Executive Summary _ One to three pages that summarize all the information to follow; come back and write this last. Industry Analysis _ How does your product or service compare with what is currently on the market? What is the trend in the overall industry? What have been the total sales in this industry over the previous 3 to 5 years? What new products or technologies have had the biggest impact on this industry recently? What is the future outlook for these and what trends are emerging? Who are the competitors, where are they located, and how are they doing? What advantage do you offer over them? Who is buying this product or service now? Describe the typical customer for this product or service. Are there emerging markets or market segments? Where does this product or service currently perform best? Possible Data Sources: trade associations; trade journals; attorneys & accountants dealing with the industry; industry salespeople; state business websites; focus groups.
Here is a recap of where we are in this discussion: Business plans formalize an understanding of the task with appropriate analysis leading to a plan_of_action. Not all business plans are for profit motives. Business plans are for an enterprise effort and not focused on disciplines/departments, e.g. Marketing plan, sales plan, HR plan, supply chain plan, etc. Business plans are a great vehicle to build a team effort. Plans can be utilized for formalizing metrics relative to achieving goals and performance measurements. Some complex plans might include a Project Management professional. There are internal and external audiences for business plans. Most external focused plans are for outside funding of projects. Be mindful of the 'tone' the plan projects to the reader. Tone refers to the impression a person gets from reading the plan; a subliminal feeling about the plan.