Of the many components of a business plan, a few of the most important to get right are the marketing plan, the management team description, and the financial plan. These sections are where the entrepreneur has a chance to show readers how the business will reach its customers, who the business will be run by and how they are qualified, and the financial results expected from the venture.
The marketing plan must relate directly to the preceding three sections of the business plan: the industry, customer, and competitive analyses. Readers should see that the branding, promotion, distribution, and pricing described in the marketing plan is a natural outgrowth of this research. It is also important for readers to see signs of a decisive manager who is able to make strong and clear choices even with limited information to act upon. The company cannot seek every single customer in every single way, and choosing a clear strategy to market and limited tactics to use is important here.
This section is an opportunity to prove that the management is well chosen for the task at hand and the functions they must execute. If co-founders intend to be the managers, it should be clear that they bring skill and experience to the table, whether it is industry or function specific. If the existing managers cannot cover all of the needs of the business, a plan to hire additional management help should be presented here.
The financial plan should sum up the financial results of the business, showing funders how much cash is required to launch, what the capital will be used for, and how what returns should result. Lenders will be looking for the company’s ability to make timely payments and hold assets as collateral. Investors will be interested in dividends, growth potential, or exit strategies involving sale of the company, franchising, or additional rounds of funding.