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Entrepreneurship. 7. Writing an Effective Business Plan: Crafting a Roadmap to Success. “There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” --Norman Vincent Peale, 1961. Business Plan.

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Writing an Effective Business Plan: Crafting a Roadmap to Success


“There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”

--Norman Vincent Peale, 1961

Business plan

Business Plan

  • A formal, written expression of the entrepreneur’s vision for converting ideas into a profitable, going business

  • The entry card for serious consideration by venture capitalists, banks, and other sources of funding

A living document

A Living Document

  • A business plan changes often as a new business develops.

  • Do just enough business planning to get the new company started.

  • Refine the plan with information gathered from running the new venture.

Model of successful business planning

Model of SuccessfulBusiness Planning

Prepare a


simple plan

Start the


Refine the

business plan

Continue to

grow the


Business plan components

Business Plan Components

  • What is the basic idea?

  • Why is the new product appealing—and to whom?

  • How will the idea be realized?

  • Who are the entrepreneurs?

  • How much funding is needed? What type of funding? How will it be used? How will you realize a return?

A successful plan

A Successful Plan

  • A serious document prepared by serious people

  • Orderly

  • Succinct

  • Persuasive

Executive summary

Executive Summary

  • Your elevator pitch

  • Provides a brief, clear, and persuasive overview of the new venture

  • Target 2 to 3 pages

Business plan sections

Background and purpose



Development, production, and location


Financial information

Risk factors

Harvest or exit

Scheduling and milestones


Business Plan Sections

Background product and purpose

Background, Product, and Purpose

  • What is the nature of the idea driving your company and how did it arise?

  • What does the product have to offer?

  • What is the basic nature of the company?

  • What is the company’s mission?

Market analysis

Market Analysis

  • What have you done to identify the market?

  • How large is the market?

  • How will products or services be promoted?

  • What do you know about competing products and companies?

  • How will the product or service be priced?

Development production and location

Development, Production, and Location

  • Where are the products or services in the development process?

  • What are the projected costs and timetable for making the product or delivering the service?

  • What steps have been taken to assure quality and safety?

Management team

Management Team

  • Do team members have the experience, expertise, skills, and personal characteristics needed?

  • Do team members having good working relationships?

Financial plans and projections

Financial Plans and Projections

  • Proforma balance sheet

  • Proforma income statement

  • Cash flow statement

  • Break-even analysis

Critical risks

Critical Risks

  • Price cutting by competitors

  • Unforeseen industry trends

  • Sales projections not achieved

  • Costs exceed estimates

  • Schedules not met

  • Difficulties raising financing

  • Unforeseen trends

Harvest and exit

Harvest and Exit

  • Management succession

  • Exit strategies

Scheduling and milestones

Formal incorporation

Completion of design

Completion of prototypes

Hiring of initial personnel

Product displays


Moving into production

Receipt of orders

First sales


Scheduling and Milestones

The intangibles

The Intangibles

  • The extra “something”

  • Pay attention to organization, clarity, word choice, and style

  • Have good writers read your plan

  • Revise according to their suggestions

Seven deadly sins

Seven Deadly Sins

  • Plan is poorly prepared

  • Plan looks too slick

  • Executive summary is too long

  • Development stage of product is unclear

  • Fails to answer “Why would anyone ever want to buy one?”

  • Doesn’t state management qualifications

  • Financial projections are wishful thinking

The presentation

The Presentation

  • Remember: This is important!

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

  • Choose content carefully

  • Persuade, don’t overwhelm

  • Show enthusiasm tempered with reality

  • Rehearse

  • Don’t overlook the basics

  • Respond positively to questions

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