BUSINESS PLAN REFERENCE GUIDE
Due Monday, April 8 by NOON
Business Plans are limited to ten pages of text and should follow the following format: 12 point font, 1 inch margins on all sides, single spaced, and use headings, subheadings, and bullet points where applicable. Business plans should have the following elements:
- Cover Page – one page (does not count toward page count)
- Table of Contents – one page (does not count toward page count)
- Business Plan Content– ten pages (see below for specifics)
- Appendices – five pages
- In total, the maximum number of pages is 17 if a cover page and table of contents are included.
Teams will be granted access to Palo Alto business plan software on Wednesday, March 14. The software provides more than 500 sample business plans, easy financial forecasting, funding tools and a variety of business management strategies. Students will have access to the software free of charge for three months. There will be an informational session on how to use the software on Wednesday, April 3 from 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in the Innovation Hub, Devlin Hall.
Contents of Written Business Plan: Your business plan should include the following sections (ten pages max)
- Executive Summary (one page summary of business plan)
- Product or Service Description
- Customer/Market Analysis
- Industry & Competitor Analysis
- Business Model (How will you structure your business to deliver value to customers and in turn achieve sales)
- Marketing Plan
- Operations Plan
- Management Team
- Financial Plan
- Offering of the company (how much investment money are you seeking and how will you use it)
Note on the Financial Plan: Financial data should include five years of projected income statements, statement of cash flows, and balance sheets. This data should be summarized in the main financial section of the business plan while the detailed financial statements should be included in the Appendix. When summarizing the financial data please use text as well as graphs and charts to display your venture’s projected financial performance. It is also important to explain the main assumptions that you used to calculate your financial projections. For example, how did you determine your initial level of sales and sales growth?