Venture Capital > This page
Guide for Business Plan writing
One: The Business
Please follow the suggested outline and consider the questions listed under each heading. Omit areas that are not applicable to your specific business.The Cover Sheet
Identify the business and the document.
Identify the location and telephone numbers of the business or where the principals can be reached.
Identify the person who wrote the business plan.Statement of Purpose
Who is asking for the money?
How much money is needed?
What is the money needed for?How will the funds benefit the business?
Why does this loan or investment make business sense?How will the funds be repaid?
Table of ContentsSection One: The Business
A. Description of Business
C. The MarketD. Location of Business
E. The CompetitionF. Management
G. PersonnelH. Application and Expected Effect of Loan
I. SummarySection Two: Financial Data
Section Three: Financing ProposalSection Four: Exhibits
Section Five: Supporting Documents
Section One: The Business
What is the status of the business? (startup, expansion, takeover)What is the business form? (Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation)
Why is your business going to be profitable? (or continue to grow)When will (did) your business open?
What hours of the day and days of the week will (are) you in operation?Is your business seasonal?
What are the benefits (as opposed to the features) of what you are selling?How do your products and /or services differ from competing products and/or services?
If your product is new or state-of-the-art or otherwise unique, what makes it different? Desirable?If your product or service line is not special, why would people buy from you?
C. The Market
Which ones are buying from you now?What products are they buying?
Who are the people who are buying from you?How would you characterize your markets? (growing, steady, declining)
Why do these people buy from your company?Why do they buy from you and not the competition?
What are they buying from you? On what cycle?How can you find more buyers like these?
What is the size of your market?What percent of each market do (or will) you have?
What is each market's growth potential?As each market grows, will your share increase?
Is the market competitive or not? If not, why not?How will you attract and keep these markets?
How can you expand your markets?See Exhibits for Annual Sales Forecasts
What are the physical features of your building? What should you have?Do you lease or own your space?
What renovations are needed, and how much will they cost?Does zoning in your area permit your kind of business?
What other kinds of businesses are in your area?Why did you pick this site over others?
Why is this the right location for your business? Where should it be?How will this choice of location affect your operating costs?
Are any demographic or other market shifts
E. The Competition
How is their business? (steady, increasing or decreasing)How are their operations similar and dissimilar to yours?
What have you learned from watching their operations?How will your operation be better than theirs?
Who is on the management team?What is your business background?
What management experience have you had?What education (including both formal and informal learning experiences) has a bearing on your managerial abilities?
What are your ages, special abilities and interests, reasons for going into business, where do you live and have lived, etc.Are you physically up to the job?
Why are you going to be successful in this venture?What is your personal financial status?
See Exhibits for Owner's Personal Financial Statement.2. Related work experience
What is your direct operational experience in this kind of business?What is your managerial experience in this kind of business?
What other managerial experience have you had? (different businesses, clubs, teams, civic or religious organizations, etc.)3. Duties and responsibilities
Who does what?Who reports to whom?
Who makes final decisions?
What are your current needs ?
What skills will your employees need in the near future? In five years?
What are your plans for hiring and training
How much money do you need?
For what purposes will it be used?
See Exhibits for Sources and Uses of Funds
Summarize ideas developed in the preceding sections.
Make sure the different parts of the analysis make sense, support each other logically and coherently, and project probable success.
Section Two: Financial Data (forms attached)List additional financial documents to be found in the Exhibits section.
A. Sources and Uses of FundsB. Capital Equipment List
C. Balance SheetD. Break-Even Analysis
E. Projected Income Statement1. Three Year Summary
2. Detail by Month, 1st year & Quarter, 2nd and 3rd yearsF. Cash Flow Projections
1. Three Year Summary2. Detail by Month, 1st year & Quarter, 2nd and 3rd years
G. Budget Deviation AnalysisH. Historical Records (Balance Sheets, Income Statements and Tax Returns for past 3 years.
Provide other comments necessary to understand the documentsPosition the documents in the Exhibits section.
Section Three: Financial ProposalExplain fully your proposal to the lender.
Section Four: Exhibits (as required and/or appropriate)Section Five: Supporting Documents
For example: Brochures & advertising
materials, industry studies, blueprints & plans, maps & photos
of locations, magazine or other articles, lists of equipment owned or
to be purchased, copies of leases & contracts, letters of support
from future customers, other materials which support the assumptions in
Sources of Funds
Total Owners InvestmentBank Loans
Total Bank LoansOther Loans
Econ. Develop. LoansTotal Other Loans
Total SourcesUses of Funds
Leasehold ImprovementsTotal Bldgs/Real Estate
MachineryTotal Capital Equipment
Total Administrative CostsOpening Inventory
Total InventoryPre-opening Expenses
Accounting & LegalAdvertising
Repairs & Maint.Supplies
Misc.Total Pre-opening Expenses
Owners WithdrawalWorking Capital Requirement
Contingency FundSummary Schedule Form
Sources of Funds
Bank LoansOther Loans
Total SourcesUses of Funds
Administrative CostsOpening Inventory
Preopening ExpensesOwner's Withdrawal
Working Capital Requirement (from Cash Flow Projection)Contingency Fund (amount required to make Cash Flow Projection breakeven)
Total UsesSecurity and Collateral Form
Collateral for Loans .......... Value .......... Description
Note: Value is lower of cost or market value
Total CollateralSigners for Loans (Requires all major owners)
Guarantors for Loans (Other than owners)
Recommended further reading: