Company History And Industry
a) Company History
This part of the plan introduces your company to the audience. By introduction it is meant that you provide background information on your company. It's important to explain to your intended audience why the proposition seems attractive as a business venture and provide an overview or description of the company you propose to start. The company introduction or the business plan background also depends a great deal on the status of the business - if it is a start up, an established but fledgling company, or a company with expansion plans.
Outline a brief description of the industry your company fits into (e.g. placement firm, manufacturing, restaurant, publishing etc.) This will help to give an overall picture of the company's position in the market and the prospects for development.
While providing information to the public at large about a particular industry, it is always relevant to include information and statistics about competition that you may face in the industry. You can provide details about primary competitors and include details about their current status in the market, their growth, their sales, profitability and market share. This serves to establish that you have studied the market well in terms of the role your company will play and how you propose to grow your company to meet projected profitability and business potential. It will boost your efforts greatly to show statistical information with figures and presentations.
Business Concept and Value Proposition
This segment should deal with the company's business concept and key value proposition - in other words, it should set out the products and services portfolio along with plans for future development and growth. The key components of this section include:
a) Product or service description - this portion should include description in detail of the products and services the company will provide to customers. It would do well to add technical information, product brochures, photographs or images and statistical data on usefulness of the product or service in the market. All these will serve to enhance the reader's understanding of your core competencies and strengths.
b) Target or Focus Customer - Identify the customer base you are targeting for the product. Market studies and feedback will give you an idea of the niche market position you wish to place your product in and define your marketing strategies. Action Plans should also be in place to ensure that the product reaches intended users through focused campaigns and channels. It must always be noted that customers will draw their own comparisons for products they purchase and therefore prepare your Value Proposition in a manner that customers choose your products over competition.
c) R&D - If your business concept involves the launch of a new product of service, it is essential to set out at length the extent of research and development work that has been carried out before the product or service is introduced in the market. Again, it would be beneficial to include slide presentations and actual clips of how the research was carried out and how the results are tabulated to arrive at the conclusions. The costs involved in the R&D and the time frame or module that the R&D was conducted over also requires mention.
d) Proprietary features or Patents - Describe in detail the proprietary features that have been gained as a result of the R&D and also any Patents that have been filed. Any or all analytical data and reviews by experts in the particular product or service will serve to highlight the accomplishments gained by such R&D. This will definitely drive home the advantageous position your company will gain in the market against competition.
e) Future plans - All plans and strategies to fuel further growth and development must be outlined in this section. Thus, you have an outlined business plan that will include the various pros and cons of the product or service you provide and how this could lead to development of new or enhanced products in the future.