• The understanding you get from the planning
process required to write the plan is invaluable
• Details every major characteristic of the business
• Critical for TWOTWO reasons:
– External legitimacyExternal legitimacy: when somebody requires it
– Internal understandingInternal understanding: getting everything clear in
• Telling a story about your future business
The Planning Process
• Vision (10 words)
• Mission (25-50 words)
• Elevator Pitch (60-100 words)
• Executive Summary (250-500 words)
• Business Plan (40 pages)
Levels of Involvement
• Expresses the fundamental idea or goal
of the business.
• It tells everyone where your organization
wants to go to.
• Tagline, slogan or mantra:
– Our Vision is to…“Help You Achieve Your
• Related to the vision statement
• Adds competitive advantage information
• Written from the perspective of what
will make a difference for a customer
– Our mission is to: “Help you to find your life’sHelp you to find your life’s
passion, and make it your careerpassion, and make it your career.”
• Keep it Simple, short, and direct
• “Sell” your firm in the time it takes to
make a ride in an elevator, around 30
• Approximately 100 words.
• Provide memorable information about
• The “HOOK”… your business purpose -
the what and where, and the delivery.
• One to two pages (250-500 words
minimum) overview of the business.
• Describes the business, market,
expectations, and goals.
• The #1 item to send to anyone who
enquires about your business.
• Mantra: 3-6 words (Quality is Job 1.)
• Mission: co. name, product/service,
customer, and market.
• Measures: business goals given as
• Method: the activities that will turn your
business into a success.
• Mechanics: the tasks that are required
to accomplish what’s listed in the
paragraph: Introduce yourself and
paragraph: Explain your company in
paragraph: describe the current
situation of your business and explain
what you are looking for from the
paragraph: Close and thank them for
• Co. Name
• Contact information
• Date the version was completed
• Proprietary statement to protect your
• Executive Summary
• The Company
– Co. Description: 1-2 pages
– Product/Service & Industry: 1-8 pages
• It’s all about your customers – who they are,
where they are, how to find them and keep
• The total population of people or businesses
you aim to serve, defined by size and scope
(where they are)
• Target customer: the ideal customer to buy
your product or service
• Competition and Competitive Advantage: who
are they, what do they offer, how much do they
charge, what makes them unique
• Focus on 1) overall business strategy to pursue
your market 2) sales plan, and 3) longer term
plan to protect your company against
– Business Strategy discusses your general strategy
with respect to differentiation, cost, and focus
– Sales plan: Addresses how you are going to generate
sales. Show how you will convert the value benefits
your clients are looking for into your pricing,
promotional activities, advertising, etc.
– Long term plans to protect against competitors using
R&D to develop new offerings, key partnerships,
superior service, intellectual property, etc.
Your Marketing Strategy
• The legal form of the business (LLC, sole
• Use org charts for larger firms
• Key personnel: owners, managers, salespeople,
influential outsiders, service providers
• Location: home-based business?
• Be CONSERVATIVE
• Income Statement (Profit & Loss) and
• Cash flow and assumptions
• Balance sheet and assumptions
• Past two years of actuals (for existing
businesses) and 3 years worth of
• New businesses require 1.5-2 years of
• Product pictures
• Industry reports
• Price lists
• Floor plans
• Marketing collateral: logos, ad copy, DMs,
websites, blogs, PR, case studies
• AKA Screening Plan.
• Used to send to professional funders like
private banks, angels, VC firms,
• Include your price lists.
• Very brief overview of the firm and the
• Includes cover letter, title page,
executive summary & your financials
• Informational plan: include everything
EXCEPT the financials.
The Mini Business Plan