Business Model and Strategy for Future Development


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What is it that you’re selling to the customers?


Executive Summary

This is meant to be a comprehensive summary of the key points of your business plan, NOT an introduction. Please keep this mind! A good rule of thumb is to always write the Exec Summary last.

Company Overview

You want a paragraph here on who the company is, and what they’re trying to provide to their stakeholders

Business Description
Exactly what it is the company is trying to do. This is where you start to explain your business model,that is, by what method will this entity make profits?

The Product or Service
What is it that you’re selling to the customers? Why is it the greatest thing since the iPod®?

Company History
Pretty self explanatory. If this plan is for a start up, omit this section.

The Industry
Describe the industry in which you will be doing business. Does is have established competitors? What is the competitive structure? Does it have monopolistic characteristics?

Competitor Analysis
An analysis of your key competitors and their perceived strengths and weaknesses

Industry Trends
What is happening in the industry that may affect future competition?

Competitive Advantage
Why should people do business with you rather than your competition? What makes you so special?

Market Plan

An introductory paragraph here.

Customer Base
Who exactly we are selling to and how we are going to sell it to them? Is this a retail or commercial market?

Pricing Strategy
Cost plus? Follow the market?


Market Research
How do you know that people want to buy your product or service? What evidence do you have that this product or service has a market?

Operations Plan

Introductory paragraph.


How is the product or service going to be produced? Are any parts of it going to be outsourced?


What type of physical plant are you going to need? A shopfront? A warehouse? A factory?

Geographic Location

Where are we going to do this? Cairns, Queensland, worldwide?

Control Systems

What is your Quality Assurance program?

Labor Force

What types of staff will you need? Is there a sufficient number of suitable staff available in your location?


How are you going to recruit such staff as you do need? In house? Employment agency? Headhunter?


What types of training will you need to give your staff, both upon entry and ongoing?

Financial Plan

Another, brief, introductory paragraph.


Start-up Costs

How much money are you going to need to start this up? How much do you have access to? Few sources are willing to risk their money with you unless you are willing to take a financial risk yourself. Are you willing to bet your house?


So, how much money are we going to make here? Warren Buffett money, or something less? Be convincing, but leave off the wild exaggerations.

Cash Reserves

Quite often you can express this as: “Cash reserves will exceed six months’ operating expenses. We plan to grow our cash reserves as sales and market conditions dictate.”

Projected Income

A summary of what the P&L statement in the appendix will tell us.

Projected Cash Flow

A summary of what the statement of cash flows will tell us. If you are dealing with VCs, you might want to calculate your cash burn rate. They’ll ask.

Exit or Harvest Strategies

If this plan is meant to be presented to venture capitalists, they’re going to want to know when they get their money, how they’re going to get it, and a most-likely estimate of how much.


Critical Risks and Assumptions

What could go wrong? What have you, can you, do about it? You really need to think this through. Are there people upon whom the organizational critically depends? How about protection of intellectual property (IP)? Don’t wait for me—or even worse, potential investors—to point out risks in your plan!


Wrap it all up here. A short recap of the high points of the plan and then some concluding remarks.


Appendix A: Resumes and Biographies of Key Personnel

Appendix B: Financial Statements

One of the keys here is to make the statements believable. As a starting point, how big would 1% of the market be? How much can you realistically capture? What will it cost you to do this? Be sure to avoid making too rosy projections! Don’t understate your expenses or overstate your potential earnings.

Projected Profit and Loss Statement

Insert a pro forma P&L Statement here, in spreadsheet form for the next three years.

Projected Cash Flow Statement

Insert a pro forma Cash Flow Statement here, in spreadsheet form, for the next three years.

Projected Balance Sheet

Insert a pro forma Balance Sheet here, in spreadsheet form, for the next three years.


Appendix C: Supporting Documentation

Documents you might want to include would be:

  • If this is a franchise, a copy of the franchise agreement
  • Articles of incorporation and corporate bylaws
  • Partnership agreement, if this is a partnership
  • ABN and registration of business name
  • Any pending or issued patents or trademark registrations
  • Proposed or executed lease or purchase agreement for building space
  • An organization chart

Appendix D: Timeline

A timeline can help to visualize the issues the new business will face—and when those issues might be critical.

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