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.
So, what would your business look like over the next 10 years to give you that? Could you build a plan that would show exactly how your business could do that? It would show what your sales, fixed expenses, material cost, labor cost, and variable expenses would need to be. It should also show you how many customers you would need and would show you what your profit and profit margins would be each year. All it takes is your current business numbers as we listed earlier and you can make a business plan as many years out as you like.