Business Plan Outline: Everything You Need To Know About Business Plan Content
Last Updated: 3/30/2021
Depending on the structure of your venture or startup, a business plan may take different forms. The following sections will provide you with rich details on the components to include in your business plan, the types of funding you can employ, some of its examples, and the comparison of a business plan to a pitch deck. If you are just looking for a plain business plan Table of Contents, scroll down to the bottom of this article for a sample.
Comparison of a business plan vs pitch deck
A pitch deck is a summary of a business plan prepared in around 10–20 slides and presented to investors in a duration of around 20–30 minutes. It is meant to woo potential investors to have an interest in your startup. You, therefore, need to include all vital details in your pitch deck to avoid leaving out crucial information for the investors while remaining concise.
Conversely, a business plan is a company description that outlines how it operates alongside its current and long-term projects. It can consume around 10 to 100 pages. A business plan summarizes a venture and gives projection about its future.
It is always advisable to develop both a pitch deck and a business plan for the company or business to gain maximum advantage.
You can employ a pitch deck when an investor, partner, or client wants to get its basic overview. A pitch deck helps investors to get a quick synopsis of your business plan in order to decide whether to continue their review.
A pitch deck is usually presented to prospective investors via Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi, whereas a business plan gets crafted using the Microsoft Word tool. In addition to the differences highlighted, you can use a pitch deck during your business’s early stages, preferably the introduction phase. On the other hand, a business plan can be prepared at any stage of a company’s development. A business plan becomes useful when requested by potential investors or used as a reference guide to keep up with the company changes.
Which is the more important of the two?
Both pitch deck and business plan are crucial in showing the potential of your business to investors and other stakeholders. No option outweighs the other. Depending on your business stage, it is crucial to have both.
The Ten Slides in a Pitch Deck
When pitching your startup concept to your prospective investors, you are supposed to use a maximum of ten slides. Here is what to include in the slides.
The title encompasses your business name, your name and position, location of the business, email, telephone number, and postal address.
State the problem your business idea is intending to solve or the unmet needs you are going to address.
Prove to your potential customers why your idea will be of value to them than those of your competitors.
Explain why you believe your product/service will succeed. Ensure you minimize texts and maximize diagrams while describing the secrets behind your concept.
Your business model should show how you will create, deliver, and capture value. Explain to your investors the tactics you will use to get customers into buying your product.
Come up with a cost-effective market plan and show how you will do it. In the plan, indicate the area you will cover, the timelines, and the costs.
Provide a comprehensive analysis of the competition. Show their business locations, pricing, and strengths.
Describe the composition of your management team. Provide details of directors, senior managers, and investors.
Financial Projections and Key Metrics
Under this slide, provide three-year financial projections with crucial metrics, such as sales, number of customers, etc. It is advisable to do a bottom-up forecast, meaning you start projecting from the third year through to the first year.
Status, Accomplishments to Date, and Use of Funds
Describe the current situation of your business, show your future outlook, and explain how you will use the funds.
Have questions about business planning or the capital raising process? Contact our experts at Pro Business Plans by scheduling a free consultation.
Business Plan Outline
After familiarizing yourself with a business plan’s necessary information, besides learning its alternatives, let us look at the various business plan components. Whether you are establishing a business plan to improve your business growth or test your business idea viability, it is crucial to include the below elements in your business plan. Let us take you through.
The executive summary of your business plan is your elevator pitch, usually a one-page for easier reading. Therefore, it should be brief and straightforward, bringing out a clear synopsis of what the program will entail.
It would be best to craft it after elaborating on all the other details. The fundamental aspects are the business concepts, financial requirements, current position, and the business’s supreme achievements in your executive summary.
You need to provide a brief description of your business or venture. It is safer to entail the current position and plans for the company. You can mention some of the recent market advancements and developments that will harm your business.
You can also pinpoint the form of business you will employ, either a partnership business or a sole-proprietorship way, and the general operations on the structure part. Your findings should have the basis of reliable data, whose sources are well defined, to win the investor’s heart. It will assure them of significant outcomes rather than working on assumptions.
After making a complete market analysis, by studying the existing markets and making rough revenue estimates from your competitors, you can identify your target market and come up with ideal strategies to win more customers. The component outlines the pricing and the promotional techniques the business will utilize in the highly competitive business environment.
A thorough competitive analysis allows you to study and find out your competitors’ various strengths and weaknesses in the existing market. You can entail multiple ways to outsmart your competitors by imposing barriers into the market entry or even exploiting competitors’ weaknesses.
You can think of drafting a competitive strength grid that will spotlight the essential skills and pools of knowledge of the highest performing competitors in the market and look for ways to fit in the market.
The organizational structure of your business is a vital part of a business plan. You need to define it appropriately, for accurate financial information for the company. Depending on the business structure, most businesses can narrow down an organizational design into multiple categories, including; administration, production, marketing and sales, and the research and development division.
It also involves the segregation of different working environments and assigning work assignments to respective individuals. The assigned tasks depend on the business goals and requirements laid down to ensure maximum business revenue.
Historical & Projected Financials
Financial information is the heartbeat of any business. It brings out the costs the company incurs on operational expenses, and the returns the business benefits. The data needs to be defined correctly to showcase the financial health of the business. It may involve various charts of figures or tables that portray cash flows in and out of the company. You may establish financial statements such as income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets to elaborate on the business operations’ financial items.
The appendix section is not a mandatory requirement for your business plan. However, it comes in handy to display all the relevant and realistic charts and other related figures to support the information provided on the previously outlined sections of your plan.
As discussed widely, a business plan serves as a framework or layout dictating a particular business’s structure, components, objectives, and any other general necessary information. With an appropriate business plan, the company has a high potential of gaining success in terms of clear and achievable goals, landing to the most appropriate angel investor, etc. Businesses need a good preparation as a prerequisite tool, essential in almost all the developing and growing business phases.