startup business plan template

startup business plan template

How to Create a Successful Startup Business Plan

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1. Introduction

Your startup business plan has to do a lot with where you want to take your business in the future. Your vision. What you are going to do. How you are going to do it. And how will you know when you’ve arrived. These are all very important questions a business major should ask themselves and really think about. By making a business plan you are giving your business a clear and very realistic objective. And that is an important first step. It is far too common for a business to be started with an obvious objective in mind, only for that objective to be forgotten over time. This feeling of detachment can stem from being unorganized which is why you want to make a clear and realistic plan for your business.

Create a successful startup business plan. Our “Introduction” tips will make that process a much smoother ride.

2. Executive Summary

The next few components are about the market and competition. This will be an excellent guide for someone who has no idea of what their company wants to market and who they are competing against. Last but not least, the below samples are about the management and financials of the company.

The next sample is about the product of the company. This is useful, especially if the executive summary is written by separate people from a single division. They can provide their own input from the division they are working on. M6: Innovative Concepts introduces M-X1 as an initial product to enter the market. It is a computer that is designed to be fast and stable running multiple applications. It is a computer like no other, where it has a feature to edit or upgrade any of its PC components without needing to purchase a new one. The uniqueness is an innovation to computer technicians, allowing individuals to tailor their computer into a personalized state. This product also has marketing capabilities by implementing a simulation demo of a specific application to clientele, then giving a finished product without the need of changing a computer.

Coming up next is the company description. This can also include the history of the company. The example should be direct and precise, avoiding long and confusing words. This description must provide a clear understanding of what this company will look like in the future. Using the latest technology to develop innovative ideas into a product, M6: Innovative Concepts is a small start-up company. Founded in early November 2008, this company is the vision of two tech maniacs who have been in the industry for about a decade. Starting from various kinds of IT implementation in the banking industry, they have wide-known experience in the gaming industry. This will provide fruitful experiences in developing the computer with a wide range of applications.

The mission is to start a company that creates a very high-tech and innovative desktop computer. The company name is M6: Innovative Concepts. The passion here is to make a computer that is as unique as an individual human. Comprising of running a series of applications like games, multiple office work, internet, graphics design, music editing, 3D home architectural design, and video editing without the need of slowing down no matter how long the computer has been used. The first product will be released in 2010. Targeting the specific user to be able to express, develop, and innovate their ideas and concepts without any limitations from an application. This sample mission can provide a clear understanding of what or where the company wants to go.

This is a very critical component of any successful business plan. There is no specific length suggested for the executive summary. The objective is to grab the attention of the reader, so keep it concise. It should create a quick interest to read the entire plan. Usually, the summary consists of the mission, company description, product/service, market, competition, management, financial, and appendix. This article is specifically about small to medium-sized start-up companies. It also discusses how to write an executive summary for a business plan. This component also includes a few samples of executive summaries which can help the reader create their own business plan.

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis is a crucial section of the business plan, as it helps you identify your best customers or clients. In the market analysis, research the primary target market for your product or service, including geographic location, demographics, your target market’s needs and how these needs are currently being met. Your purpose here is to show a deep understanding of the people you are planning to sell your product or service to. You may want to get to grips with the current economic climate as it plays a role in consumer spending. There is a saying that “consumers will buy raincoats in the winter” that goes to show that people will buy the same products at different times if economic conditions change, so it’s always important to understand what is happening around your target market. Your strongest business plan marketers are those that take the information of the primary target market and go on to explain in depth how the company will reach different segments of that market. This can include the effectiveness of your potential locations, channels of advertising, public relations efforts, and how these directly relate to your target market. It’s best to have quantifiable results to back these up.

4. Business Strategy

Lastly strategy as a perspective is a company vision and corporate culture. Although this is not relevant to new start-ups it is a long term strategy that may only be thought of when a company has already achieved it initial goals and is considering what direction to go in next to remain successful. All these strategies need to be clearly though out and well defined to ensure that there is no confusion within the company, and well understood to ensure the best possible implementation. A strategy that is unplanned or poorly communicated between members of a company can result in confused and inconsistent decision-making, and it is decisions that will often make or break a company.

Strategy as a position is an analogy to chess and how the company places itself in the market. This is more relevant to larger companies and can involve decisions on what products to withdraw, what markets to vacate or where to form strategic alliances. A planned out strategy as a position can also determine how a newly formed company plans to enter the market and maybe what investor’s money will be spent on in terms of advertising and promotion.

Strategy as a pattern is a consistent and persistent action to achieve goals. This can occur over some years and may become clearly evident to outsiders as they begin to realize what the company is trying to achieve. Strategy as a pattern is essentially what the company is doing and how; the means to an end. This would be more for companies that are already up and running, however a specific strategy to achieve a long term goal could still be relevant for new businesses in terms of what they are trying to achieve with financing received further down the line. Strategy as a pattern may also determine what businesses are doing that is different or similar to competitors, and this knowledge is vital to gaining a competitive edge.

A strategy as a plan is intended to achieve specific goals and is typically documented or thought through. This can be implemented in the business planning process of a start-up. It is likely that the goals and how to achieve them will have been thought through already, and thus can be noted down on a rough business plan, however it will be necessary to develop this plan more thoroughly when seeking to obtain financing at a later stage. A business plan can pose as an executive tool to guide and implement a strategy as a plan. An example of a typical business plan objectives can include doubling sales in 12 months, building a strong customer market in a niche area and attaining an edge over competitors in quality and service. This is basically a strategy to achieve these goals and would be evident throughout the plan.

A well thought-out business strategy is vital to business success. When developing a strategy, it is in essence a set of plans on how to achieve certain objectives and goals – most pertinently the objective and goal of gaining a competitive edge, making profits, sales and ensuring survival. The strategy will also expand into discovering the type of business that is to be conducted and the customer market that it will be aimed at. Business strategy can be split into four different categories, which as proposed by Henry Mintzberg are, a strategy as a plan, a pattern, a position and a perspective.

There is no exact science when it comes to creating a successful start-up business – or is there? There may not be a clear-cut formula, but there are certain elements that can act as indicators as to whether it will be successful or not. One of these elements is the existence of a sound business strategy. This article will give you guidance on how to ensure that your business has a clear, successful strategy, and also show you how this strategy can be implemented successfully in a business plan.

5. Financial Projections

The financial section is usually considered the most important part of a business plan. You will need to produce two sets of financial projections: one for the next 12 months, and another for the following 1-5 years. The first set will be used to get your business started, and the second will be used to get it going once it has established itself well. The projections should include a Profit and Loss Statement, a Cash Flow Statement and a Balance Sheet. The Profit and Loss Statement is a summary of the revenue and costs incurred by your business. The Cash Flow Statement will show how much cash you are spending and generating over the given time, and the Balance Sheet will show a projection of your business’ financial position at a particular point in time. These projections will help you to plan your financial needs for the business in the initial phase as well as in the long run. This will enable you to forecast how much money you will require from investors, the amount of money that should be coming in and out of the business at any given point, and what the financial health of your business will be at a specific time. This will also help you to identify potential problems in your business’ finances as well as how to avoid them.

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