Posts

The Most Important Parts of a Business Plan

The Most Important Parts of a Business Plan

After working with a lot of clients over the years, we’ve determined the most important parts of a business plan. Even though it’s important the whole thing is done well, here are the areas we recommend spending a little extra time on. 

Executive Summary

This is commonly accepted as the most important part of a business plan. If you don’t have a good executive summary, you won’t draw the reader in. They won’t won’t be interested in reading the rest of the document, so you would’ve wasted a lot of time and effort drafting it. 

Your executive summary should include a few key things:

  • Purpose of the plan
  • Business name
  • Location
  • The services or products you offer

The balance here is having a short summary that also communicates what you need to. Get them excited about the opportunity they’re learning about. 

Company Description

This part of the business plan is where you can dive a bit deeper into your company. This helps the reader understand the business as a whole.

A few key elements here include:

Legal Entity – How is your business legally structured? Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S Corp or C Corp? 

Brief History – The reader doesn’t need to know every single thing your business has done over the last few months. But when was it started? What need was it created to fill?

Stakeholders – A stakeholder is anyone involved in the company. Suppliers, customers, employees, owners – they’re all considered stakeholders.

High-Level Goals – How big is the company going to grow over the next few years? How are you going to achieve that goal? 

Marketing Plan – You’ll get in more detail with this later. But what’s your overall marketing plan? How will you get new leads and reach new potential customers?

Again, this is all at a high level. You’re still warming up the reader and giving them an understanding of what you’re trying to do. 

Products and Services

This section may sound simplistic, but there’s more to it than you might expect. Yes, the point of this section is to explain what products and services you sell. But you also need to explain why they fill a need. 

For example, let’s say you offer a lawn mowing service. Why does your area need another one? How is your company different/better than the others? You need to be specific here. If you just say something generic like “we have the best people” or “we do the best job,” that’s not enough. 

The best way to do this is to get very specific. So instead of having a lawn mowing service that does anything and everything, maybe you just maintain the yards around office buildings. Or instead of doing landscaping for any residential home, you only do it for a certain high-end neighborhood. 

Other things to include in this section are your costs, suppliers, and prices. You need to prove that you’re able to actually make a decent profit. 

Financial Projections

Everything leads up to this section. This can make or break your business plan, as it needs to be appealing to investors. 

Don’t be unrealistic, but don’t be too conservative either. It takes time to get a business off the ground – investors understand that. But you still need to have something exciting enough that they’ll consider funding you. 

Need help with your business plan? Click here to contact Von Esch Law today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Featured Image

How to Protect Your Business from Copyright Lawsuits

Think your company has the next ‘big idea’, good enough to break into your industry? Chances are, someone else has had the same idea. At Von Esch Law Group, we’ve seen too many start-ups and business owners face patent litigation from companies waiting to file lawsuits against unsuspecting entrepreneurs. Here are 4 tips for avoiding copyright infringement throughout each stage of your development.

  1. Be cautious if it’s not your own.

 

You may think this goes without saying, but so many business owners get caught in this tricky copyright trap. If a piece of content was not created by you or your company, whether in person or on the internet, a high level of caution is required when deciding if it’s acceptable to reuse. If you find content you want to use for business purposes, especially photographs and music, check the permissions or license to see whether you can use it for free or need to pay a fee.

  1. Big companies do care.

With so many massive corporations pushing out content daily, it can be tempting to take a small piece of their content – like an Instagram post or 3-second video clip – for your business’s personal use. However, more often than not, they’ll be looking out for this small form of plagiarism. New software has made it possible for companies to monitor any content being republished on the web, no matter how small. Play it safe and avoid this type of copyright infringement.

  1. Don’t forget to look for “fair use”.

While these infringement laws may seem scary, there may be a way around them. “Fair use” is an exemption offered to those who wish to use a piece of content with a copyright license for educational purposes. While this option requires you to read the fine lines, it often allows you access to otherwise prohibited content for educational use.

  1. Start early.

Just had an idea for a business, product, or service? It’s never too early to start researching the current patents associated with your idea. Whether you assign it to your development team or look into it yourself, thoroughly researching the copyrights related to your product can help you avoid a major headache (and lawsuit) in the future.

In addition to following these tips, our team at Von Esch Law highly recommends hiring a legal team to walk you through each step of your business or product development. We specialize in business law and have helped countless clients avoid costly lawsuits. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with our team!