"MASTERMIND OF BUSINESS PLANNING"
“Tim Berry is co-founder of Eugene Social, founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International. He taught starting a business at the University of Oregon for 11 years. He is author of books and software including Business Plan Pro, published by Palo Alto Software, and The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press. He has a Stanford MBA degree and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame.
His website is at timberry.com and his main blog is Planning Startups Stories; he also posts on several other blogs including Huffington Post, Amex OPEN Forum, and Industry Word at sba.gov. He is an active investor member of the Willamette Angel Conference.”
Key Component of a Business Plan:
Berry talks about the important of a business plan and what investors look for when looking for potential investment opportunities. The key components of a business plan are your Executive Summary. The Executive summary is a brief summary of everything that is explains in the body of your proposal. It gives an investor the opportunity to see if this venture is worth investing or meets their needs prior to reading the entire plan. We then move on to the second key component, the Marketing Plan. The marketing plan relates to your product and service and should be outlined in your business plan. This shows an investor how the product and service will fulfill the demand within your marketplace. However the company would also need to show that it has advertising, marketing and sales force to effectively get the product and service distributed and build its brand awareness.
The third key component is your competition analysis. This shows who the competition is and how the competition is effectively penetrating the market. If there is not a lot of competition then this proves that there is a need for this service in its market and an open field for business. If the competition is high then the investor would need to see what you do better and why the market purchase your goods and service over the other competitors.
The fourth component is Management. Investor likes to learn about the key personnel and any strategic alliances the company has. Management is very important to any company because they are the ones who see to the success of the business. Without the right people who have a track record that proves they are capable of running the business investors will walk away from the venture.
Finally the last key component that set the tone for the plan is the Financials. Financials are essential for any investor to feel confident that the team understands the market, real costs of business where profits will be earned. For many start-up companies, the financials are done in a pro forma fashion. This means that figures are placed as hypothetical numbers based on data known to the company. For instance, a company may know how much it will cost to make a widget and what it will cost to market it, but may place a constant in for total sales within the year to demonstrate what revenues for the company might be.
These components are key to any business plan and key to your investors. Focus on what makes your company unique, look for employees that are creditable that have a track record that will be beneficial to your company success. Tim Berry lets us know that he has seen it all from the small companies to the large companies both good and bad, and in order for any company to land a good investment deal the business plan has to be creditable to draw any investor attention.
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A Good Business Plan by Tim Berry September 12, 2012