the stakeholders are in the business and provide details on their ownership percentage, position, and management function within the business.
Once you have defined who are part of the ownership and management team, we recommend further explaining what their duties and responsibilities are by outlining their experience and expertise.
Pro Tip: Include as much information and documentation as possible to increase your chance of attracting lenders to financially support your business plan and growth. This can be done by attaching the listed stakeholders’ professional business portfolios, resumes, or other business-related dossiers which support the outlined experience and expertise.
Attention: If there are more Key Owners and Managers to define, please ensure to capture these individuals and add their information as required. Keep their details in order as listed in the Key Ownership and Management Team section.
Business Overview – Business Relationships
Now that you have provided the necessary details about your business, including who the key owners/management team are, it’s time to switch gears and begin to think critically about who the professionals are that are going to support you and your business through the daily activities.
You want a competent team in place that is going to support you and your business to achieve your desired outcomes. During this process, we recommend thinking critically about your existing strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities; be honest with yourself as this will help you with selecting the right team of professionals.
So, who are the team of professionals to consider? You will want to look at Trusted Accountants, Lawyers, Human Resources, Digital Marketers, Trusted Bankers, and Other Business Owners.
When determining who the professionals are to help your business succeed, it can be helpful to ask yourself questions such as:
- How will I manage my bookkeeping?
- Who will be my legal team?
- Who is the best choice to support my company with accounting?
- Is there someone that I know that could oversee human resources?
- Will I have to outsource the professional help?
- Do I have the experience or capacity to complete the work without being overloaded?
- Do I know someone who has professional experience in a specific area?
Doing research of the professionals in your geographical location and meeting with them can be a great benefit to your long-term plan. You want to ensure to have a trusted network of professionals who are going to provide you with support and give reputable advice. Which is why we recommend talking to other business owners who can give you business advice along the way.
Business Overview – Planning Your Business Proposal
Finally, it is time to begin putting your business proposal together by providing the following details:
When you are building a plan for a new or existing business, it would be best to let those who you are wanting to invest in your business to have an executive summary of your business and why you are passionate about your idea. This will increase your chances of grabbing attention to your idea, as people want you to succeed and be a part of your success.
Building a Business Plan is not always going to be a walk in the park, you may encounter bumps along the path. Be sure to take your time, do your research, and be patient. Now that you have been introduced to our Building Your Business Plan series, understand what to expect, and have the tools to get started, please stay tuned for part 3 of this series when we discuss The Market.