|I still remember my first business
class; the title of the first chapter of the course book was: "If you fail to plan,
you are planning to fail". Nothing is closer to the truth!
While some businesses with good plans fail, all successful businesses have
a clear sense of direction via an ever-changing DYNAMIC plan. You do
not have to invest weeks into a plan because you do not want it to be a
"completed" static document that gives you a false impression that the planning
is over and what you need going forward is to merely implement it.
We suggest a simple plan with clear outlines and bullets.
Feel free to change it as you adapt to changes in the external environment.
The important thing here is that you KNOW that you have changed
course, and why you have decided to do so. This kind of adaptability will give you a
higher chance of success and a tremendous learning experience.
The following is an outline of a business plan. We
will add more depth to it and provide examples soon. We have highlighted the
critical elements of the plan in red.
This is not to say that the other components are useless but they apply more to plans that
you present to venture capitalists and potential investors to give them a better idea of
what is inside your mind.
1. Executive Summary
2. Company Overview (mission, vision, and concept)
3. The Market
¨ Industry Overview
¨ Target Market
¨ Marketing Plan
· Pricing structure
· Promotion (advertising,
affiliate, word of
· Channels of distribution
4. Implementation outline
5. Organizational Structure and Management
6. Financial aspects
¨ research material and statistics
¨ Contract with business members
¨ Sales agreements
¨ Resume of team members
¨ Investment up to date and proof of concept