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Executive Summary

A business plan should have one or two pages highlighting the main points.

1. The Business Idea

  • Business Idea Description (50 words maximum)

  • Personal Resume (re-enforcing skill set required to make the business work)

2. Market Research

  • Community Profile (environment that the business will operate in – could be physical territory attributes)

  • Personal Resume (re-enforcing skill set required to make the business work)

  • Customer Profile (average individual customer or group)

  • Market Estimate ($ sales, sometimes difficult to get accurate information – Stats Canada, Industry associations, trade journals) 2.5 Market Segmentation (based on common themes)

  • Competition Analysis (vital: proves you know what you are up against and leads to how you will compete)

  • Location Background (usually necessary for retail businesses)

 3. Marketing Plan

  • Pricing (policy and how it was arrived at)

  • Promotion (everything from business cards to personal contacts to free articles in newspapers and magazines, detailed as to why, where and costs)

  • Place (why the location is right for this business)

  • Product (for manufacturers, and distributors – product benefits, packaging etc. retailers – range, style, lines etc.)

 4. Organization

  • Legal Form (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)

  • Legal Requirements (licenses, permits, certificates, registrations)

  • Insurance (purposes, limits, risks covered)

  • Auxiliary Advice Sources (boards of directors, advisors, legal and accounting sources, other key people profiles)

 5. Financial Planning

  • Start-up Costs (list of all start-up requirements and costs including working capital)

  • Operational Costs – fixed and variable (what it costs to continue to operate the business)

  • Personal Finances (financial resources committed to the project, assets and liabilities)

  • Pro-forma Income Statement (projected one or two years)

  • Pro-forma Balance Sheet (projected one or two years)

  • Cash Flow Analysis (vital; realistic, minimum one year)

  • Break-even Analysis (fixed assets/contribution % from sales)

  • Ratio Analysis (useful for industry comparisons)

  • Methods of Recordkeeping (if unique or contribute strongly to the control of the enterprise)

6. Financing

  • Sources of Funds (personal equality, other investors, loan financing in place)

  • Borrowing Requirements (amount and type – short term, long term including contingency financing such as lines of credit; collateral; for a bank – proposed repayment terms)

7. Operations

  • Suppliers/Purchasing (sources, purchasing cycle, special arrangements, terms of payment)

  • Inventory Control

  • Physical Production/Distribution Flow & Equipment (required)

  • Personnel Requirements & Policies (Availability of required specialists, timing costs, benefits of policies) Credit Policies (why, how controlled)

  • Quality Control (manufacturing)

  • Other Operational Considerations


Business Plan Websites

Canada Business Network
Sample business plans and templates
Business plan template – tool kit

Futurpreneur Canada
Start-up Business Planning – Tips and Tools
Online Business Planning Guide
Small business banking – plan, start, grow
Writing a Business Plan
Business plan
Business Resources
Guide to business planning
Planning Your Business
Interactive business plan
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