• The Entrepreneur
• The call for entrepreneurship
• The Business Plan
• Who should develop a business plan?
• What are the important elements of the
• Tips and Examples
The Entrepreneur is…
• The economists’ heffalump
• A coordinator, organizer, manager, leader.
• A gap filler
• An innovator, characterized by
spontaneous undeliberate learning, or a
• A risk bearer
• A highly demanded but seldom found
The Business Plan
• …describes a business in its developmental
stages, that describes the most important
elements of how the business will be run and
• …justifies your basis for starting the business—
from your good ideas to your experience and
expertise to your financial and market
considerations, to your long term dreams and
• …is a continuously evolving and developing
platform for your business.
Who needs a business plan?
• Everyone considering the start of a new
– Smaller businesses
– Highly technical business
– Larger businesses
• Everyone in this class, as parts of the activity will
be included in your final exam
Objectives of the Business Plan
• To structure and define your visions (for self and
• To build a solid basis for your business, based on
• To aid in important decision-making and
• To convince others (banks, investors, family,
friends, potential customers and suppliers) that
your plans have merit
• To start development of a habit of professionalism
• Cover Page
• Executive Summary
• Table of Contents
• Company Description
• Market Analysis
• Marketing Plan
• Operations Plan
• Financial Plan
• Exit Strategy (not always)
• Most important component, especially for the
• A brief and precise picture of your future that:
– Doesn’t tell too much, but just enough
– Shows you are knowledgeable and prepared
– Entices the reader to turn the page
• The LAST part of the BP to be completed
Executive Summary Content
• Description of all actors, emphasizing your
(relevant) special talents, qualifications,
• Description of service or product
• Customer information, including current
• Most important “figures” (projected
income, budgets, profits)
• Vision Statements:
– Don’t be short/narrow sighted: Where would Lego be,
if their vision had been to sell small square
interlocking building plastic blocks in many various
– The 30 second elevator test
– Focus on the customer
– The good, the bad, and the ugly (SWOT + your USP)
– Put your project management skills to use! Set short
term goals that are OBSERVABLE and
CONSISTENT with long term goals (vision)
• History of your company (or project or
• Focus on expansion and improvement
(past, present, and planned)
• Be honest (include problems experienced
and how they were overcome)
• Be clear about your present status and
future (planned) needs
• Avoid highly technical, expert-sounding, jargon.
• Describe the products/services so that they
appeal to the (future) customer; be descriptive
so they can ”see”, ”feel”, ”smell” it! What does it
mean to ME?
• What makes yours better? What does it do that
others can’t? Product positioning!
• What is involved in production? Patents? Gov’t
• Describe industry characteristics, market
segments, trends, projected growth, target
market and customers, customer behavior,
complementary products/ services,
barriers of entry, etc.
• Focus in on gaps in your product/service
• Who do you expect will buy/use your
product/service? Why them?
• Tell how you will use the brilliantly
composed market analysis to its fullest
– Detail how you will ensure that customers
know about your product/service AND will
choose it over the competition.
– Provide more than one marketing tactic
(cheapest to most expensive is usually wise)
• Demonstrate that what you promised in
the executive summary is DOABLE!
• Provides the ”nuts and bolts” of running
the business…the practical details:
– Location, organizational structure, equipment,
labor requirements, HR plans, customer
• Includes sales forecasts, profit-and-loss
statements, cash flow projections, balance
sheets, standard business ratios.
• Even if you have a qualified accountant,
you MUST be able to respond intelligently
to questions in all of these areas!
• A great management team with a so-so
business idea is a better risk than a so-so
management team with a fantastic idea!
• Use contacts, networks, etc. to strengthen
your management team, as necessary. Be
sure to toot your own horns…no time for
• Provides investors with a sense of
security, that you won’t always be
dependent and that this is a potential $
maker for him/her.
• Usually describes plans for 3-10 years in
• Verification of education, experience, etc.
• Technical drawings, computer renditions of
• Independent assessments of the
• Reports drafted in your planning stages (e.g.
from accountants, market researchers, etc)
• Throw out any documents that are not highly
• Know your audience!
• Be dramatic, creative…but careful!
• Explain the WHY (the product, the market, the
pricing, the partners, the location…)
• Take advantage of your research background!
Don’t make unfounded claims or guesses…
• Include possible barriers, drawbacks, potential
weaknesses, risks…as well as your plans for
• Stress your USP (unique selling proposition)
• Be realistic (higher quality for lower price won’t
• Remember to proofread and spell check! Then
do it again! Then have some one else do it!
• Create a Business Plan for:
– Your dream business enterprise (product or
– An internal project in a company in which you
might be employed in the future, to be
presented to the Board of Directors
• Use the class slides as guidelines for
content; OMIT the Financial Plan section
(others may be omitted with GOOD