Virtual Business Plan

Company Description:  Business Plan Basics
The company description section of your business plan should outline your company's basic background information and business concept.
Explain in general terms who you are and what you do.
It should also cover the history of your company, how you reached this point, and where you intend to go in the future.
Consider covering the following in your company description section:

Legal Description
Include details about where and when the company was formed, where and when it was incorporated, a one line description of what business you are in, and a brief overview of what your company offers.
If the location of your company is important, explain the advantages and benefits to your reader.

History of The Company
Provide a general overview of the history of your business.
Organize details of your company into a timeline or narrative format, and include your achievements and significant milestones.
Explain why you started the company, the driving force behind its inception, and how your product/service mix has changed over time.
Include historical data on sales, profits, units sold, number of employees, and other important facts to build a case for your business.

Current Status
Provide a snapshot of where your company is today.
Are you in one location, what do you sell now, how many employees do you have, and how successful are you?

Point out your current strengths, but also honestly and frankly address your weaknesses.
Investors know all businesses have weak points, and you demonstrate business maturity by acknowledging your weaknesses and outlining steps to combat them.

Future Goals
This section gives your reader an idea of where your company is heading.
What are looking to accomplish over the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years?

Relate these goals to the investment you seek so an investor understands why you need their money and what you intend to do with it.
Explain the overall approach for reaching growth and profit goals in optimistic language, but make sure it's realistic.
It's easy to make rosy projections about the future of your company, but it's harder to make them believable.

Company Description:  Mistakes to Avoid
The company description should clearly explain your company and the product or services you offer.
This section could be considered the who, what, why, where, when and how of your company, with the focus on significant highlights of your business.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that we find in the company section:
  • Including far too much detailed information about your business
  • Providing information that an investor would consider your "personal opinion"
  • Appearing as though you have no business history or business purpose
  • Leaving out important business and legal particulars
  • Writing the section in an unorganized or confusing manner
Product & Service Description:  Business Plan Basics
The product/service section is one of the most important parts of your business plan.
It's your chance to clearly explain you products/services, identify their features and benefits, and discuss what needs or problems they address in the market.

Product Overview
If you are selling a product, your reader will want to know what it is, what it does, and its features and benefits.
Consider including pictures if they would help your reader get a better understanding of your product.
Discuss its size, shape, color, cost, design, quality, capabilities, technological life-span and patent protection.
You may also wish to explain how it is produced, the materials required, and the type of labor needed.

Service Overview
If you offer your customers a service, explain what that service(s) are, how they work, and what need they address in the marketplace.
Where will you operate? What makes your service different?

What materials or equipment is needed? What are your days and hours of operation?

Explain the steps in your service process and the benefits you offer your clients.
Write this section with enough information to satisfy an outsider's need to understand your service without boring them with trivial details.

 

Product & Service Description:  Mistakes to Avoid
The following are the some of the most common mistakes we find in the product and service description section:
  • Failing to identify the benefits of the product or service (focusing instead on the features)
  • Describing the product/service in language that is too technical, with too many many industry specific words or phrases
  • Omitting the specific problem the product/service addresses and how that problem is solved
  • Assuming an improved product/service will "sell itself"
  • Describing the product/service in terms that are too broad
  • Failing to include a third-party evaluation or analysis of your product
  • Underestimating the importance of legally protecting your product/service

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