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What trends highlighted earlier could seriously change your projections?

How will you convert contacts into sales?

How will competitors respond to your sales tactics? What will be your re-

What percentage of sales do you expect returned?

If you are a larger organization, diagram the sales organization.

XI. Operations, Research and Development Strategies,
and Plans
Service Firms
Describe the methods of providing services.

Provide an outline and schedule of all business activities.

Describe your hours and days of operation.

Include work flow diagrams if the service is complex.

What equipment and suppliers are needed? What is the relationship of price,
delivery, credit, and quality?

Indicate how you will keep costs down.

Manufacturing Companies
Describe the manufacturing plan, plant, and facility requirements.

How will products be physically produced, packaged, and delivered, includ-
ing any special machinery that might be necessary?

What are your quality and cost control procedures?

Concisely describe your production strategies. Use these statements to an-
swer the following questions:

What processes or technologies will be used to produce or deliver the

Describe your production schedule, equipment, and technology to be used.

What product costs are required in order to achieve sales goals (e.g., variable
labor requirements)? Include wages and fringe benefits.

Describe quality control and productivity rates.

What is the manufacturing budget for the period covered by pro forma

Indicate capacity utilization.

In order to meet growth goals, what will be your future staffing? What are
your supply and distribution requirements?

Are there any safety, health, or environmental concerns?

What will be your future inventory storage and maintenance?

What will be your future equipment and facilities requirements?

What impact would funding have on this plan?

Describe concisely your R&D strategy and plan. What are the R&D objec-
tives within the time frame of the business plan? Have scheduled objectives
been accomplished?
How to Write and Present an Investor-Oriented Business Plan

Are there any planned enhancements of current products?

Have results of past research and development activity justified investment?

What product development efforts are currently in process or planned?

How appropriate are these in light of current marketplace developments?

Include a progress report on past and current R&D; for example, has it
brought products to market in a timely manner?

Include a department budget for a time frame of the business plan.

Describe staffing, equipment, and facilities.

Are there any other lawsuits, not previously mentioned, in which the com-
pany is a party?

Who is the corporate legal council?

What type of insurance is needed for this business? (Please disclose a sum-
mary of all insurance coverage.)

Who are the company™s insurers?

Does the company have all necessary licenses, and building and operating

Does the company have all essential contracts and joint venture agreements
fully executed?

Is the company currently, or in the past, in arrears regarding federal, state, or
local franchise and income taxes? Payroll taxes? Real estate taxes? Personal
property taxes? Sales taxes?

Have there ever been inquiries or reviews by a taxing authority?

Disclose all real estate currently owned, leased, or otherwise used by the

Is there any other topical area regarding the company, not covered by this
section, that you feel would be important for the investor to consider during
the evaluation process?

XII. Management, Organization, Personnel, and
Information Systems
In this section your objective is to show how the ability and track record of
your company™s management forms the key to its success. To do this you
must objectively evaluate your management and board of directors (if ap-
propriate) to determine the strength and capability of your business and to
let the audience know the result of this evaluation.

Who is involved in the business? Include resumes for the founder, owner, key
managers, and specially trained technical staff in the Supporting Documents
section. These will include name, position, background information on per-
formance, key accomplishments, history of positions held and length of time
with the company, industry recognition, specialized skills, education, age,
and community involvement.

How would you evaluate each of the key management and board personnel?

Describe the respective duties and qualifications of key employees, including
years of experience in the assigned position.

How do key managers™ skills complement the president™s skills?

What roles do the key managers play in daily operations?

Who wrote the business plan? Did you use consultants or specialists? If so,
list the consultants™ names.

Are there any skills missing that are necessary for the firms success?

What are the limitations of management?

List the names and addresses of all professional resources available to the
business, including:

Accountant: ______________________________________________

Insurance broker: __________________________________________
How to Write and Present an Investor-Oriented Business Plan

Attorney: _________________________________________________

CPA: ____________________________________________________

Bankers: _________________________________________________

Securities or investment banking firm (if appropriate): ______________

Do you have written job descriptions for key management personnel? If yes,
include a summary in this section. If no, write job descriptions.

Outline the succession plan in case of the loss of key personnel.

Explain remuneration for management. What is it about your remuneration
plan that will attract and keep quality talent? Salaries? Benefits packages?
Incentives? Promotion opportunities? Organization? Other?

If you are a corporation, who is on the board of directors?

Do you have an advisory board? If yes, what are the members™ credentials?

Where is the location of the headquarters of the business?

Include a current organization chart for your business and anticipated or-
ganization chart if changes are imminent, or if you are a start-up.

Describe each division or department and its function and personnel.

Do any employees require special training, education, or experience?

Does the company provide any special training or educational programs?

Describe current staffing levels and the expected turnover in the business.

How competitive are the company™s compensation and benefits programs?

Provide breakdowns on skill levels, hours worked, wage rates, whether
unionized, and so on.

Describe recruitment strategy and major competitors for the local work-
force. How successful have you been?

If you use independent contractors, explain. Show that you conform to IRS

Project personnel needs in order to accomplish business plan goals (e.g.,
management to be added).

Describe your compensation package, including salary, insurance, advance-
ment opportunities, and profit sharing.

Include personnel policies as a separate document available on request.

If unionized, describe your relationships with unions. When do contracts
come up for negotiation, and are there any likely union drives?

Management Information Systems
What method do you have for getting important information to help you
manage your business?

What are your methods of record keeping?

What regular and timely reports do you generate that tell you how well you
and the company are doing relative to the business plan objectives? Daily?
Weekly? Monthly?

What computer hardware and applications are you using or going to obtain
in order to generate these crucial reports?

XIII. Objectives and Milestones
The purpose of this section is to get you to write down your goals for the
The following objective-setting procedure has been used by hundreds of
companies. It is brilliantly simple and will lead you to clear statements of ob-
jectives and the important steps you must start taking now to achieve your
dream tomorrow.

1. Clearly state where you want to be at the end of the period covered by
this plan.

2. Identify the primary roadblocks to successfully achieving your vision.
How to Write and Present an Investor-Oriented Business Plan

3. Identify the internal strengths and resources needed to achieve success.

4. Identify internal weaknesses that must be overcome in order to achieve
success, for example, facilities limitations, location relative to cus-
tomers, and so on.

5. Put in priority the primary advantages and disadvantages identified

6. What external events or situations may impact your ability to achieve
your objective, for example, legislation, regulation, economy, and so

7. If you are an existing company (not a start-up), what will be your abil-
ity to achieve goals without any changes”for example, sales, income,
margins, working capital, liquidity, and so on?

8. What are the most serious challenges or problems you are currently


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