Executive summary for clients regarding preparation of business plan

January 15, 2015

check-listThis month we’ve added an Executive Summary for Clients Regarding Preparation of a Business Plan (§22:54) that you can provide to your clients to assist them with putting together an effective business plan.  One important tool is a business plan drafting worksheet that can be used to ensure that all the key questions and issues are considered before the text of the plan is finalized.  Topics that might be included in such a worksheet would normally include: (i) executive summary; (ii) company description; (iii) industry background and market analysis; (iv) competition; (v) marketing and sales; (vi) technology and R&D; (vii) manufacturing and operations; (viii) finance; and (ix) management and human resources.  In some cases, the items will overlap and the organization and emphasis will vary depending on the type of business and the purpose of the plan.  However, working through these items should provide a good starting point.

In order to understand how a business plan drafting worksheet might work, here are some of the items that should be used as guide for preparing the section on “industry background and market analysis”:

  1. Describe the industry or industries in which the company is active.
  2. Describe the size of each industry and the anticipated growth patterns over the next five to ten years.
  3. Identify the major industry segments that would have an interest in the company’s products and services.
  4. Describe the business types that will likely be the major customers for the company’s products and services—for example, Fortune 100, 500, or 1000 companies or small proprietorships.
  5. Identify and describe any other major demographic or technological trends in the industry.
  6. Describe the actual or potential impact of regulatory requirements on the company’s products and services.

Depending on the circumstances, the business plan will also cover one or more special topics, including strategies for financing the company’s business activities, facilities and equipment, information management, risk management strategies, and regulatory matters.  These areas may be covered separately or integrated into the discussion of one or more of the main topics.  For example, facilities and equipment must be considered when creating and implementing strategies for manufacturing activities.  Also, while not generally discussed in any version of the plan distributed externally, the planning process for expanding business operations should include consideration of tax issues as well as selection of the proper form of business entity to conduct a particular activity.

To learn more about preparation of business plans and strategic planning in general, you should also review the following:

  • Business Counselor’s Guide to Strategic Planning (§22:57)
  • Business Counselor’s Guide to Preparing a Business Plan (§22:58)
  • Business Counselor’s Guide to Comparative Studies of Strategic Planning (§22:59)