Business Invest Plan Dual
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Business Invest Plan
Een aangepaste investering.
U zoekt een geschikte investering voor uw vennootschap of vzw? Het Business Invest Plan combineert een vaste interestvoet met een mogelijk hoger rendement door een eventuele jaarlijkse winstdeelneming.
Het overlijden van een van de vennoten, een wijziging in de ledenstructuur van de vzw, een fusie of splitsing van de vennootschap, … Het Business Invest Plan wordt afgesloten op naam van de rechtspersoon, waardoor de continuïteit gegarandeerd blijft.
Vragen over het Business Invest Plan? Bezoek een BNP Paribas Fortis-kantoor of neem online contact met ons op.
De voordelen van het Business Invest Plan
Ontdek waarom deze investering iets voor u is.
Business Invest Plan is bestemd voor rechtspersonen die in alle veiligheid op middellange termijn geld willen investeren met het oog op het bekomen van een rendement.
De premie en het minimumrendement worden vooraf vastgelegd voor de volledige looptijd.
Ieder jaar is het mogelijk om 10% van de brutoreserve van het contract, opgebouwd op 31 december van het voorgaande kalenderjaar, op te vragen zonder kosten (met een maximum van 100.000 euro) via één of meerdere afkopen (periodiek of gedeeltelijk).
Kapitaal en rendement zijn zeker
Business Invest Plan is een kapitalisatiecontract van tak 26. U geniet een dubbele waarborg:
- Garantie op het kapitaal: gegarandeerd kapitaal op de einddatum.
- Gewaarborgde rentevoet: 2,00% voor contracten op 5 jaar en 2,50% voor contracten op 8 jaar (rentevoeten van toepassing op 08/11/2023).
- Rendement: de rentevoet van toepassing op het ogenblik van de storting geldt gedurende de hele looptijd van het contract. Bijkomende premiestortingen zijn niet mogelijk. De nemer weet dus precies hoeveel zijn minimale kapitaal bedraagt op het einde van de termijn. Dit minimaal gegarandeerd rendement kan elk jaar worden verhoogd met een eventuele winstdeelneming.
Het rendement in beeld
Het globaal rendement (gewaarborgde rentevoet + winstdeelneming) van het Business Invest Plan op 8 jaar bedroeg in 2022 2,40% voor de nettostortingen van het jaar en 1,60% voor de rest van de reserve.
Hiernaast vindt u een overzichtstabel van het globaal rendement van de voorbije 5 jaar (technische rentevoet + eventuele winstdeelneming).
Dit brutorendement houdt geen rekening met kosten en taks. Het gaat om een rendement uit het verleden en vormt geen betrouwbare indicator voor het toekomstige rendement. Voor contracten met een rentevoet die hoger is dan het globaal brutorendement is het brutorendement gelijk aan de gewaarborgde rentevoet.
Deze eventuele jaarlijkse winstdeelnemingen zijn niet gegarandeerd, verschillen van jaar tot jaar en zijn afhankelijk van de resultaten van AG en van de economische situatie. Eenmaal toegekend maakt de winstdeelneming deel uit van de reserve en wordt de geldende gewaarborgde rentevoet op het volledige kapitaal toegepast. De verzekeraar is noch wettelijk, noch contractueel verplicht over te gaan tot winstdeelneming.
Business Invest Plan op 5 jaar is opgestart in 2023. Hiervoor is dus nog geen rendement beschikbaar.
Welke risico's brengt deze investering met zich mee?
Niet afhankelijk van het leven van een natuurlijke persoon. Het Business Invest Plan wordt onderschreven door een vennootschap en behoort dus toe aan het vermogen van deze rechtspersoon. De eventuele vereffening van deze vennootschap heeft dus tot gevolg dat een totale afkoop van het Business Invest Plan moet worden doorgevoerd, met de bijhorende afkoopvergoeding en een eventuele financiële correctie.
Bij faillissement van AG loopt de belegger het risico zijn belegde kapitaal niet terug te krijgen op de vervaldag.
Business Invest Plan biedt een gegarandeerde rentevoet en een mogelijke winstdeling. Als er in de toekomst weinig of geen winstdeling toegekend zou worden, is het mogelijk dat door de taksen, kosten en actuele rentevoet het uitbetaalde kapitaal lager zou zijn dan het totale geïnvesteerde bedrag.
Jaarlijks krijgt de nemer een volledig overzicht van het contract met onder meer de vermelding van de eventueel toegekende winstdeelneming.
Het ‘Towards Sustainability’-label
Business Invest Plan draagt sinds maart 2023 het ‘ Towards Sustainability’ -label . Dit duurzaamheidslabel, dat regelmatig opnieuw wordt geëvalueerd en voortdurend wordt gecontroleerd, is een kwaliteitsnorm onder toezicht van het Centraal Labeling Agentschap (CLA). Om aan deze norm te voldoen, moeten financiële producten beantwoorden aan een aantal minimumvereisten met betrekking tot duurzaamheid, zowel op het vlak van de portefeuille als op dat van het beleggingsproces. Meer informatie over dit label vindt u op de website van het CLA .
De toekenning van dit label betekent echter niet dat Business Invest Plan beantwoordt aan uw eigen duurzaamheidsdoelstellingen.
- Tijdens de looptijd
Voor rechtspersonen onderworpen aan de vennootschapsbelasting
De interesten en de verworven winstdeelneming dienen jaarlijks opgenomen te worden in het jaarresultaat van de vennootschap. Hierdoor wordt deze rente en winstdeelneming onderworpen aan de vennootschapsbelasting.
Vzw's dienen jaarlijks de waarde van het Business Invest Plan op 31 december mee op te nemen bij de berekening van de taks tot vergoeding van successierechten van 0,17%.
- Prestatie (bij afkoop of op einddatum)
Bij afkoop en op einddatum wordt 30% roerende voorheffing op het gewaarborgde rendement en de winstdeelneming ingehouden. Het gaat om een verrekenbare en eventuele terugbetaalbare roerende voorheffing.
Voor rechtspersonen onderworpen aan de rechtspersonenbelasting
Bij afkoop en op einddatum wordt 30% roerende voorheffing op het gewaarborgde rendement en de winstdeelneming ingehouden. Dit is een bevrijdende voorheffing.
Het Business Invest Plan komt ook in aanmerking voor de notionele intrestaftrek.
- 3% op de netto geïnvesteerde éénmalige premie als de bruto geïnvesteerde premie kleiner is dan 100.000 euro.
- 2,75% op de netto geïnvesteerde éénmalige premie indien de bruto geïnvesteerde premie groter of gelijk is aan 100.000 euro.
Uitstapkosten: geen uitstapkosten op eindvervaldag.
Afkoopvergoeding: de afkoopvergoeding bedraagt 250 euro, alsook een mogelijke financiële correctie. Ieder jaar is het mogelijk om 10% van de brutoreserve, op 31 december van het voorbije jaar, (met een maximum van 100.000 euro per jaar) op te vragen zonder kosten, via een of meerdere vrije afkopen (periodiek of gedeeltelijk).
Business Invest Plan Dual
Bent u als vennootschap op zoek naar een middel om een bedrag op middellange termijn te beleggen aan een aantrekkelijk rendement zonder dat dit op korte termijn een vermogensoverdracht naar de aandeelhouder (bijv. via een dividenduitkering of een kapitaalvermindering) in de weg staat? Dan biedt het Business Invest Plan Dual (BIP Dual) u een goede oplossing.
Meer informatie vindt u in de Flash Invest of neem contact op met uw bankkantoor.
ONTWIKKEL UW VERMOGEN
Uw vertrouwde financiële partner
Naast investeringen biedt Private Banking u oplossingen voor de ontwikkeling, bescherming en overdracht van uw bedrijf en uw vermogen.
Alvorens een investeringsbeslissing te nemen, raden we elke belegger aan om kennis te nemen van het Essentiële-informatiedocument en de Algemene Voorwaarden met een beschrijving van de kenmerken en de kosten van Business Invest Plan. U vindt ze hieronder:
- Essentiële-informatiedocument BIP 8 jaar
- Essentiële-informatiedocument BIP 5 jaar
- Algemene Voorwaarden BIP
- Nuttige informatie
- Infofiche Ecologische en/of sociale kenmerken
- Flash Invest
- Flash Invest (in het Engels)
Het Business Invest Plan is een kapitalisatiecontract (tak 26) naar Belgisch recht van AG nv, verdeeld door BNP Paribas Fortis nv.
AG nv, Emile Jacqmainlaan 53, 1000 Brussel – RPR Brussel – BTW BE 0404.494.849 – www.aginsurance.be – Belgische verzekeringsonderneming toegelaten onder code 0079, onder toezicht van de Nationale Bank van België, de Berlaimontlaan 14, 1000 Brussel.
Tussenpersoon: BNP Paribas Fortis nv, Warandeberg 3, 1000 Brussel – RPR Brussel – BTW BE 0403.199.702, is als kredietinstelling naar Belgisch recht onderworpen aan het prudentieel toezicht van de Europese Centrale Bank en de Nationale Bank van België. BNP Paribas Fortis nv is ingeschreven onder het voornoemde ondernemingsnummer bij de FSMA, Congresstraat 12-14, 1000 Brussel, en handelt als verbonden verzekeringsagent, vergoed door commissies, voor AG nv. BNP Paribas Fortis nv bezit een deelneming van meer dan 10% in AG nv.
Klachten kunnen ingediend worden per post naar BNP Paribas Fortis nv – Dienst Klachtenbeheer – Warandeberg 3, 1000 Brussel of via e-mail naar [email protected] .
Als de voorgestelde oplossing u geen voldoening schenkt, kunt u het geschil voorleggen aan de Ombudsman van de verzekeringen via e-mail naar [email protected] , per post naar de Meeûssquare 35, 1000 Brussel of via de website www.ombudsman-insurance.be .
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What Is a Business Plan?
Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, business plan: what it is, what's included, and how to write one.
Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.
- A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
- Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
- For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
- There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.
Investopedia / Ryan Oakley
Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.
Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."
Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.
There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.
Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.
While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.
While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.
Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.
The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.
These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:
- Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
- Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
- Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
- Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
- Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.
The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should aim to entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its uniqueness and potential for success.
2 Types of Business Plans
Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.
- Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
- Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.
Why Do Business Plans Fail?
A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.
How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.
What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?
The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.
Sections can include: a value proposition ; the company's major activities and advantages; resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital; a list of partnerships; customer segments; and revenue sources.
A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.
Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."
U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."
- Business Development: Definition, Strategies, Steps & Skills 1 of 46
- Business Ethics: Definition, Principles, Why They're Important 2 of 46
- Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How to Write One 3 of 46
- Organizational Structure for Companies With Examples and Benefits 4 of 46
- Which Type of Organization Is Best For Your Business? 5 of 46
- What Are the Major Types of Businesses in the Private Sector? 6 of 46
- Corporate Culture Definition, Characteristics, and Importance 7 of 46
- What Is an S Corp? Definition, Taxes, and How to File 8 of 46
- LLC vs. Incorporation: Which Should I Choose? 9 of 46
- Private Company: What It Is, Types, and Pros and Cons 10 of 46
- Sole Proprietorship: What It Is, Pros & Cons, and Differences From an LLC 11 of 46
- Bootstrapping Definition, Strategies, and Pros/Cons 12 of 46
- Crowdfunding: What It Is, How It Works, and Popular Websites 13 of 46
- Seed Capital: What It Is, How It Works, Example 14 of 46
- Venture Capital: What Is VC and How Does It Work? 15 of 46
- Startup Capital Definition, Types, and Risks 16 of 46
- Capital Funding: Definition, How It Works, and 2 Primary Methods 17 of 46
- Series Funding: A, B, and C 18 of 46
- Small Business Administration (SBA): Definition and What It Does 19 of 46
- Upper Management: What it is, How it Works 20 of 46
- What is the C Suite?: Meaning and Positions Defined 21 of 46
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO): What They Do vs. Other Chief Roles 22 of 46
- Operations Management: Understanding and Using It 23 of 46
- Human Resource Planning (HRP) Meaning, Process, and Examples 24 of 46
- Brand: Types of Brands and How to Create a Successful Brand Identity 25 of 46
- What Is Brand Personality? How It Works and Examples 26 of 46
- What Is Brand Management? Requirements, How It Works, and Example 27 of 46
- What Is Brand Awareness? Definition, How It Works, and Strategies 28 of 46
- Brand Loyalty: What It Is, and How to Build It 29 of 46
- Brand Extension: Definition, How It Works, Example, and Criticism 30 of 46
- What Is Social Networking? 31 of 46
- Affiliate Marketer: Definition, Examples, and How to Get Started 32 of 46
- What Is Commercialization, Plus the Product Roll-Out Process 33 of 46
- Digital Marketing Overview: Types, Challenges & Required Skills 34 of 46
- Direct Marketing: What It Is and How It Works 35 of 46
- Marketing in Business: Strategies and Types Explained 36 of 46
- What Are Marketing Campaigns? Definition, Types, and Examples 37 of 46
- How to Do Market Research, Types, and Example 38 of 46
- Micromarketing Explained: Definition, Uses, and Examples 39 of 46
- Network Marketing Meaning and How It Works 40 of 46
- Product Differentiation: What It Is, How Businesses Do It, and the 3 Main Types 41 of 46
- Target Market: Definition, Purpose, Examples, Market Segments 42 of 46
- Outside Sales: What They are, How They Work 43 of 46
- What Is a Sales Lead? How It Works and Factors Affecting Quality 44 of 46
- Indirect Sales: What it is, How it Works 45 of 46
- What Is Inside Sales? Definition, How It Works, and Advantages 46 of 46
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Investment Company Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Investment Company Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their investment companies. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an investment company business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your investment company as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start an investment company, or grow your existing investment company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your investment company in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Investment Companies
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an investment company are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Investors, grants, personal investments, and bank loans are the most common funding paths for investment companies.
How to Write a Business Plan for an Investment Company
If you want to start an investment company or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below we detail what you should include in each section of your own business plan:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of investment company you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an investment company that you would like to grow, or are you operating investment companies in multiple markets?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your business plan. For example, give a brief overview of the investment company industry. Discuss the type of investment company you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of investment company you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types of investment companies:
- Closed-End Funds Investment Company : this type of investment company issues a fixed number of shares through a single IPO to raise capital for its initial investments.
- Mutual Funds (Open-End Funds) Investment Company: this type of investment company is a diversified portfolio of pooled investor money that can issue an unlimited number of shares.
- Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) Investment Company: this type of investment company offers a fixed portfolio, generally of stocks and bonds, as redeemable units to investors for a specific period of time.
In addition to explaining the type of investment company you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of investments made, number of client positive reviews, reaching X amount of clients invested for, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the investment industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the investment industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your business plan:
- How big is the investment industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your investment company? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: companies or employees in specific industries, couples with double income, families with kids, small business owners, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of investment company you operate. Clearly, couples with families and double income would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other investment companies.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes robo investors and advisors, company 401Ks, etc. You need to mention such competition as well.
With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other investment companies with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be investment companies located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of clients do they serve?
- What type of investment company are they and what certifications do they have?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide better investment strategies?
- Will you provide services that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an investment company, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to an investment company, will you provide insurance products, website and app accessibility, quarterly or annual investment reviews, and any other services?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your investment company located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your investment company marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Commercials and billboards
- Reaching out to websites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your investment company, including researching the stock market, keeping abreast of all investment industry knowledge, updating clients on any new activity, answering client phone calls and emails, networking to attract potential new clients.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to land your Xth client, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your investment business to a new city.
To demonstrate your investment company’s ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing investment companies. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing an investment company or successfully advised clients who have achieved a successful net worth.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you take on one new client at a time or multiple new clients ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your investment company, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an investment company:
- Cost of investor licensing..
- Cost of equipment and supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or list of clients that you have acquired.
Putting together a business plan for your investment company is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the investment industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful investment company.
Investment Company Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my investment company business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Investment Company Business Plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of investment company you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an investment company that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of investment companies?
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Business Plan for an Investment Company
1. Investment company Business Plan For Starting Your Own Business
The sample business plan for an investment company outlines the creation of an investment company. The company’s mission is to provide clients with access to a wide range of investment opportunities, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and alternative investments. The company will also provide financial planning and wealth management services, including portfolio design, asset allocation, and risk management strategies.
The Investment Company’s business plan includes strategies for marketing and advertising, financial projections, and a detailed description of the company’s services and fees. This is the business Plan for Investors who want to invest in a company with a significant probability of success.
2. Sources Of Financing For Investment Firms
In writing a business plan for an investment company, the sources of financing for investment firms typically include private investors, venture capital firms, angel investors, crowdfunding, and debt capital. Private investors are individuals or groups who invest in the company in exchange for equity or a portion of the profits. Venture capital firms provide financing and advice to companies in exchange for equity. Angel investors are wealthy individuals or groups who invest in companies in exchange for equity. Crowdfunding involves the collection of small amounts of money from a large group of people. Debt capital is a loan secured by the company’s assets and must be repaid with interest.
The most common sources of financing for investment firms are debt financing, equity financing, and derivatives. Debt financing involves loans from banks, other lending institutions, or private investors. Equity financing involves the issuance of stock to raise capital. Derivatives are contracts between two parties that derive their value from an underlying asset or benchmark.
The most important source of financing for an investment company in the business plan investment company is the capital that the company brings in from its own operations.
3. Executive Summary Of Investment Company Business Plan
The new investment company business plan for an Investment Company is designed to provide an overview of our company’s mission and objectives. We are a full-service investment firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial advice and services to individuals, families, and business owners. We aim to maximize investment returns and increase our clients’ net worth.
We plan to provide a wide range of services, including portfolio management, asset allocation, retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and general financial planning.
Management Of Investment Company
The investment company business plan outlines the management team of experienced financial and legal professionals committed to providing the highest quality of investment management services. Our goal is to create a fully integrated, world-class investment company that provides our clients with a range of innovative and tailored investment solutions.
Customers Of Investment Company
In the investment company business plan template, the customers of our investment company will be individuals, small businesses, and institutions that are looking for a trusted financial partner to help them manage and grow their wealth. We will offer our clients a wide range of services, including portfolio management, retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and philanthropic planning. Our goal is to provide our clients with the best advice, products, and services to help them meet their financial goals.
The business target for our investment company is to create long-term capital appreciation and wealth for our investors by making prudent investments in start-up and established businesses. Our goal is to be a reliable and trusted partner for our investors and maximize their investment return.
4. Investment Company Summary
Our investment company, JS Investment Group, is owned and operated by John Smith. John Smith is a highly experienced investor and entrepreneur who has successfully founded and managed several small investment company business plans. He deeply understands the investment industry and is passionate about helping others achieve success through strategic investments.
Why The Investment Company Is Being Started
The primary reason for starting an investment company in an investment company business plan sample is to provide clients with a safe and secure place to invest their money. With a wide range of investment options available, our team of experienced financial professionals can help clients make informed decisions about their investments. We also plan to provide clients with up-to-date market analysis and research.
How The Investment Company Will Be Started
The company will seek to raise capital through debt and equity financing. Equity financing will come from the founders and outside investors. The company will also seek to raise capital through debt financing, which will be used to fund the startup costs and ongoing operations of the company. In the business plan for the investment holding company, the company will focus on providing quality investment advice and services to its clients.
The Investment company owner John Smith estimates startup costs based on assets, investments, loans, and expenses in collaboration with financial experts.
JS Investment Group’s start-up requirements include total startup expenses, total assets, total start-up funding, total funding requirements, total assets, total liabilities, total planned investment, total capital, total liabilities, and total funding.
5. Services of Investment Company
The product description section in a business plan for an investment banking company includes services. However, below are the all services offered by our investment company include:
- Investment Advisory: Providing tailored advice and strategies to meet individual, business, and corporate clients’ investment goals.
- Investment Management: The business plan for an investment banking company provides services of designing, constructing, and managing bespoke portfolios for clients, as well as providing ongoing monitoring and rebalancing services.
- Mutual Fund Management: The business plan for an investment management company offers selecting and monitoring mutual funds for clients, as well as providing risk management and portfolio diversification services.
- Estate Planning: Developing strategies for both tax and non-tax-related estate planning objectives.
- Retirement Planning: Assisting clients with the creation of retirement plans and investments to meet their retirement income needs.
- Financial Planning: Helping clients to prepare for their financial future by creating strategies that integrate their investment, tax, insurance, and estate planning goals.
- Risk Management: Identifying and managing investment risks to help clients reach their financial goals.
- Portfolio Analysis: Examining and evaluating portfolios to ensure they are in line with the client’s investment objectives.
- Tax Planning: Developing strategies to minimize the client’s tax liability and maximize after-tax returns.
- Asset Allocation: Designing and implementing asset allocation strategies to help clients meet their long-term financial goals.
6. Marketing Analysis
A marketing analysis is an important part of a sample business plan for an investment company. This analysis provides information on the market in which the company operates, including the size and growth of the market, the competition, and potential growth opportunities.
The investment company market is highly competitive, as investors have a wide range of options when it comes to deciding where to invest their money.
The company will face competition from both traditional and online investment companies. Traditional investment companies offer services such as portfolio management and financial planning. Online investment companies offer services such as stock trading and portfolio management.
In addition to traditional investment companies, investors can choose from online brokers, mutual funds, and other alternative investments. As a result, it is important for an investment company to differentiate itself from the competition and to create a strong value proposition for its customers.
The investment industry is expected to continue to grow as people become more aware of the need for financial planning and the importance of investing.
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In order to compete effectively in the investment company market, it is important to understand the current market trends and identify areas of opportunity.
In the investment company business plan example, one of the most important trends to consider is the shift towards more technology-driven investment strategies. This trend is driven by advancements in technology and increased access to data, which has enabled more sophisticated portfolio management techniques.
Additionally, many investors are increasingly looking to alternative investments such as cryptocurrency, venture capital, and private equity as a way of diversifying their portfolios. Furthermore, an increasing number of investors are turning to online trading platforms as a way of managing their investments. Finally, it is important to consider the potential impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing on the industry, as ESG-focused investments are gaining traction in the financial markets.
In the private investment company business plan, the company will target a wide range of potential customers, including individual investors, high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and institutional investors. Each of these customer segments will require different strategies and services, so the company will tailor its marketing and services accordingly.
For individual investors, the company will focus on providing personalized services that are tailored to the specific needs and investment goals of each client. The company will also provide educational resources and tools to help clients make informed decisions about their investments.
For high-net-worth individuals, the company will focus on providing personalized portfolio construction and asset management services.
We plan to target high-net-worth, individuals and institutional clients who are looking for a more personalized approach to investing. We will use a combination of traditional and alternative investment strategies to provide our clients with the best return on their investments. We plan to use our extensive network of banks and other financial institutions to secure the most attractive terms for our clients.
We have identified three key areas of focus when it comes to our business plan. First, we plan to build a strong customer base by offering superior customer service and customer education. Second, we plan to develop our own proprietary financial products and services to offer our clients. Finally, we plan to focus on developing relationships with banks and other financial institutions to ensure that we can offer the best terms for our clients.
JS Investment Group will use a combination of fixed fees and performance-based fees for our services. For our portfolio management and asset allocation services, we will charge a flat fee of 1% of the total assets under management. For our investment research and risk management services, we will charge a fixed fee of $250 per hour.
For our performance-based fees, we will charge a 20% fee on any profits earned by our clients. This fee will be applied on a quarterly basis and will be calculated based on the performance of the portfolio during that period.
7. Marketing Strategy Of Investment Company
Competitive analysis, eb5 business plan.
The business plan for an investment company covers the company analysis in which the company’s competitive landscape is large and diverse. There are a number of large and well-established firms that have been in the industry for many years. Additionally, there is a large number of small, independent firms that have emerged in recent years.
Our sales strategy is to target potential customers through a variety of outlets, including direct mail, email marketing, social media campaigns, and online advertising. We will focus our efforts on targeting potential customers who are likely to be interested in our services, such as high-net-worth individuals, small business owners, and those with an interest in investing. We will also work to build relationships with local financial advisors and other industry professionals in order to develop a strong referral network.
The company’s primary source of revenue will be from the sales of investment products, with a focus on monthly sales. The company will also offer financial advice and portfolio management services, for which it will charge a fee. Experts predict the following sales each month for our company.
The JS Investment Group will generate revenue by selling various services. Experts predict the following sales yearly for our company.
Our sales forecast for the next three years predicts a steady increase in revenue. Below is a forecast of sales for our company:
8. Personnel Plan Of Investment Company
The Company Staff will be responsible for the overall management and operation of the investment company. They will be responsible for recruiting and managing a team of qualified and experienced professionals to ensure the success of the business. The JS Investment Group operations will require the following employees:
The management staff includes:
- Marketing Manager
- Operation Manager
- Investment Manager
The operational team includes:
- Front Desk Coordinator
- Investment Advisor
- Security Guards
Other Staff includes:
- Administrative Assistant
- Tax Planner
Average Salary of Employees
The investment holding company business plan includes the average salary of employees, which varies according to the role of employees and services. We will offer competitive salaries to all our employees to ensure we attract and retain the best talent. The average salary of our employees will be approximately $40,000 per year.
9. Financial Plan For Investment Company
In collaboration with financial experts, John Smith assessed the company’s financial needs and developed a financial plan for sample of investment company business plan. A three-year financial plan outlines the company’s development.
The following are important assumptions for the financial plan of the investment company:
Deviations, however, are expected to be limited to levels that do not impact the investment company’s major financial goals.
The following is a breakdown of the investment company’s fixed and variable costs:
The following table shows an analysis of monthly break-evens of an investment company
Projected Profit and Loss
The following is the projected profit and loss for an investment company.
Gross Margin Monthly
Gross Margin Yearly
Projected Cash Flow
The following column diagram shows cash flow projections.
The following table shows the pro forma cash flow of an private equity firm business plan . The cash flow statement includes cash received from operations, cash received from operations, and general assumptions.
Projected Balance Sheet
Below is a projected balance sheet of an investment holding Company Business Plan that shows data about the pro forma balance sheet, total current assets, total long-term assets, total assets, current subtotal liabilities, total liabilities, total capital, and total liabilities.
The following table shows business ratios, ratio analysis, and total assets.
10. Get the Expertise to Create a Winning Business Plan!
“Start Your Investment Company with Professional Assistance: Get the Support of OGS Capital’s Expert Team!”
At OGS Capital, our experienced consultants provide professional assistance to help you start and grow your investment company. Our team has in-depth knowledge and expertise in launching businesses, and we understand the complexities of the investment industry. We can provide expert advice and guidance to help you create and execute a custom sample business plan for investment holding company that will ensure your investment company’s success.
We can help you with the entire process of developing your business, from crafting a comprehensive financial plan to finding appropriate funding sources. With our knowledge and resources, we can help you create a detailed business plan that will serve as a roadmap for your business.
- What is the main business of an investment company? The main business of an investment company is to manage investments and provide financial advice and solutions to their clients. They may provide services such as portfolio management, asset allocation, retirement planning and financial planning. They may also offer a variety of other services such as stock and bond trading, insurance, estate planning and tax planning.
- Can I create my own investment company? Yes, you can create your own investment company. The process involves registering the company with the SEC, registering with the state in which you will be doing business, setting up the necessary accounts and paperwork, and finding clients. You should also consult a qualified accountant, lawyer, and financial adviser to ensure you have all the appropriate information and documents in place.
- How much does it cost to start an investment firm? The cost of starting an investment firm will vary depending on the type of firm you are looking to establish and the services you plan to provide. Typically, startup costs can range from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the complexity of the business. Costs may include office equipment, legal and accounting fees, licensing fees, technology costs, marketing costs, and other miscellaneous costs.
Download Investment Company Business Plan Sample in pdf
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How to Write a Convincing Business Plan for Investors
9 min. read
Updated October 27, 2023
Raising money for your business is a major effort. You need lists of investors to reach out to and you need to be prepared for your investor meetings to increase your chances of getting funded . You need to practice your pitch and be ready to intelligently answer any number of questions about your business. A key to making this entire process much easier is to invest a little time and write a business plan . It’s true — not all investors will ask to see your business plan. But the process of putting together a business plan will ensure that you’ve thought through every aspect of your business and you’re ready to answer any questions that come up during the fundraising process.
- Why do investors want to see a business plan?
The business plan document itself isn’t what’s important to investors. It’s the knowledge that you’ve generated by going through the process that’s important. Having a business plan shows that you’ve done the homework of thinking through how your business will work and what goals you’re trying to achieve.
When you put together a business plan, you have to spend time thinking about things like your target market , your sales, and marketing strategy , the problem you solve for your customers, and who your key competitors are . A business plan provides the structure for thinking through these things and documents your answers so you’re prepared for the inevitable questions investors will ask about your business.
Even if investors never ask to see your business plan, the work you’ve done to prepare it will ensure that you can intelligently answer the questions you’ll get. And, if an investor does ask for your business plan, then you’re prepared and ready to hand it over. After all, nothing could be worse than arriving at an investor meeting and then getting a request for a business plan and not having one ready.
Beyond understanding your business strategy, investors will also want to understand your financial forecasts. They want to know how your business will function from a financial standpoint — what is typically called your “ business model .” They’ll also want to know what it will take for your business to be profitable and where you anticipate spending money to grow the business. A complete financial plan is part of any business plan, so investing a little time here will serve you well.
- What do investors want to see in a business plan?
There’s no such thing as a perfect business plan and investors know this. After all, they’ve spent years, and often decades, hearing business pitches, reading business plans, investing in companies, and watching them both succeed and fail. As entrepreneur and investor Steve Blank likes to say, “No business plan survives first contact with a customer.”
If this is true, then why bother writing a business plan at all? What’s the value of planning and why do investors want them if they know the plan will shortly be outdated?
The secret is that it’s the planning process, not the final plan, that’s valuable. Investors want to know that you’ve thought about your idea, documented your assumptions, and are on track to validate those assumptions so that you can remove risk from your business.
So what do investors want to see in your business plan? Beyond the typical sections , here are the most important things that investors want to see in your plan.
A vision for the future
Investors, particularly those investing in early-stage startups, want to understand your vision . Where do you see your company going in the future? Who will your customers be and what problems will you solve for them? Your vision may take years to execute — and it’s likely that the vision will change and evolve over time — but investors want to know that you’re thinking beyond tomorrow and into the future.
Product/market fit and traction
Investors want more than just an idea. They want evidence that you are solving a problem for customers. Your customers have to want what you are selling for you to build a successful business and your business plan needs to describe the evidence that you’ve found that proves that you’ll be able to sell your products and services to customers. If you have “traction” in the form of early sales and customers, that’s even better.
Funding needed and use of funds
When you’re pitching investors, you need to know how much you’re asking for. Your financial forecast should help you figure this out. You’ll want to raise enough money to cover planned expenses and cash flow requirements plus some additional funding as a safety net. In addition, you’ll want to specify exactly how you plan on using your investment . In a business plan, this section is often called “sources and uses of investment.”
Create a business plan that maximizes your chances of securing funding., a strong management team.
A good idea is really only a small part of the equation for a successful business. In fact, lots of people have good business ideas — it’s the people that can execute well that generally succeed. Investors will pay a lot of attention to the section of your plan where you talk about your management team because they want to know that you can transform your idea into a successful business. If you have gaps and still need to hire key employees, that’s OK. Communicating that you understand what your needs are is the most important thing.
An exit strategy
When investors give you money to start and grow your business, they are looking to eventually make a return on their investment. This could happen by eventually selling your business to a larger company or even by going public. One way or another, investors will want to know your thoughts about an eventual exit strategy for your business.
- What documents do investors want to see?
Even if investors never ask for a detailed business plan, your business planning process should produce a few key documents that investors will want to see. Here’s what you need to be prepared to pitch investors:
These days, a lot of fundraising outreach is done over email and you’ll need a concise cover letter that sparks investor interest. Your cover letter needs to be very brief, but describe the problem you’re solving for your target market. Great cover letters are sometimes in a “story” format that hooks readers with a real-world, relatable example of the problems your customers face and how our product or service The goal of the cover letter isn’t to explain every aspect of your business. It’s just to spark interest and get a meeting with an investor where you’ll have more time to actually pitch your business. Keep your cover letter brief, engaging, and to the point.
If you get an investor meeting, you’ll almost certainly need a pitch deck to present your idea in more detail and showcase your business idea. Your pitch deck will cover the problem you’re solving, your solution, your target market, and key market trends. Read our detailed guide on what to include in your pitch deck here and for inspiration check out our gallery of more than 50 Industry Pitch Deck Examples .
Executive summary and/or one-page plan
You might not get a meeting right away. Your cover letter may generate a request for additional information and this is where a solid executive summary or one-page business plan comes in handy. This document, while still short, is more detailed than your cover letter and explains a bit more about your business in a page or two. Read more about what goes into a great executive summary and how to build a lean business plan.
Investors will inevitably want to see your financial forecasts. You’ll need a sales forecast, expense budget , cash flow forecast , profit and loss, and balance sheet . If you have historical results, you should plan on sharing those too as well as any other key metrics about your business. Investors will always look deep under the hood of your business, so be prepared to share all the details of how your business will work from a financial perspective.
- What to include in your investor business plan
When you put together a detailed business plan for investors, you’ll follow a fairly standard format. Of course, feel free to customize your plan to fit your business needs. Remember: your business plan isn’t about the plan document that you create — it’s about the planning process that helps you think through and develop your business strategy. Here’s what most investor business plans will include:
Usually written last, your executive summary is an overview of your business. As I mentioned earlier, you might use the executive summary as a stand-alone document to provide investors more detail about your business in a concise form. Read our guide on executive summaries here .
The opportunity section of your plan covers the problem you are solving, what your solution is, and highlights any data you have to prove that people will spend money on what you’re offering. If you have customer validation in any form, this is where you highlight that information.
Describe what your target market is and key trends that are occurring in this market . Is the market growing? Are buying patterns changing? How is your business positioned to take advantage of these changes? Be sure to spend some time discussing your competition and how your target market solves their problems today and how your solution is superior.
Marketing & Sales Plan
Most businesses need to figure out how to get the word out and attract customers. Your business plan should include a marketing plan that describes how you’re going to reach your target market and any key marketing initiatives that you’re going to undertake. You should also spend time describing your sales plan, especially if your sales process takes time to close customers.
Milestones / Roadmap
Outline key milestones you hope to achieve and when you plan on achieving them. This section should cover key dates for product development, key partnerships you need to create, and any other important goals you plan on achieving.
Company & Management
Here’s where you describe the nuts and bolts of your business. How is your organization structured? Who is on your team and what are their backgrounds? Are there any important positions that you still need to recruit for?
As I mentioned, you’ll need to create a profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet forecast. Your financial plan should be optimistic, yet realistic. This is a tough balance and your forecast is certain to be wrong, but you need to document your assumptions and plans for the business.
Finally, you can include an appendix for any key additional information you want to share. Product diagrams, additional details on how you deliver your service, or additional research can all be included.
- What comes next?
Writing a business plan for investors is really about preparing you to pitch your business . It’s quite likely that you’ll never get asked for the actual business plan document. But, the process will prepare you better than anything else to answer any questions investors may have.
Create a business plan that maximizes your chances of securing funding
Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan.
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Investment plan at a glance
Any business venture is associated with investment. An investment concerns a long-term commitment of financial funds in material and immaterial assets. Investments not only affect a company’s fixed assets but indirectly its current assets as well. Investment planning is an integral component of strategic business planning. The business plan should consider investments as part of finance planning.
Investments are not only associated with a high capital expenditure and a long-term capital commitment, but investment decisions also have a decisive impact on a company’s cost structure. Before investing money in a business venture, you should therefore closely examine how much capital you need to invest in order to realize the project.
The capital requirement of an investment is determined as part of an investment plan. This provides a basis for investment calculations and the profitability forecast. That means it's necessary to list all costs related to an investment in order to assess the business.
In the following, we show you how to prepare an investment plan as part of a business plan for strategic or operational business planning.
What is an investment plan?
Structure and composition of an investment plan, the investment plan as part of the business plan.
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An investment plan refers to a table that lists all investment items and corresponding costs linked to a particular investment. Here, it’s important to be aware that the investment plan only encompasses the expenses incurred as one-off costs in connection with the investment and during the start-up phase.
An overview of the ongoing monthly costs (such as staff costs) is drawn up in the operating expense plan, independently from the investment plan.
The investment plan and the operating expense plan subsequently form part of the capital requirements plan.
The investment plan is a list of all nonrecurring costs incurred during the start-up phase of an investment. Together with the operating expense plan – detailing a company’s ongoing costs – the investment plan is integrated in capital requirements planning. In turn, the capital requirements plan is part of the finance plan of the business plan.
In business practice, an investment plan is always created when an investment decision has to be made – usually for one of the following reasons:
- Initial investment: Initial investment refers to the procurement of all operationally required assets in connection with founding the company.
- Replacement investment: Replacing an asset of the company with a new asset is called a replacement investment.
- Rationalization investment: Rationalization investment denotes investments that result in a cost saving.
- Expansion investment: If the expansion of business operations necessitates the procurement of assets, this is referred to as an expansion investment.
As part of a comprehensive finance plan, the investment plan is not only the basis for the business plan but also a guideline for financing . It thus represents a prerequisite for raising capital. You should present the itemization in a transparent and structured manner so capital providers like banks or private investors get an overview of all expenses associated with the investment. Generally, you’ll only receive an investment loan if your backers are able to see where you’d like to use the borrowed funds.
In an investment plan, you draw up a list of all one-off expenses for all investment items associated with an investment, including the costs incurred during the start-up phase for advance financing . If it concerns an initial investment for incorporating a business, the investment plan will also contain all costs associated with establishing the company .
We illustrate the structure of an investment plan using the example of an initial investment and apply the following outline for this purpose:
- Capital requirement for the (formal) incorporation of the company
- Capital requirement for ongoing operating expenses in the start-up phase
- Capital requirement for investments in fixed assets
- Capital requirement for investments in current assets
- Expenses for debt servicing
If your planned investment concerns an initial investment, you should list the costs of incorporation in the investment plan separately. The capital requirement for formally establishing the company includes all expenses incurred in preparing the founding process – for example consulting costs as well as fees for registration, permits or notary certifications.
Moreover, investments are usually associated with expenses for material and immaterial assets . A distinction is made between fixed and current assets. Fixed assets are all assets you procure as part of investing for continuous use in operations – such as equipment, machines or vehicles as well as immaterial assets like licenses and patents. Assets such as goods, materials or resources used for disposal, consumption or processing – and are therefore held by the company only temporarily – are allocated to current assets.
For investments which you wish to fund entirely or partly using borrowed funds, you should also indicate the expenses for interest and repayment installments in the investment plan.
- Rent deposit
- Legal advisors
- Tax advisors
- Business advisors
- Business registration
- Development of a corporate design
- Opening event
- Opening advertising
- Website setup
- Market information
- Entry into the commercial register
- Reserves for start phase, follow-up investments and unforeseen costs
- Patent, license and franchise fees
- Plots/real estate including incidental costs
- Production equipment, machines and tools
- Operating and office equipment
- Communication technology (PCs, telephones, etc.)
- Materials and goods inventory
- Raw, auxiliary and operating materials
- Interest on founding loan/bank credit
All the above details are added up in the investment plan. The final amount of the investment plan indicates how much capital you need in the initial phase of the investment to implement the planned project.
Make sure that you have specific offers for the individual cost items. Only then will you ensure that the amount of the necessary investment is determined as thoroughly as possible.
As part of the finance plan , the investment plan is also part of the business plan. It is typically combined with an operating expense plan in the finance plan.
While the investment plan only covers one-off costs and additional expenses during the start-up phase, the operating expense plan provides backers with an overview of the ongoing costs of your company.
Operating expenses include:
- Staff costs (including wage and incidental wage costs) as well as your own salary as managing director for stock corporations (all costs including incidental wage costs)
- If relevant, a management wage (to ensure personal living costs for sole proprietorships and partnerships)
- Rent, tenancy and leasing
- Heating, electricity, water and gas
- Market development expenses (advertising and marketing)
- Motor vehicle costs
- Travel costs
- Telephone, fax and internet
- Office materials
- Contributions (to chambers of commerce and professional associations, for example)
- Consulting (lawyers, business consultants and tax advisors)
- Other expenses
By adding the investment amount determined in the investment plan to the total from the operating expense plan, you obtain the capital requirements of your business venture.
You show how you cover this capital requirement in the financing plan – another part of the finance plan. Since investment projects are typically funded by a combination of equity capital, subsidized loans and bank credit, it is critical that you take interest and repayments into consideration when planning capital requirements. Intermediate bottlenecks can be identified by means of a liquidity forecast .
In addition, it’s important to ensure that all operating costs as well as your cost of living are covered by your company alone following the budgeted start-up phase and that there are no fears of long-term losses. You can calculate whether your investment makes financial sense using a profitability forecast , which likewise forms part of the finance plan. If you’d like to assess how your investment compares to alternative options, an investment appraisal technique such as the net present value method can be helpful.
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Cash flow accounting: Cash flow statements easily explained
Cash flow statements provide the recipients of quarterly or annual financial reports with an overview of the company’s use of funds. They help investors assess their financial and economic situation. Depending on the company’s focus, preparation of the cash flow statement must comply with the requirements laid out by the FASB and in the IAS 7. In this article, we give you a short introduction into…
Writing a business plan: here’s how to plan your venture
Before a business idea can be implemented, it is necessary to create a business plan. This serves as the founder’s roadmap, and summarizes all necessary information about planning and finances. However, the business plan is also highly relevant for investors as well as potential financial and funding institutions, since it is a decision-making factor for loans and grants. Due to its importance and…
Elements of a business plan
There are a number of very important tasks involved with starting your own business. In order to do these tasks justice, it is absolutely necessary to create a business plan. This should always be done in writing. But what are the contents of a buiness plan, what functions does it fulfill, and what is its structure like? We provide a complete overview for all prospective business founders.
Net Present Value: This is how you determine your investment’s net present value
How profitable is your investment? Net present value provides you with an answer to this question. You calculate it within the framework of a dynamic investment calculation method by discounting the surplus that is generated by the investment. We’ll explain how this actually works with the help of a step-by-step practical example.
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Making Smart Investments: A Beginner’s Guide
- Matthew Blume
Reduce the risk factor, increase the reward factor, and generate meaningful returns.
If you make smart decisions and invest in the right places, you can reduce the risk factor, increase the reward factor, and generate meaningful returns. Here are a few questions to consider as you get started.
- Why should you invest? At a minimum, investing allows you to keep pace with cost-of-living increases created by inflation. At a maximum, the major benefit of a long-term investment strategy is the possibility of compounding interest, or growth earned on growth.
- How much should you save vs. invest? As a guideline, save 20% of your income to to build an emergency fund equal to roughly three to six months’ worth of ordinary expenses. Invest additional funds that aren’t being put toward specific near-term expenses.
- How do investments work? In the finance world, the market is a term used to describe the place where you can buy and sell shares of stocks, bonds, and other assets. You need to open an investment account, like a brokerage account, which you fund with cash that you can then use to buy stocks, bonds, and other investable assets.
- How do you make (or lose) money? In the market, you make or lose money depending on the purchase and sale price of whatever you buy. If you buy a stock at $10 and sell it at $15, you make $5. If you buy at $15 and sell at $10, you lose $5.
Where your work meets your life. See more from Ascend here .
Are you a saver or spender?
- MB Matthew Blume is a portfolio manager of private client accounts at Pekin Hardy Strauss Wealth Management . He also manages the firm’s ESG research and shareholder advocacy efforts. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Matthew is a CFA charterholder.
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In Biden’s Climate Law, a Boon for Green Energy, and Wall Street
The law has effectively created a new marketplace that helps smaller companies gain access to funding, with banks taking a cut.
By Jim Tankersley and Lauren Hirsch
Economics reporters in Washington and New York
The 2022 climate law has accelerated investments in clean-energy projects across the United States. It has also delivered financial windfalls for big banks, lawyers, insurance companies and start-up financial firms by creating an expansive new market in green tax credits.
The law, signed by President Biden, effectively created a financial trading marketplace that helps smaller companies gain access to funding, with Wall Street taking a cut. Analysts said it could soon facilitate as much as $80 billion a year in transactions that drive investments in technologies meant to reduce fossil fuel emissions and fight climate change.
The law created a wide range of tax incentives to encourage companies to produce and install solar, wind and other low-emission energy technologies. But the Democrats who drafted it knew those incentives, including tax credits, wouldn’t help companies that were too small — or not profitable enough — to owe enough in taxes to benefit.
So lawmakers have invented a workaround that has rarely been employed in federal tax policy: They have allowed the companies making clean-energy investments to sell their tax credits to companies that do have a big tax liability.
That market is already supporting large and small transactions. Clean-energy companies are receiving cash to invest in their projects, but they’re getting less than the value of the tax credits for which they qualify, after various financial partners take a slice of the deal.
Clean-energy and financial analysts and major players in the marketplace say big corporations with significant tax liability are currently paying between 75 and 95 cents on the dollar to reduce their federal tax bills. For example, a buyer in the middle of that range might spend $850,000 to purchase a credit that would knock $1 million off its federal taxes.
The cost of those tax credits depends on several factors, including risk and size. Larger projects command a higher percentage. The seller of a tax credit will see its value diluted further by fees for lawyers, banks and other financial intermediaries that help broker the sale. Buyers are also increasingly insisting that sellers buy insurance in case the project does not work out and fails to deliver its promised tax benefits to the buyer.
The prospect of a booming market and the chance to snag a piece of those transaction costs have raised excitement for the Inflation Reduction Act, or I.R.A., in finance circles. A new cottage industry of online start-up platforms that seeks to link buyers and sellers of the tax credits has quickly blossomed.
An annual renewable energy tax credit conference hosted by Novogradac, a financial firm, drew a record number of attendees to a hotel ballroom in Washington this month, with multiple panels devoted to the intricacies of the new marketplace. The entrepreneurs behind the online buyer-seller exchanges include a former Biden Treasury official and some people in the tech industry with no clean-energy or tax credit experience.
Tax professionals and clean-energy groups say the marketplace has widely expanded financing abilities for companies working on emissions-reducing technologies and added private-sector scrutiny to climate investments.
But those transactions are also enriching players in an industry that Mr. Biden has at times criticized, while allowing big companies to reduce their tax bills in a way that runs counter to his promise to make corporate America pay more.
“I wouldn’t call it irony. I would call it, sort of, this unexpected brilliance,” said Jessie Robbins, a principal of structured finance at the financial firm Generate Capital. “While it may be full of friction and transaction costs, it does bring sophisticated financial interests, investors” and corporations into the world of funding green energy, she said.
Biden administration officials say many clean-tech companies will save money by selling their tax credits to raise capital, instead of borrowing at high interest rates. “The alternative for many of these companies was to take a loan, and taking that loan was going to be far more costly” than using the credit marketplace, Wally Adeyemo, the deputy Treasury secretary, said in an interview.
Some backers of the climate law wanted an even more direct alternative for those companies: government checks equivalent to the tax benefits their projects would have qualified for if they had enough tax liability to make the credits usable. It was rejected by Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a moderate Democrat who was the swing vote on the law.
A modest federal marketplace of certain tax credits, like those for affordable housing, existed before the climate law passed. But acquiring those credits was complicated and indirect, so annual transactions were less than $20 billion — and large banks dominated the space. The climate law expanded the market and attracted new players by making it much easier for a company with tax liability to buy another company’s tax credit.
“There weren’t brokers in this space, you know, a year ago or 14 months ago before the I.R.A. came out,” said Amish Shah, a tax lawyer at Holland & Knight. “There are lots of brokers in this space now.” Mr. Shah said he expected his firm to be involved in $1 billion worth of tax credits this year.
“The discussion goes like this,” said Courtney Sandifer, a senior executive in the renewable energy tax credit monetization practice at the investment bank BDO. “‘Are you aware that you can buy tax credits at a discount, as a central feature of the I.R.A.? And how would that work for you? Like, is this something that you’d be interested in doing?’”
Financial advisers say they have had interest from corporate buyers as varied as retailers, oil and gas companies, and others that see an opportunity to reduce their tax bills while making good on public promises to help the environment.
Experts say large banks are still dominating the biggest transactions, where projects are larger and tax credits are more expensive to buy. For the rest of the market, entrepreneurs are working to create online exchanges, which effectively work as a Match.com for tax credits. Companies lay out the specification of their projects and tax credits, including whether they are likely to qualify for bonus tax breaks based on location, what wages they will pay and how much of their content is made in America. Buyers bid for credits.
In order to sell tax benefits under the law, companies have to register their credits with the Treasury Department, which created a pilot registry website for those projects this month. The online platforms to connect buyers and sellers of the credits are not regulated by the government.
Alfred Johnson, who previously worked as deputy chief of staff under Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, co-founded Crux, one of the online exchanges, in January. The company has raised $8.85 million through two rounds of funding.
Mr. Johnson said his business helped replace the “low-margin” administrative work that happens to facilitate deals. Lawyers and advisers will still be brought in for the more complicated parts of the deal.
“It just requires more companies coming into the market and participating,” he said. “And if that doesn’t happen, the law will not work.”
Seth Feuerstein created Atheva, a transferable credit exchange, last year. He has no clean-tech experience, but he has brought in green-energy experts to help get the exchange started.
Atheva already has tens of millions of dollars in projects available for tax-credit buyers to peruse on the site, with hundreds of millions more in the pipeline, he said. On the site, buyers can browse credits by their estimated value and download documentation to help assess whether the projects will actually pay off. Mr. Feuerstein said that transparency helped to assure taxpayers that they were supporting valid clean-energy investments.
“It’s a new market,” Mr. Feuerstein said. “And it’s growing every day.”
Jim Tankersley writes about economic policy at the White House and how it affects the country and the world. He has covered the topic for more than a dozen years in Washington, with a focus on the middle class. More about Jim Tankersley
Lauren Hirsch joined The Times from CNBC in 2020, covering deals and the biggest stories on Wall Street. More about Lauren Hirsch
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Vietnam's plan for spending $15.5 billion for its clean energy transition to be announced at COP28
A plan for how Vietnam will spend $15.5 billion to transition to cleaner energy has been finalized and will be announced at the COP28 climate conference, which begins in Dubai next week.
Mark George, the climate counselor for the British Embassy in Hanoi, said that after months of coordination with key Vietnamese ministries to iron out details of how the money will be used, the final plan was finalized on Thursday.
George gave no details of the plan.
The United Kingdom is co-chair of a group of nine, rich industrialized nations that have agreed to provide the $15.5 billion to help Vietnam end its reliance on dirty coal power and more quickly switch to renewable energy as a part of a Just Energy Transition Partnership, or JETP.
"That is a really important milestone," said George.
George was speaking at a panel discussion hosted by the UK-Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee centered around opportunities for the two nations after Britain officially joined an Asia-Pacific trade group that includes Japan and 10 other nations.
Earlier this year, Vietnam released a national energy plan that aimed to more than double the maximum power Vietnam can generate to some 150 gigawatts by 2030. It called for a drastic shift away from heavily polluting coal and pledges that no new coal-fired plants will be built after 2030. It also called for expanding use of domestic gas and imported liquefied natural gas or LNG, which will account for about 25% of total generating capacity, while hydropower, wind, solar, and other renewable sources will account for nearly 50% by 2030.
Tang The Hung, the deputy director general of Vietnam's department of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development, who also was at Friday's panel, said "great support" from the international community was needed to ensure Vietnam can carry out its plan.
EU plans boost for power grid investment
Electrical power pylons of high-tension electricity power lines run through fields in Reze near Nantes, France, November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
BRUSSELS, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The European Commission has drafted plans to scale up investment in Europe's power grids, including dozens of projects earmarked for priority access to permits and EU funding, a draft document seen by Reuters showed.
Europe will need to invest 584 billion euros ($637 billion)to upgrade its power grids this decade, according to European Union estimates. Many grids are decades old and need to be adapted from the traditional model of large, fossil fuel power plants to wind and solar power generation.
To kick-start grid investments, the Commission will propose a plan next week.
A draft seen by Reuters said that Brussels will grant "projects of common interest" status to 68 electricity projects, granting them access to faster permits and certain EU funds. A dozen of the projects are for energy storage.
"Grids need to adapt to a more decentralised, digitalised and flexible electricity system with millions of rooftop solar panels and local energy communities sharing resources," the draft said.
A Commission spokesperson declined to comment on the draft document, which could be amended before it is published.
Brussels will also work with investors, regulators and credit agencies to make it easier for grid projects to secure loans, equity and guarantees while also exploring new financing instruments with the European Investment Bank.
Europe's electricity industry has warned that power grids are becoming a bottleneck to clean energy provision because grids are not being upgraded fast enough to cope with all the renewable energy projects waiting to plug into the network.
The EU and power network regulators will also develop various recommendations and guidelines for the Europe-wide overhaul, the Commission document said, such as guidelines on the types of grid investments that should be approved.
The draft document was previously reported by Bloomberg News.
($1 = 0.9168 euros)
Reporting by Kate Abnett Editing by David Goodman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Kate Abnett covers EU climate and energy policy in Brussels, reporting on Europe’s green transition and how climate change is affecting people and ecosystems across the EU. Other areas of coverage include international climate diplomacy. Before joining Reuters, Kate covered emissions and energy markets for Argus Media in London. She is part of the teams whose reporting on Europe’s energy crisis won two Reuters journalist of the year awards in 2022.
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Alibaba's stock dropped so much that Jack Ma reversed a plan to sell shares for his other investments
- Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma walked back on plans to sell the company's stock.
- The Chinese tech giant's stock crashed last week after it nixed a plan to spin off its $11 billion cloud business.
- Ma's family trust was set to sell 10 million shares this week.
Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma reversed plans to sell the company's stock following a slump in its stock price last week.
The Chinese tech giant dropped plans to spin off its $11 billion cloud business last Thursday. The company's stock sank in response, wiping out $26 billion in value over two days.
Ma's family trust was set to sell 10 million American Depository Shares of the company worth $870 million on Tuesday. The regulatory filings for the sale were also made public on Thursday, weighing on investor confidence.
The company's employees were also concerned about Ma's move, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
But Alibaba appeared to be shoring up staff confidence with an internal memo assuring them that Ma "has not sold a single share," according to media reports.
"Ma's office has issued a statement saying that Ma will continue to hold onto his Alibaba stake. This is a fact and not mere lip service," chief people officer Jane Jiang Fang said in the note, per Bloomberg.
Ma's family office was planning to use the funds to invest in agriculture and charities, Jiang added.
But Ma isn't selling the stock since its current value is lower than its actual value, she said in the memo. She added that the timing of the disclosure was a "coincidence" that caused a "severe misunderstanding."
On Friday, Ma's office told the South China Morning Post that he remains "very positive" about Alibaba. Alibaba owns SCMP.
Ma has been selling down his Alibaba stake since leaving the company's board in 2020. He stepped down as CEO in 2019.
The share sell-off last week was Alibaba's sharpest in over a year. The stock's decline has taken Ma's fortune down to around $30 billion — down 9% year to date, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ma, who was once Asia's richest person, was worth $60 billion at the peak of his fortune in late October 2020.
Alibaba's share price has been under pressure since Ma's criticism of Beijing triggered a backlash on his companies in late 2020. The tech titan — who was known for his flamboyant personality — also vanished from public view.
Separately, China also cracked down on the country's tech sector in 2020, wiping $1.1 trillion off the market value of five of its Big Tech companies: Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan, Baidu, and JD.com as of July — before Beijing signaled an easing of regulatory actions in the same month.
Alibaba shares in the US closed flat at $78.96 on Wednesday. They are down 10% this year-to-date.
Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Watch: Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma is the richest man in China — here's how he spends his $38 billion net worth
Business Planning: Ultimate Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Investors
If you are planning to start, grow or sell a business, it is almost essential you have a plan of attack.
A traditional business plan is much more than a general list of things that you need to do.
An effective plan focuses on short-term and long-term business goals, with information that outlines how you intend to reach them.
A formal business plan will be one of the most valuable tools that you will use in raising capital from investors and for building and growing your business.
Like the businesses themselves, business plans come in many types and forms.
Oftentimes even established business owners and managers underestimate the effectiveness of a qualified business plan.
Some mistakenly think business plans are only used in the venture capital world of start-up finance.
This simply is not true. Enterprise planning is often required for anything from SBA lending and debt financing to internal planning and partnership qualification.
Many find they regularly refer to a previously-written business plan to ensure they stay on track and under budget.
A business plan can also help you establish a framework for your dream business, including structure and planning goals.
In addition, business planning is often a fluid process and a living document, with changes occurring mid-stream which means those best prepared have already done their homework and are prepared to pivot.
Crafting Your Business Plan(s)
Discovering a business idea, introductory page, executive summary, industry analysis, description of the venture, production or service plan, marketing plan, organization and management, assessment of risk, financial plan, start-up plan, internal plans, operations plans, growth plans, type 1 and type 2 business plans, type 3 and type 4 business plans, type 5 business plan, type 6 business plan, benefits of an outsourced business plan, business plan executive summary, financial statements & financial plan, how long should a business plan be, expert forecasting, market estimates from past data, common sense market estimations, porter’s five forces – industry, porter’s five forces, porter’s five forces – macroenvironmental factors, macroeconomic forces, legal/political forces, social & cultural forces, technological forces, demographic forces, global forces, porter’s five forces – scorecard, capital costs, economies of scale, brand loyalty, absolute cost advantages, customer switching costs, laws & regulation, summary of barriers to entry , defining market type boundaries, a recap of market boundaries , the importance of the tim, tam, sam, tm and som, scalable, high growth company, successful, mid-sized privately held businesses, lifestyle businesses, target marketing, time expectations as an entrepreneur, business plan writing, why write a business plan, standard evaluation and review, the business plan writing process, terms & conditions, pricing & cost of your business plan, business plans for financing, pro forma financial plans, marketing business plan.
You will essentially create two plans. The first is known as the internal or initial start-up business plan . This plan includes your company’s mission statement, product/service description, marketing strategy plan and initial start-up goals. Most importantly, the initial plan will also include a market analysis. Performing research on the market helps both internal managers understand whether the business concept or business idea is viable and worth pursuing and to attract investors.
If it is, the initial plan will morph into something suitable for angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity groups. Typically, your final secondary plan will incorporate the details in your initial start-up plan into a more finalized version ready for publication. InvestmentBank.com assists throughout this entire process.
How you go about your business plan process is dependent on the audience for which it will be created.
For example, if you will be seeking a business loan, you need to create business plan for bank loans . Conversely, if you are seeking investment capital in equity financing, you’ll most likely need a venture capital business plan . Regardless of the audience any typical business plan will generally include the following:
- A company description, including a description of your business and the products and/or services offered
- A detailed description of the target market and how they will best be served
- Information regarding the management team and key employees within the company
- Detailed information about cash flow and financial analysis, budget and market penetration
- An Executive Summary for a snapshot 30,000 foot view of all aspects of the business and how it will be successful
Discovering a business idea is the first step towards creating a business model hypothesis. Specifically, a business idea worth investigating further is a “proto-business model” – the embryo of a viable business model. The business idea is essentially your best guess that describes your Value Proposition (the thing you want to sell) and your Customer Segment(s) (the target customers you want to sell to). This is your initial pass at creating a viable Value Proposition – Customer Segment “fit”.
At a minimum, a business idea worth investigating further should have one or more Customer Segments and a corresponding Value Proposition to match each Customer Segment. Completing the following steps will validate that your business idea is worth investigating further.
- Identify Value Proposition – Customer Segment pairings. This step involves pinpointing the type and number of Customer Segment(s) your business is going to serve and what your business’s Value Proposition will be for each of those Customer Segments. This will create one or more Value Proposition – Customer Segment pairings.
- What your Customer Segment is trying to do (i.e. eat dinner, find a date, get in shape…). What are your Customer Segment’s problems (they are hungry and don’t want to cook, they can’t find a suitable boyfriend/girlfriend, they are out of shape…). What does your Customer Segment expect to gain from accomplishing whatever they want to do (eat a tasty meal, find a pleasant date, loose a few pounds and feel better)?
- What your company can offer your Customer Segment (i.e. a good quick meal, a matchmaking service, a place to work out…). How will your offer solve your Customer Segment’s problems? What benefits will your offer create for your Customer Segment? The best business solves real-world problems.
Business Plan Outline
A business plan may contain many types of information depending on the nature, size, and financing needs of the company. One general business plan template can be developed with the help of our JDs, MBAs and expert business planning professionals. While various institutions like the Small Business Administration (SBA) help provide guidelines, it is often best to get your detailed business plan drafted by professionals who know what it takes to get funded and what investors are looking for when they sift through thousands of plans.
This is the title or cover page. This page will contain the information of the names and addresses of business enterprise and entrepreneurs, a paragraph describing the nature of business, and the vision and mission statement of the company.
An executive summary of the comprehensive business plan report should be presented within four pages, summarizing the whole report and emphasizing on business purpose, industry analysis, market opportunity, key elements of the business, revenue, and planning.
This segment of a viable business plan will show the present conditions of the industry, in which the entrepreneur desires to enter. This section should include present and future outlook and demographic developments, analysis of competitors, market segmentation, and industry financial forecasts.
In this segment of the business plan a detailed picture of the venture should be outlined with particular reference to products, services, office equipment, machinery, personnel, size of business, and background of entrepreneurs.
This portion of the business plan is indeed an operational plan. The operational activities of manufacturing, trading and service business are different. So the operational plans of different types of enterprises will be different. For example operational plan of a manufacturing business may cover unique aspects such as manufacturing process,equipment, names of the providers of the raw materials and other inputs of the production process, and so on.
It includes market condition, market strategy, and future market prospect. The pricing, promotion, distribution, product forecasts, and controls should be evaluated carefully for the business plan.
This section includes forms of the ownership, identification of partners or major shareholders, the authority of the managers, management-team background, and the duties and responsibilities of members of the organization.
It is very important for any business plan to assess all the possible risks that may affect the enterprise, prior to starting the business. Assessment of risk must include evaluation of the weaknesses of the enterprise, latest technologies, and contingency plans.
This section shows financial viability of the business plan, in which the entrepreneur must prepare forecasted income statement, cash flow estimates, forecasted balance sheet, break-even analysis, and sources and usages of funds. This section will be scrutinized to determine the profitability and sustainability of the enterprise by the investors, such as the bankers or venture capitalists.
It contains all the backup materials such as legal documents, market research data, lease contracts, and price forecasts from suppliers.
These are the general contents of a business plan that are suggested by the experts, but these contents may vary from business to business. A good business plan should be comprehensive enough to provide a complete picture and understanding of the venture regarding its present status and future growth potential to the prospective investors and other interest groups.
Business Plan Types
Traditional business plans come in many types. They include strategic plans, expansion plans, investment plans, growth plans, operational plans, internal plans, annual plans, feasibility plans, product plans, and many more.
The various types of business plans will always matche the specific business situation. For instance, it is not necessary to add all the background information that is known already, while preparing a plan to use internally and not circulating it to financial institutions or investors. Investors always look for information on the description of the management team, while bankers always look for financial background or history of the company.
The various types of business plans are due to the specific case differences:
Start-up plan is the most standard plan that explains the steps for a developing new business. Start-up plans often include standard topics such as the organization, product or service offering, market place, business forecasts, strategy, management team, implementation milestones, and financial analysis. Sales forecast, profit and loss statement, cash flow statements, balance sheet, and probably a few other tables are included in the financial analysis.
First year monthly projections are shown in the start-up plan, which usually begins with an abstract and ends with appendix.
Click on the following link to learn more about how we approach startup investing .
Business plans that are not usually intended for external investors, financial institutions, or any other third parties are called Internal plans. A detailed description of the organization or the management team may not be included in it. Detailed financial projections like budgets and forecasts may or may not get included in Internal plans. Instead of presenting the whole business plan in the form of paragraph text, Internal plans display the main points in the form of bullet points in slides.
Operations plan can be referred to as Internal plan, which is also known as an annual plan. More detailed information on specific dates, implementation milestones, deadlines, and teams and managers responsibilities are given in Operations plan.
Strategic planning usually does not focus on specific responsibilities and detailed dates, rather it focuses on setting high priorities and high-level options and is also referred to as an internal plan. Unlike most other internal plans, it includes data in the form of bullet points in slides. Organization or management team descriptions are not included in it. Also, some of the financial information is not explained in detail and left while preparing strategic plans.
Some business plans focuses on specific areas of the business or a subcategory of the business, and these plans are referred to as a growth plan or an expansion plan or a new product plan. Depending on whether these business plans are linked to new investments or loan applications, they could be classified as internal plans or not. For instance, like a start-up plan developed for investors, an expansion plan that requires new investment would also have detailed description of the company and its management teams background data. These details will also be required for loan applications. But, these descriptions are skipped in an internal business plan, which is used to design the steps for growth or expansion that is funded internally within the organisation. Although, detailed financial projections might not be given, forecast of the sales as well as the expenses for the new business venture is at least included in more detail.
A very simple start-up plan is the feasibility plan, which include an abstract, mission statement, market analysis, keys to long-term success, and initial cost analysis, pricing, and projected expenses. Feasibility plans helps to analyze whether it is good to continue with a plan or not, to find if the business plan is worth continuing.
Writing a business plan is a highly collaborative affair between the entrepreneur(s) and the business plan writer. The more complex the plan is, the more both the entrepreneur(s) and the business plan writer will need to communicate and collaborate in order to produce a professional, marketable business plan. The business plans we write fall into six general categories. We will discuss each in detail below.
These are business plans for new companies that are 1) trying to raise startup capital to launch the business and 2) the business will serve a clearly defined target market with a service or product that already exists. These business plans are usually the least complex to write because the business models
The hourly fee for work over the project’s estimated number of hours is $20 per hour.
Type 1 and Type 2 business plans are written in five distinct units. Each unit reflects a progressive step in putting the business plan together. Before we can begin writing each unit, we must receive feedback to specific questions that we will send you concerning the topics covered in each specific unit. After we complete each of the first four units, we will send you a draft of that unit in a Microsoft Word document. You will then have the opportunity to review unit draft and critique or clarify it.
We will make any necessary changes needed for each unit draft. The fifth and final unit will be integrating the information in each of the previous four units into a final, complete business plan. You will then have the opportunity to review and critique that completed business plan draft. We will then correct any and all discrepancies in that final complete draft.
The entire business planning process of writing a Type 1 or Type 2 business plan depends upon our general workload and the speed with which you respond to our requests for information about your business. We estimate that either a Type 1 or Type 2 business plan will take generally 10 to 15 work days to complete (two to three weeks).
These are business plans for existing companies that are 1) trying to raise capital for a new business project or idea and 2) the business project is serving a clearly defined market with a service or product that already exists.
Type 3 and Type 4 business plans are written in six distinct units. Each unit reflects a progressive step in putting the business plan together. Before we can begin writing each unit, we must receive feedback to specific questions that we will send you concerning the topics covered in each specific unit. After we complete each of the first five units, we will send you a draft of that unit in a Microsoft Word document. You will then have the opportunity to review the draft of each unit and critique or clarify it. We will change or modify any discrepancies you have with the drafts of each unit. The final unit will be integrating the information in each of the five units into a final, complete business plan. You will then have the opportunity to review and critique that completed business plan draft. We will then correct any and all discrepancies in that final complete draft.
The entire process of writing a Type 3 or Type 4 business plan depends upon our general workload and the speed with which you respond to our requests for information about your business. We estimate that either a Type 3 or Type 4 business plan will take generally 15 to 20 work days to complete (three to four weeks).
These are business plans for classic startup companies that are trying to create new products or services to serve new or reimagined markets. These companies are usually looking to raise equity capital from angel investors and venture capital firms. These business plans are far more difficult to write because their business models are largely unproven.
Type 5 business plans are written in five distinct units. Each unit reflects a progressive step in putting the business plan together. Before we can begin writing each unit, we must receive feedback to specific questions that we will send you concerning the topics covered in each specific unit. After we complete each of the first four units, we will send you a draft of that unit in a Microsoft Word document. You will then have the opportunity to review unit draft and critique or clarify it. We will make any necessary changes needed for each unit draft. The fifth and final unit will be integrating the information in each of the previous four units into a final, complete business plan. You will then have the opportunity to review and critique that completed business plan draft. We will then correct any and all discrepancies in that final complete draft.
The entire process of writing a Type 5 business plan depends upon our general workload and the speed with which you respond to our requests for information about your business. Also, the novelty and newness of the industry you are entering and the market you will be serving are real wild card variables in terms of how much time the business plan will take to complete. We estimate that a Type 5 business plan will take generally 25 to 40 work days to complete (five to eight weeks).
These are business plans for existing companies that are attempting to create new products or services to serve new or reimagined markets. The markets these companies are trying to serve with their new products and services are either undefined or completely new. Usually these companies are seeking financing to raise equity capital (because these business projects are usually risky), but sometimes raising debt capital may be an options for them. These business plans are as difficult to write as Type 5 plans.
Type 6 business plans are written in six distinct units. Each unit reflects a progressive step in putting the business plan together. Before we can begin writing each unit, we must receive feedback to specific questions that we will send you concerning the topics covered in each specific unit. After we complete each of the first five units, we will send you a draft of that unit in a Microsoft Word document. You will then have the opportunity to review the draft of each unit and critique or clarify it. We will change or modify any discrepancies you have with the drafts of each unit. The final unit will be integrating the information in each of the five units into a final, complete business plan. You will then have the opportunity to review and critique that completed business plan draft. We will then correct any and all discrepancies in that final complete draft.
The entire process of writing a Type 6 business plan depends upon our general workload and the speed with which you respond to our requests for information about your business. Also, the novelty and newness of the industry you are entering and the target market you will be serving are real wild card variables (in terms of how much time the business plan will take to complete). We estimate that a Type 6 business plan will take generally 25 to 40 work days to complete (five to eight weeks).
Running a Business Is Tough, Especially Without a Business Plan
If you are running a business, it’s very important to have a business plan made up and it’s just as important to stick to your business plan once you create it. When you have a business plan you are setting objectives for yourself and you are establishing the priorities you have for your business. It also makes it much easier to reach the goals that you set for yourself as well which is always crucial in a business.
Think of your business plan as a map for your business, without this map you and the way you run your business are traveling blindly which is very dangerous. You want to have a clear idea of where your business is headed and where you want it to go and a business plan outlines what will steer you in the right direction.
Looking for a Loan?
If you are looking to get a loan for your business, you’re going to need a definite business plan. Most banks won’t even consider giving you a loan until they see a business plan. If you don’t have a business plan they’ll think of you as a risk since you don’t truly know where you want your business to go. When you present your business plan to a bank to get the loan you desire be sure that you go over what your business is all about and why you started it. You will also want to list for them what you see in the future of your business as well.
Looking for a Business Investment?
Having a business plan doesn’t mean that you will surely get the investment you desire but not having a business plan will surely mean you will not get the investment you desire. Investors need to know what exactly they are investing in and they will look to your business plan to understand what the idea of the business is, your businesses track records, the technology behind your business and of course yourself. You will absolutely not get a business investment without having a business plan because the investors won’t have anything to help them understand what your business is all about.
Have Business Partners?
A business plan is what defines your agreements that you have made with your business partners which means you’ll have a lot of issues if you don’t have a business plan if you are in this business with more than just yourself. A business plan is the only way to keep everything between you and your partners fair and it ensures that everyone knows what the ground rules are for the business and where each and every one of you stand.
Communicating with a Management Team Won’t Work Without a Business Plan
How can you and your management team effectively run your business without being able to see where you all want it to go? The answer is, you can’t. You can’t steer your business down the right path if nobody knows exactly where it should be going and your management team will feel the exact same way. There will be a lot of different problems that will come up during the day-to-day work and it will be very challenging for you to face them and communicate all of these problems when you or your management team don’t truly know where the problem falls under in the business plan.
Do you need a business valuation?
Whether you need to place a value on your business to sell it or for taxes, a business plan is an essential part in this. It’s always important to know what your business is worth even if you don’t plan on selling it at all, you may need to know what it’s worth when it comes to planning an estate or an unexpected divorce could come up. You always should know what your business is worth an a business plan will help you understand that and keep track of it.
When it comes to developing a business plan, many people believe that it’s too difficult or it’s just too time consuming to do but what those people don’t realize is that putting together a business plan will save you in many ways and you it will help your business in more ways than you can imagine.
Developing a business plan is not that much of a challenge and it will very valuable to you in the future. Nobody should ever try to do something big without planning it first and this includes running a business. You have all these business plans in your head so just lay those plan out on paper so you have tangible evidence of your business and what you want to do with it.
A business plan a very crucial part in creating and owning a business so take the time and effort in creating one and you will benefit from it much more than you think and you’re business will run much more smoothly.
A business plan’s executive summary section provides a round-up of the main points of your business plan. Although the summary will appear at the top of the final printed piece, the majority of business plan developers do not write the executive summary until the last moment. The summary forms the gateway to the remainder of the plan. If you do not write a business plan executive summary it well, your target audience will not read beyond the executive summary.
What should be included in an executive summary?
When a regular business plan is being written, the following should usually be incorporated into the opening paragraph of the executive summary:
• The name of the business • The location of the business • The service or product being offered • The aim of the plan
A further paragraph should underline significant points, for example projected profits and sales, profitability, unit sales, and keys to success. Give the details you need everyone to notice. This is also a sensible point at which to include a highlights chart, a bar chart depicting gross margin, profits before taxes and interest, and sales for the three years to come. These numbers must be explained and cited in the text.
Different summaries are required for different plans
Internal plans, for example annual or strategic plans, or operations plans, do not need such formal executive summaries. With such a plan, make its purpose obvious, and be certain that all the highlights are mentioned, but other details – such as the description of your service or product, and location – may not need to be repeated.
Be concise with your summary
If investment is what you are seeking, mention this in your executive summary, specifying the amount of investment required and the level of equity ownership that will be provided in return. It is also a good idea to include some highlights regarding your competitive advantage and your management team.
If it is a loan that you are looking for, say so in the executive summary, specifying the sum required. Do not include details of the loan.
What is the right length for an executive summary? There are differing views from experts about the ideal length of an executive summary. Some recommend taking only one or two pages, while others suggest a more in-depth approach, with the summary lasting for anything up to ten pages and including sufficient information to be used instead of the full plan. Although it was once common to write business plans of 50 or more pages, today’s lenders and investors expect a more focused, concise plan.
A single page is the perfect length for an executive summary. Keep everything brief, emphasizing the major aspects of your plan. You are not trying to explain every last detail, simply piquing your readers’ interest about the rest of the plan and encouraging them to read further.
Be careful not to confuse a summary memo with an executive summary. The executive summary is the opening section of a business plan, while a summary memo is a distinct publication, usually running to no more than five or ten pages; this is intended as a substitute for the full plan for the benefit of those who are not yet in a position to read the full plan.
In general, a financial plan is a set of steps or goals put together for the business which is intended to help attain and accomplish a final financial goal. It shows the future and current financial state of a business by using known variables to forecast future cash flows, asset values and withdrawal plans. The plan shows financial viability of the business plan, in which the entrepreneur must prepare forecasted income statement, cash flow estimates, forecasted balance sheet, break-even analysis, and sources and usages of funds.
Why is a financial plan important? Investors and bankers must have an incentive to invest in your business. Profitability gives them an incentive to invest. If your plan is weak and unorganized it will portray your business as unsustainable. Investors and banks will see you only as a risk and be unlikely to give the kind of capital needed for your business. For this reason you need to create a solid financial plan which will convince investors that your business is worth investing in.
Here at InvestmentBank.com we will design for you a financial plan intended to demonstrate to the bank and your investors that your business is sustainable and profitable. We cannot guarantee you the investments you are hoping for, but we can guarantee that if you don’t have a plan, you will also not receive your hopeful investments. Let us guide you in the planning process.
One core component of market analysis is market forecasting and proforma financial statement drafting. The future trends, characteristics, and numbers in your target market are projected in market analysis. In a standard analysis process, the projected number of potential customers is divided into segments.
Generally, market size is not the only factor that is determined, but the market value is also very important. For instance, small business customers spend around 4 times as much as the home office customer, even though they are 2.5 times smaller than their high-end home segment in terms of customer size. So, in terms of dollar value, the small business market is often considered very important.
Market value is calculated through simple mathematics. The number of potential customers in the market is multiplied by the average purchase per customer. Market value is calculated by taking the average number of customers in each segment over a period of time and then multiplied that figure by the average purchase per customer. In market analysis table, the other items are only subjective qualities that help with marketing. These points are allotted to people who are assigned in preparing marketing information.
Reality Checks Reality checks are always important for market forecast. Finding a way to check reality, while performing a forecast is essential. If you are able to estimate your total market value, then you would relate that figure to the estimate sales of all their competitors to check if the 2 figures relate to each other. The import and export value and production values are checked in an international market to find whether the annual shipments estimates appear to be somewhere in the same range as the estimated figures. To check your results with the forecast, you might also check for some given years with the vendors, who sold products to this market. Macroeconomic data can also be overlooked to confirm the size of this market compared to other markets with same characteristics.
Target Focus Review
Market analysis should help in the development of strategic market focus, which means selecting the key target markets. This is considered the critical foundation of strategy. We speak on this as market positioning and segmentation.
Company will not try to address the needs of all market segments under normal circumstances. While selecting target market segments, understand the inherent market differences, competitive advantage, keys to success, and strengths and weaknesses (SWOT analysis) of your organization. Everyone wants to focus on the best market segment, but the market segment with the maximum growth or the largest market segments, might not be necessarily the best one to address. The best market segment to address would be the one that matches your own company profile.
It is not a good idea to use page count as a gauge to determine the length of a business plan. A business plan with 20 pages of text alone can be considered to be longer than a 35-page plan which is well laid out with bullet points, helpful images of products or locations and charts that highlight vital projections.
In fact, a plan should be measured by its readability as well as the summary provided. If the business plan is prepared keeping these aspects in mind, the reader will be able to get an overall idea in about 15 minutes by quickly browsing through the key points.
Illustrations, headings, format and white space contribute to improving the appeal of the business plan. The summary section is a very important aspect of any business plan. The salient points of the business plan must be clearly visible to the reader as it is done in a presentation.
It is unfortunate that many people still tend to measure the worth of a business plan by the number of pages in it. In this connection, some of the key aspects to be kept in mind are as follows:
- Practical business plans prepared for internal use only can have five to ten pages
- Business plans of large companies may have hundreds of pages
A standard expansion or start-up plan prepared for presentation to outsiders can have 20 to 40 pages. However, it should be easy to read with text well spaced and have bullet point formatting, illustrations in the form of business charts and financial tables in the condensed form. The details of financial aspects can be organized in appendices.
However, the length of the business plan is decided by its nature and the purpose for which it is prepared. Some of the questions that can be considered when drafting out a business plan in order to decide on its length are:
- Should descriptions about the company as well as the management team be included as outsiders are likely to read the business plan?
- Should a standalone executive summary be provided for the business plan?Is there a need to incorporate plans, blueprints, drawings and detailed research?Is it an investment proposal?
- Should it be worded in such a way as to clear legal scrutiny?
The form of the business plan is actually decided by the requirement for which it is to be prepared.
Often, venture contests specify a limit of 30 pages or 40 pages at times, but rarely 50 pages, including the appendices that contain detailed financial statements, for a business plan. Some contestants make very bad options because of page restrictions and cram the content using thick texts and bold typefaces, making it worse and not better.
Most often, good plans have as many as 30 to 40 pages . The plans have 20 to 30 pages of text, excluding graphics to illustrate locations, menus, designs, etc. and appendices consisting of team leaders’ resumes, monthly financial projections, etc. Some pages may have to be included for standard financials. This calls for tables for sales, income and cash flow statement, balance sheet and personnel on a monthly basis. In the body of the plan, annual numbers may also have to be included.
It is not prudent to reduce the length of the plan by cutting down on helpful graphics. Readability is more important than the length. Making use of business charts to illustrate numbers makes it easier to understand. Make use of drawings and photographs to depict locations, sample menus and products. It is important to use as much illustration as possible. Finally, extra graphics such as clip art that are not relevant to the matter at hand may better be avoided.
Business Plan Market Forecast
Proper market forecasting helps provide budgetary allocation for coming market trends, innovative shifts and internal financial allocation. It is a key component of proforma financial statements and professional market research . Intelligent estimates are best backed by quality, time-intensive research. That’s where we come in. Rather than producing a business plan based on educated guesswork, we use a litany of some of the industry’s best market research tools available to some of the most prestigious universities. Many a business plan software tools can also aid in your research work. Typically business plan software also includes industry-specific templates, which can help with how you approach your niche or even the broader market.
Today’s technology provides access to large data-sets for current and past information. Obtaining the data is not difficult. We help to analyze, interpret and make qualitative assumptions about future trends. By using both qualitative and quantitative approaches we work to derive parallel data forecasts for future trends within your business, your industry and the market as a whole. The future may be uncertain, but with the help of expert modeling, it can be simplified, understood and, in some cases, accurately predicted.
Many business planners lack the luxury of funding a previously-published market forecast from which to glean relevant data. In many cases, free published forecasts can help to paint a meaningful picture. However, when professional forecasts are not forthcoming on market size, supply/demand metrics and potential company penetration, it is usually left up to thoughtful opinion and expert “reverse engineering” to determine any meaningful dribble from the data.
Without free forecasts, a business owners may feel forced to purchase expensive data sets, market research reports and published articles to determine helpful data about the potential of a business idea. Where we can, we utilize past relationships and access to thousands of reports through expensive subscriptions to find the data-set that best fits your business goals for the plan you may be crafting.
Apart from the more obvious sources like the Internet, library references and popular publications, we provide access to industry-specific reports and paid-for research studies not accessible to would-be entrepreneurs. We fully recognize that data forecasting is part art and part science, but we prefer to adhere to more quantitative methods so as to make your business plan as convincing and relevant as possible for its particular audience.
Extrapolation of past data with large populations and data-sets helps to provide reliable predictions about future trends and outcomes. Understanding past growth, market saturation and the competing forces that can impact a company’s success in market entrance are absolutely vital components of the marketing portion of your business plan. Past data is never a fail safe, but it can act as a healthy gauge of future trends in a marketplace.
When no relevant data on current conditions within your market can be found, we work with the available numbers to create plausible models that form convincing arguments for your particular plan goals.
Perhaps the greatest downfall of many potentially-successful business plans is the disconnect between gathered data, assumptions, external and internal market forces and projections. Without a common sense litmus test, many plans fail to deliver relevant metrics to help make business funding possible. Performing common sense tests often requires qualitative work outside the realms of the given data. Making phone calls to Chambers of Commerce, trade organizations and market reporting agencies to obtain a wider base and deeper foundation of information is extremely helpful when crafting assumptions.
Making wild guesses about targets, markets and industries without thoughtful research can be detrimental to fulfilling the goals of your particular business plan. BusinessPlanning.org helps to remove the guesswork and provide your business with relevant data from which to tell a compelling story.
Correctly identifying the structure and competitive dynamics of the industry you are proposing to enter will create a good general point of reference for judging whether you should enter it or not. If the general industry profile does not appear attractive to you, and you are planning to offer value propositions that have close industry substitutes, then this may be an important signal that your proposed venture may need to be reconsidered. But if the industry profile looks attractive, then this could be a sign that you are on to something.
A fantastic tool to analyze an industry that serves a Defined Existing Market is Porter’s Five Forces Model. Michael Porter is a professor at Harvard Business School and published this strategy model in his seminal work, Competitive Strategy . Porter’s model is powerful. It demonstrates how an industry’s attractiveness to either its current competitors or a new entrant is an amalgam of disparate, and sometimes contradictory, factors.
To help determine if your business idea will be worth the investment of time, money and energy, you will conduct two sequential analyses using the Five Forces Model. The first Five Forces analysis will be of the overall industry that you are contemplating to enter. The second Five Forces analysis will be of the particular market segment(s) you would be choosing to serve with your Value Proposition(s).
The figure below illustrates how Porter’s model works by focusing on the five forces that shape competition within an industry: 1) the risk of entry by potential competitors, 2) the intensity of the rivalry among established companies within an industry, 3) the bargaining power of suppliers, 4) the bargaining power of buyers, and 5) the similarity of substitutes to an industry’s value propositions.
The main point of Porter’s Five Forces Model is as follows. The stronger that one of the five competitive forces becomes, the greater the overall competitive rivalry becomes within the industry. The more intense the competitive rivalry becomes, the harder it is for ventures within the industry to raise prices or maintain high prices to reap greater profits. The less in average profits that a firm in the industry is able to earn, the more intense the rivalry for customer demand is among the industry’s rival competitors.
The opposite is true also. The weaker that one of the five competitive forces becomes, the less intense the overall competitive rivalry among the industry’s firms is. If rivalry amongst the industry’s firms decreases, the easier it becomes for the industry’s competitors to raise either raise prices or reduce their cost structure (by lowering their value propositions’ quality) and ultimately earn higher profits. The higher the average level of industry profits, the less intense the rivalry for customer demand will be among the industry’s rival competitors.
The importance of each of the five forces is situationally dependent upon the unique facts and circumstances of each industry. For example, the overall threat of new market entrants might be insignificant in determining whether an entrepreneur wants to enter an industry in its growth phase, but it may be a paramount factor in a mature industry.
I developed another diagram (below) to show how the five forces within Porter’s model interact with each other. As you can see, four of the forces (risk of entry by potential competitors, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, and threat of new entrants) each act upon the fifth force – the intensity of rivalry among the industry’s competitors. This means that if the bargaining power an industry’s buyers increases, the intensity of rivalry among industry competitors will increase. This causal relationship works in only one direction – a change in any of the forces ultimately either increases or decreases the intensity of rivalry among the industry’s competitors. Therefore a change in the intensity of rivalry will not cause change in one of the other four forces.
 Charles W. L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones, Strategic Management Theory , Eighth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, pg. 45, 2008.
Macroenvironmental forces are changes in the broader economic, political/legal, social, technological, demographic, and global forces beyond the industry being examined. Any one of these six forces can change or effect any one of an industry’s five internal competitive forces. In conducting an industry’s initial Five Forces analysis – which is a snapshot measurement of an industry’s present competitive environment – these macroenvironmental forces are automatically accounted for. They are already included because an industry’s competitive environment is an aggregate of these turbulent and often conflicting forces. But entrepreneurs and business owners must also make educated guesses about how macroenvironmental trends and forces will shape the industry’s attractiveness into the future, both in the short run and in the long run.
Below is a diagram that visually represents how each of these seven forces can affect an industry’s Five Forces as the future unfolds.
The Six Macroenvironmental Forces
The following is a detailed analysis of the seven macroenvironmental forces touched upon above.
Macroeconomic forces affect the general economic well-being of the nation or the region in which an industry operates.  The following are the major macroeconomic forces that can affect an industry’s ability to deliver an adequate economic return.
- The rate of growth for the economy. Economic expansions cause a general rise in aggregate consumer demand while recessions cause a general drop in aggregate consumer demand. Because aggregate demand for goods and services rises during economic expansions, an industry’s intensity of competitive rivalry, broadly speaking, will usually decline. The reason is that generally the market demand for an industry’s value propositions will cause an expansion in the industry’s revenue. Therefore its possible for the industry’s firms to generate revenue growth without fighting their competitive rivals for market share. Conversely, a decline in economic growth or a recession causes general aggregate demand to contract. This generally shrinks the amount of revenue an industry can earn and may cause price wars, consolidations and bankruptcies.
- Interest rates. Interest rates affect the cost of borrowing for consumers, thus affecting aggregate demand. Higher interest rates generally makes the cost of borrowing more expensive and can dampen demand for real estate and purchases of major assets (cars, durable goods). Ultimately, higher interest rates can lead to higher industry rivalry if the industry is directly or tangentially affected by borrowing costs. Higher interest rates also affect business’ cost of capital. High interest rates may restrict a business’s ability to invest in new equipment or facilities. On the other hand, low cost of capital makes it substantially easier for established businesses to borrow and invest into expanding their operations.
- Exchange rates. Exchange rates either make imports more or less expensive for domestic consumers and exports more or less expensive for foreign consumers of domestically produced value propositions. A weak dollar makes imported value propositions more expensive and domestically produced value propositions comparatively less expensive. A strong dollar makes foreign value propositions less expensive and domestic value propositions comparatively more expensive.
- Inflation/Deflation. Inflation is the decrease in the purchasing power of a nation’s currency over time. Inflation can destabilize an economy, slow economic growth, higher interest rates and increased currency volatility.  Increasing inflation makes business planning very difficult because the future becomes less predictable. Uncertainty makes companies unwilling to invest in growing their operations. On other side of the coin is deflation. Deflation is even more potentially damaging than inflation is. If the purchasing power of currency is increasing over time, firms and consumers will hoard their cash. This will causes a self-reinforcing cycle of low or negative economic growth. Usually the best inflation formula for stable economic growth is a low, steady inflation rate.
- Wage Levels. The price of labor from industry to industry can have a significant impacts on an industry’s costs of production. High or increasing industry labor costs can make substitute value propositions more attractive for the industry’s customers. Low or decreasing industry labor costs can make substitute value propositions less attractive for the industry’s customers.
- Level of Employment: High unemployment levels give firms greater leverage over their employees in keeping wage increases down or in actually decreasing labor costs to the firms in an industry. This can reduce the industry’s cost structure and thus raise the industry’s average profitability.
Legal and political forces are the results of changes in laws and regulations within the country your business operates in.  Political and legal developments can be both opportunities and threats. The following are the major legal and political changes that can impact the fortunes of industries.
- Current and Expected Levels of Taxation. High tax rates can affect the decisions of entrepreneurs to engage in business activities or reduce the ability of companies to reinvest profits in expansion. But often the most important effect of taxes are not the levels of taxation, but the different effective tax rates for different activities. For example, the oil and gas industry, ecommerce businesses and the video game industry get significant tax breaks that reduces their effective tax rate. This can raise or lower the attractiveness of getting into certain industries.
- Import/Export Quotas and Tariffs. Tariffs and import/export quotas affect the costs of value propositions imported into a country and those exported to other countries. Raising or lowering tariffs or trade quotas can cause demand for the value propositions of the industries affected to increase or decrease. An example of a broad change in trade quotas and tariffs was the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Government Grants. Government grants are programs that can provide nascent industries with seed capital and resources. Governments (state, local and national) often provide businesses with financial support if the business pursues profit opportunities that align with a government’s policy goals. An example of a significant government grant program is the U.S. government’s Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR).
- War/Terrorism. War and terrorism can increase regulations and transaction costs associated with global travel or insurance. Wars can also saddle nations with large medical costs to society. Wars and anti-terrorism efforts can also increase military related contracting opportunities.
- Quid Pro Quo. Many industries try (and often succeed) in influencing politicians to enact laws that are favorable to their bottom line and create barriers of entry against potential competitors. A recent example of this was the influence the health care and pharmaceutical industries exerted upon the U.S. Congress during the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009.
- The Regulatory State. In the U.S., most of the regulations that affect business and the general public are promulgated through various government agencies. Often, small changes in regulations can lead to desired or unintended consequences for a number of industries. Here is a small sample of legal and regulatory issues that are managed by various state and federal agencies: environmental protection, corporate governance, intellectual property rights, employment law, criminal law, tort law, food & drug regulation, public health… In the United States (and most other industrialized countries), virtually every area of commerce is affected by government regulations and laws. For any given industry, changes in these regulations and laws can be either threats or opportunities.
Social forces are changes in the social mores and values of a society and how they affect any particular industry. Social changes can create both opportunities and threats for any industry.
- Social and cultural forces specifically refer to changes in the tastes, habits and cultural norms within a significant segment of a country’s population. One example of a social trend is the growth of the organic and local food movements in the U.S. over the last thirty years. The local and organic food movements have created an opportunity for some small farmers near large population centers, but this movement has also created a potential threat to large mono-agriculture farms.
- Cultural attitudes can shift drastically over time, rendering once commonplace habits and activities to no longer be widely accepted or tolerated. An example is the decline of smoking in the U.S. Smoking used to be tolerated in most indoor spaces forty years ago. Now it is either banned or highly frowned upon and the public has become very aware of the health risks smoking causes. This has led to a significant decline in the percentage of adults in the U.S. who smoke. Conversely, marijuana use, which was highly frowned upon by the majority of U.S. society over forty years ago, has become more widely accepted among the public. As a result, many state laws are changing to reflect this increased tolerance of marijuana use.
- Changes in what society considers fashionable are in a constant state of flux. Various fads and crazes rise and fall, sparking opportunities and threats for the industries that capitalize on these trends. Examples of changes in fashion, fads or crazes are: rock n roll in the 1960s, disco music in the 1970s, the Pet Rock, the Hula Hoop, Cabbage Patch Dolls…
Technological change is a primary driver of Schumpeter’s “perennial gale of creative destruction” among business ventures. Technological forces can render established, profitable value propositions obsolete virtually overnight and usher into existence exiting new business ventures. Because of the dual role technological change (both creative and destructive) plays in our society, it can be both an opportunity and a threat.
- Technological forces can cause industries to move through their life cycles more quickly. They can also disrupt an industry in the beginning or middle of its life cycle, rendering it obsolete or changing it so radically that most of the industry’s competitors cannot keep up. Essentially, technological change makes the life cycles of industries more volatile and unpredictable.
- Technological change can lower the barriers of entry for many industries. An example is the internet made it much easier for a potential retailer to sell products to its customers through a virtual storefront versus acquiring, stocking and running a brick and mortar facility. The lowering of barriers of entry tends to increase an industry’s intensity of rivalry, leading to both lower prices and industry profits.
- Technological forces can also reduce transaction costs. Reducing transaction costs is often destructive to the industries that thrive on them (auction houses being replaced by eBay or newspaper classifieds being replaced by Craigslist). Within an industry, a reduction in transaction costs driven by technological change usually leads to an increase in the industry’s intensity of competitive rivalry.
- Technological change can either reduce or increase customer switching costs. An example of how technological forces can reduce customer switching costs are instant price comparison applications on mobile devices. These give the consumers the ability to identify which retailers offer the same value propositions at the lowest prices. Technological forces can also increase customer switching costs. An example is Facebook or eBay. Both of these websites lock in users due to their network effects – alternative market choices do not present as much value because they are not as big.
- Technological forces can unleash changes in industries far removed from the industry in which the technology originated. An example of this is the Internet. The Internet has caused massive sea changes in industries only tangentially related to it such as retail, the news industry, book publishing, and matchmaking services (online dating).
Demographic forces are changes in the characteristics of a population of people. These characteristics can be sex, age, education, race, national origin, social class… Changes in demographics can present businesses with both opportunities and threats.
- Changes in a population’s age distribution can present both opportunities and threats. For example, in the U.S., the population of elderly people is growing more rapidly than the population as a whole. This presents an opportunity for industries who provide long term assisted living, the financial industry (reverse mortgages and retirement planning), and both the health and pharmaceutical industries. It also presents a threat to certain industries like funeral and burial providers (if the general population is living longer, it means people are dying at a slower rate).
- The rapid increase of the Hispanic population in the U.S. has led to an increase in Spanish speaking music, television and news in the U.S. This represents a growing opportunity for food and media companies that market to Latinos.
Global forces are changes that occur within and beyond the borders of the country a business is operating within and affect how a company can operate on the international stage. Global forces can present both opportunities and threats to an industry.
- The economic growth rates of other countries can play important roles in determining the demand for imports and exports. As barriers to trade fall, national economies become more subject to the winds of international commerce and capital flows. This international liberalization of trading agreements can allow domestic firms greater access to foreign markets. An example of the liberalization of international trade is the outsourcing trend over the last two decades from industrial economies in the west to developing economies in Asia.
- Climate change is another example of a global force. The long term changes to the world’s climate will profoundly shape countless industries in the decades to come. Climate change can offer both opportunities and threats to different industries. For example, the wine industry in France may have to experiment with new varietals due to changes in temperature and rainfall expected by scientists in the coming decades. Climate change also presents some industries with opportunities. One example is the shipping industry. The rapidly dwindling polar ice cap in the Arctic Ocean presents the possibility that new, more efficient shipping routes might become available.
 Charles W. L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones, Strategic Management Theory , Eighth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, pg. 66, 2008.
 Charles W. L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones, Strategic Management Theory , Eighth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, pg. 68, 2008.
 Charles W. L. Hill and Gareth R. Jones, Strategic Management Theory , Eighth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, pg. 70, 2008.
A good Five Forces analysis will cause you to sift through a lot of data, much of it conflicting and confusing. Below is a series of scorecards that try to condense the most important points from your Five Forces analysis and present them to you in an easily understandable format.
The scorecards rate the attractiveness of an industry’s five forces from the perspective of a new venture attempting to enter the industry . Each force gets its own scorecard. Each scorecard has the main factors that help determine the strength the force exerts upon the industry. A factor’s attractiveness is rated on a five category scale that ranges from Highly Unattractive, Mildly Unattractive, Neutral, Mildly Attractive, to Highly Attractive. For each factors’ rating, the top line (yellow) indicates the level of the factor’s level of attractiveness at present. The bottom line (green) is the entrepreneur’s rating of what he or she thinks each factors’ level of attractiveness will be in the future. The level of future attractiveness for a factor is determined by analyzing how macroenvironmental forces will affect the industry in the future.
Directly below is a hypothetical example scorecard of an industry’s intensity of rivalry:
Remember, none of this is exact science. There is no mathematical formula that determines whether you should enter an industry or not. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that you, the entrepreneur, have thoroughly thought about the nature and future of the competitive environment you are proposing to jump into.
Force One: Intensity of Rivalry among Industry Competitors
Force Two: Risk of Entry by Potential Competitors
Force Three: The Bargaining Power of Buyers
Force Four: The Bargaining Power of Suppliers
Force Five: The Availability and Similarity of Substitutes to an Industry’s Value Propositions
And finally, the table below is a final snapshot evaluation of the industry’s attractiveness. To fill out this table, you should look at your ratings in the tables above as guidelines. The importance of the forces, and the factors that comprise them, will change from industry to industry. It will ultimately depend upon the unique facts and circumstances of each industry being evaluated. Therefore you will have to use your best judgment.
Overall Evaluation of Industry’s Attractiveness
Porter’s Five Forces – Risk of Entry
Profitable industries are like chum in the water for new competitors. The smell of money to be made will attract potential competitors to circle an industry, try to enter it and look for an easy meal. The only thing stopping a myriad of potential competitors from entering an industry are barriers to entry – a business version of a steel shark cage.
Profitable industries attract new market entrants – potential competitors. Potential competitors are companies that are not currently competing in an industry, but possess the ability to do so if they choose. Theoretically, if it cost nothing to form a company and enter an industry serving a profitable market, new firms would flood into that industry until the industry’s average profit margin shrank to zero. But we don’t live in a frictionless, theoretical world and different industries have wildly different levels of profitability. Barriers of entry are what discourages new companies from entering a profitable market and making a killing.
Barriers of entry benefit established companies within an industry by protecting them from new competition and preserving their profit margins. Low barriers of entry leave an industry wide open to new market entrants. The results to an industry with low barriers of entry are lower profits for the companies within that industry will inevitably result.
Therefore, established firms within an industry have great incentive to erect barriers of entry to keep the number of potential rivals to a minimum. Some barriers of entry are passive and a natural result of the industry’s operations. An example of this is economies of scale. But companies often take active steps to discourage new companies from entering their industries. Examples of this are when companies create brand loyalty or try to purposely raise their customers’ switching costs. The reason is simple – the more companies that enter the industry, the more difficult it is for established companies to maintain their market share and protect their profits.
The risk of entry by potential competitors is a function of the industry’s profitability and the height of its barriers to entry. The higher an industry’s average profit margin, the more enticing it is for new competitors to jump into the fray and wrestle market share from the incumbent companies. High barriers to entry can deter potential competitors from trying to enter an industry and serve its market segments. The higher the cost of entry into an industry, the weaker the competitive force (the risk of entry by potential competitors) is and generally translates into higher average industry profits. Important barriers to entry include the following:
Capital Requirements – If it takes a great amount of money or assets to enter the industry, this can be a significant barrier of entry for firms who wish to enter it. Usually industries with high fixed costs have high capital requirements (i.e. factories, warehouses, computing assets…).
Economies of Scale – Economies of scale is where the companies in an industry enjoy diminishing per unit costs for their value propositions as the volume produced increases.
Brand Loyalty – Consumers often have preferences for the value propositions offered by established companies due to familiarity and reputation.
Absolute Cost Advantages – Other entrants cannot hope to match the established firms within the industry’s cost structure. Absolute cost advantages arise from three sources: 1) possessing unique and critical resources (patents, trade secrets, or accumulated experience), 2) control of particular inputs of production (i.e. fertile farm land, a prime piece of commercial real estate…), 3) access to cheaper funds because existing companies represent lower risks than new entrants.
Customer Switching Costs – High customer switching costs occur when customers resist spending the time, money and energy to switch from the current supplier of a value proposition to one offered by a different company, even though that alternative value proposition may be of greater value.
Government Regulation – Government regulations, and the lack of them, can be a significant barrier of entry for potential new entrants into an industry. An example of this would be environmental regulations placed on coal mining companies and their operations.
We will now dig deeper into how to identify and analyze these potential barriers of entry, and ultimately understand how they affect the competitive rivalry within an industry.
Capital costs mean the startup costs of your business idea that must be incurred before you can commence operations. Basically, this is the total amount of money you need to spend (on equipment, employees, facilities, legal, accounting….) before you can hang your “Were Open!” sign in your shop window. For some asset intensive businesses, such as a full service health club or a golf course, initial capital costs can be extensive. For other businesses that use relatively few assets, such as an internet marketing business or a hotdog stand, initial capital costs can be relatively small.
For many aspiring entrepreneurs without a lot of financial resources, capital costs can be the most daunting barrier of entry of all. Many industries are able to maintain decent profit margins simply because the capital costs required to enter the industry are significant and insurmountable for many. Also, your time can be thought of as a capital asset too. Your investment of time in pursuing a business endeavor represents an opportunity cost on your part – you are giving up time that you could be working for someone else (and the income that entails) in exchange for pursuing your entrepreneurial ambitions. For example, it may take $100,000 and one year of full time work to create and open a business. If you had to give up a $50,000 per year job in order to pursue the endeavor, the real capital cost for you to start your business would be $150,000, not $100,000.
Another example of this would be opening a law practice. Legal services, in the United States, is a fragmented industry that has an average industry profit of 19.5%. This is a very attractive profit margin. Furthermore, the capital cost required to start a legal practice – purely from creating the actual legal services business – is relatively small. A lawyer needs a laptop, access to research materials, a place to meet clients, and some office equipment. This may cost as little as $10,000 in initial startup capital. But this does not represent the actual capital cost to start a law firm. To actually open a law firm and practice law, a lawyer would have needed to: 1) obtain a law degree (lets estimate $120,000), not work for three years while going to law school (lets estimate $150,000 for three cumulative years), get a state bar card ($3,500 for the test and the study course), and not work for three months while studying for the bar (lets estimate $12,500). Then, an only then, a lawyer could spend $10,000 on opening a legal practice. The real cost of this venture, both in absolute capital costs and opportunity costs, would be $296,000.
So the real capital cost of opening a law firm and practicing law (and being in an industry with an attractive 19.5% profit margin) may be at least nearly $300,000. This capital cost represents a serious barrier of entry to many people who would want to enter this industry, but balk at the $300,000 price tag that it requires.
- What are the average total capital costs for entering the industry you proposing to enter?
- Is the average profit margin for the industry you are proposing to enter enough to service the capital costs required from a typical new market entrant?
Economies of scale arise when unit costs fall as a firm expands its output. In other words, the more of a value proposition a company produces, the less per unit the company pays to produce those value propositions. Sources of scale economies include 1) cost reductions gained by efficiently creating a massed produced output, 2) discounts on bulk purchases of raw materials, and 3) cost benefits gained from spreading production costs and marketing and advertising over a large production volume. Some industries benefit greatly from economies of scale (i.e. the beer industry, the auto industry…). Other industries do not enjoy economies of scale much at all (i.e. nail salons, massage therapy, dry cleaners…).
The following are examples of economies of scale: 1) when the creator of a product gets bulk discounts on the purchases of raw materials for their products, 2) spreading fixed production costs over a large production volume, 3) cost reductions through mass-producing a standardized output, 4) cost savings associated with spreading marketing and advertising costs over a large volume of output. Most manufacturing industries, such as pulp and paper products or textiles, are examples of industries with economies of scale. If economies of scale are a factor in an industry, then many small producers are at a disadvantage because their per-unit costs will be higher than that of their larger competitors.
An industry whose rivals have significant economies of scale creates powerful barriers to entry for an aspiring new entrant to overcome. First, the established firms will have a substantial cost advantage over a new rival. Second, because high economies of scale imply high fixed costs (equipment, facilities), it is critical that these companies protect their market share at all costs. If their sales volumes decrease, this can render them incapable of sustaining their high fixed costs.
Companies, who try to match the existing industry competitors’ economies of scale, must enter the industry as a large producer to overcome this problem. But to do so, it must raise enough capital (to purchase the necessary assets and facilities) to match its competitors’ economies of scale. This becomes another barrier of entry in itself. Furthermore, if a new company enters an industry with a large capital investment (to match current industry competitors’ economies of scale), the increased supply of products the new company brings to the market risks depressing prices and may trigger a price war with established industry competitors.
- Does the industry you propose to enter have significant economies of scale (where the per-unit costs for producing a good or service decrease significantly as the volume of production increases)?
- Does the industry you propose to enter have high fixed costs (equipment, facilities, or significant R&D requirements)?
- Do the suppliers of the industry you propose to enter give significant volume discounts and payment terms to large-volume buyers?
- Within the industry you are proposing to enter, do its company’s marketing and sales budgets increase, on a per unit basis, proportionally to sales of its value propositions, or do the costs of its company’s sales and marketing budgets decrease, on a per unit basis, with an increase in the sales volume of its value propositions?
Brand loyalty is when consumers develop and hold a preference for a particular company’s brand of value propositions. Significant brand loyalty makes it difficult for new market entrants to wrestle market share away from established industry brands. Examples of value propositions with strong brand loyalty are mass consumer products such as beer (Budweiser, Coors and Miller), soft drinks (Coca Cola and Pepsi), or tobacco products (Marlborough and Winston-Salem’s).
A company can also cultivate brand loyalty by developing innovative value propositions. Probably the most successful major company over the last decade that has leveraged innovative value propositions into brand loyalty has been Apple.
A venture may be able to sidestep an industry’s brand loyalty barriers of entry by entering the premium category of product markets. An example would be Dry Soda or small craft micro-brewers.
Significant brand loyalty makes it difficult for new entrants to take market share away from established industry brands. A company faces the daunting task of not only convincing consumers to buy its value propositions, but also to choose not to buy value propositions they already like and feel comfortable with.
- Are the value propositions in the industry you propose to enter highly branded?
- How strong is the brand loyalty in the industry you are proposing to enter?
Absolute Cost Advantages are when an established venture has an insurmountable cost advantage, meaning that new entrants cannot possibly hope to match the incumbent companies’ lower cost structure. Absolute cost advantages can arise from: 1) superior production operations and processes due to access to unique assets (i.e. patents, copyrights, or fertile farmland), 2) accumulated skill and expertise, 3) exclusive or relatively favorable control of their value propositions’ inputs (labor, materials, equipment, or management skill), and 4) access to cheaper capital due to their lower business risk when compared to a new market entrant. Also, access to superior distribution channels could be considered an absolute cost advantage. If established companies have absolute cost advantages, then the threat of entry as a competitive force will be weaker.
A new market entrant must be especially careful in attempting to directly compete with entrenched industry competitors that have absolute cost advantages. If a new entrant enters an industry where there are established competitors who have lower cost structures, the established firms can lower the price of their value propositions to eliminate the new entrant. This could erase any ability for the new market entrant to ever earn a profit. If this threat is credible, it can be a barrier of entry for new market entrants.
- Do the major competitors in the industry you are proposing to enter possess absolute cost advantages? If so, will you be able to acquire these absolute cost advantages before you begin directly competing with them?
- If the major competitors within the industry you are proposing to enter possess absolute cost advantages over your business idea, are there any steps or actions you can take to mitigate those absolute cost advantages?
Customer switching costs are the time, energy, and money necessary for them to switch from the value propositions offered by an established company to those of a new market entrant. If switching costs are high, customers will be unlikely to change even if the new product is superior to other market substitutes and alternatives. An example would be the switching costs associated with leaving the Microsoft Windows operating system or the QWERTY keyboard. Other value propositions in the market may be better/faster, but consumers often find themselves resistant to change because the time or hassle of switching to a better product or service proves prohibitive.
K ey Questions:
- In the industry you are proposing to enter, do the value propositions the industry produces have high switching costs? If they do, can you think of a way your business idea can mitigate this obstacle?
- If the industry you are proposing to enter doesn’t typically have high switching costs, can you think of a way for your business to raise the switching costs for your proposed value propositions?
Government regulations create politically and legally defined barriers of entry for many industries. Government regulations can increase barriers of entry for market entrants and potentially reduce competition. An example would be food safety regulations or anti-pollution laws. Also, in industries where economies of scale are a powerful force, the absence of regulations can lead to an intense concentration of market share in the hands of a few firms. This can create barriers of entry that are extremely difficult for a new market entrant to overcome. To sum up, high regulation within an industry usually leads to higher barriers of entry, but not always.
- Does the industry you propose to enter require government licenses or strict adherence to statutory codes (construction, health care, lending money, real estate rental, restaurant & food preparation…)?
- To what degree are the industry’s regulations beneficial to the incumbent industry competitors?
Below is a chart that summarizes how the six types of barriers of entry affects industry attractiveness from both the perspective of a new market entrant and an industry incumbent.
Estimating Market Size
Estimating the size of the market you want to enter is the first critical step in testing the feasibility of your business idea. This is a lot like cliff diving. If you are going to jump off a cliff into a pool of water far below, it’s a really good idea to know beforehand just how deep the water is. If you jump without finding out (or at least making an educated guess based on objective facts), you run the very real risk of getting hurt. Bad.
The first order of business in determining the sizes of the various market types for your business idea’s value proposition(s) is to correctly define the parameters of the market types you are trying to measure. This may sound rather simple, but it is honestly the hardest and most frustrating part of this process. Estimating a market size is the epitome of the phrase “garbage in – garbage out.” If you incorrectly define the boundaries of the type of market you are trying to size up, your entire estimate (and the basis for all of your future financial projections) won’t really be worth the paper it is printed on.
So, creating a quality market size estimate that’s based upon good, logical assumptions, is the first step in determining if your business idea can support a potentially successful business model. To make a quality market size estimate, you should roughly measure the size of each relevant market type for your business idea’s value propositions. By understanding the rough size of each of these market types, you can roughly gauge how much revenue (based upon your market share assumptions) your business idea could generate in the present and going forward into the future. Determining which market types to estimate the size of depends upon the type of market your business idea is attempting to serve. These general market types are Defined Exiting Markets, Cloned Markets, Re-segmented Markets, or a New Markets.
A market is a group of customers that have the willingness to buy a particular type of value proposition. When determining the size of the markets for your proposed business idea’s value proposition(s), you may use all or some combination of the following market type definitions.
- Examples: the car market (supplied by the car industry), the personal computer market (supplied by the personal computer industry), and the athletic shoe market (supplied by the athletic shoe industry).
- Examples: the total market for electric cars, the total market for tablet computers, the total market for running shoes.
- Examples: the market for electric cars in the United States sold through dealerships, the market for android compatible tablet computers sold through big box stores, the market for athletic shoes sold through e-commerce websites .
- The TM is comprised of one or more customer segments , each of which are offered a unique value proposition by your proposed business idea. For a comprehensive explanation of what comprises a customer segment, please refer to the following section.
- The TM is a measurement dependent upon the definition and size of the SAM (because it is a portion of the SAM), but independent of the SOM. Both the TM and the SOM are portions of the SAM that measure different things.
- Examples: Upper-middle class, educated, ecologically conscious automobile customers, early adopter electronics consumers who use their personal computers and laptops mostly for entertainment and not work, high school and college athletes who buy high performance running shoes to gain an edge on their competition.
- Like the TM, the SOM is dependent upon the definition and size of the SAM, but is independent of the TM. Both the TM and the SOM are portions of the SAM that measure different things.
- Examples: the portion of the market for electric cars sold in the United States through dealerships that your business idea can realistically capture, the portion of the android compatible tablet computer market in the United States sold though big box stores that your business idea can realistically capture, the portion of the market for high performance running shoes for athletes in the United States that are sold through ecommerce websites that your business idea can realistically capture.
For practical purposes, you can think of both the SOM and TM as a portions of the SAM, the SAM as a portion of the TAM, and the TAM as a portion of the TID. Both the SOM and TM are separate business concepts that measure different things. The SOM estimates your proposed value proposition’s penetration of the SAM. The TM estimates the size of the group of people for whom your proposed value proposition is specifically designed for.
I know, it’s a lot of acronyms to keep straight. But estimating the sizes of the TIM, TAM, SAM, TM and SOM are important for determining if the market size for your business idea’s value proposition(s) can support your entrepreneurial ambitions and business goals. The following are three generalizations – rule-of-thumb explanations – of what market sizes are necessary to support a particular business type, development path and outcome.
This type of company is usually entering a cloned, re-segmented, blue ocean or new market, or a defined existing market with a new product. They usually seek traditional angel investor and venture capital funding. Rapid scalability an achieving high market share is the key to this type of company. Often the founders of scalable, high growth companies have either an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or the sale of the company to a Fortune 500 corporation as their exit strategy .
These companies require a SAM large enough to support potential company EBITDA (after the company has successfully scaled its operations) of at least somewhere between $10 million to $20 million per year. Publically traded companies, on average, often trade for 10x their annual EBITDA or greater. This, depending upon the company’s industry and whether or not its founders and investors want it to have an IPO, would probably put the company’s valuation at greater than $100 million. A $100 million valuation is a safe rough estimate for whether a company will be able to both afford to go public and financially benefit from an IPO.
So, armed with these rough guidelines, to create a scalable, high growth company that proposes to enter an industry with a 10 percent average EBITDA and capture 10 percent of that industry’s market share, would need to at least generate $100 million per year in revenue ($10 million per year in EBITDA divided by the industry EBITDA average of 10 percent). To achieve this annual EBITDA target and a 10 percent SAM penetration, the overall SAM size would need to be $1 billion ($100 million per year in revenue divided by a 10 percent penetration of the market by the company).
This type of company can be entering a Defined Existing Market, Cloned Market, Re-segmented Market, or Blue Ocean Market. They do not enter New Markets with New Products due to the incredible amount of time, business risk and resources that would be required. These businesses usually seek capital from the founders, founders’ friends and family, non-bank lenders, bank and institutional lenders, and some angel investors. Rapid scalability is usually not a primary goal for these business ventures. They often prioritize strong, stable profits and cash flow for their owners above all else. Exit strategies for these companies’ founders include selling the company to a third party such as another privately held business or private equity group, passing on the business to heirs, or simply holding on to the business. These types of businesses often make excellent cash cows.
Successful, mid-sized privately held businesses are usually valued between $5 million and $50 million. These businesses, as a rough rule of thumb and depending upon the industry, are usually valued at 3x to 5x their average yearly EBITDA. So, a $30 million dollar privately held business would need an average yearly EBITDA of between $6 and $10 million per year ($6 million per year if the business valuation ratio would be 5x; $10 million if the business valuation ratio would be 3x).
Lifestyle businesses are undertaken by entrepreneurs who want to create their own jobs and/or to support the conscious lifestyle choices of the entrepreneur (hobbies, schedules, living location…). This type of company usually solely enters Defined Existing Markets. Many, if not most, of the entrepreneurs who start lifestyle businesses do not begin their business ventures with any particular exit strategy in mind. Instead, the primary financial goal of these entrepreneurs is usually to generate enough cash flow to support their lifestyle needs. These businesses usually seek capital from the founders, bootstrap financing, and the founders’ friends and family. Rapid scalability is usually not a primary goal for these business ventures.
The market size necessary to support a lifestyle business really depends upon the needs and wants of each individual entrepreneur. The variables used to determine a rough estimate of the minimum market size needed to support a lifestyle business are: 1) the entrepreneurs’ desired minimum yearly EBITDA (include the entrepreneurs’ salaries in with EBITDA), 2) the average EBITDA ratio for a firm competing within the industry you are proposing to enter, and 3) the entrepreneurs’ assumption of how much of their proposed business idea’s SAM they will be able to capture.
For example, if an entrepreneur’s goal is to earn at least $120,000 (in EBITDA and salary) from the lifestyle business per year, the average EBITDA ratio for the proposed business idea’s industry is 15 percent of annual revenue, and the entrepreneur assumes she can capture 10 percent of the SAM she proposes to enter, then the minimum necessary SAM size needed to support the business venture would be $8 million ($120,000 divided by a 15 percent EBITDA ratio divided by a 10 percent SAM penetration equals $8,000,000).
The following chart summarizes the rule-of-thumb market size needs of the business types analyzed above:
Targeting a specific audience is most effective strategy when creating a marketing campaign. The more specific of a customer base a campaign can reach, the more dollars per potential customer a campaign will make. This is why companies will allocate a large amount of resources in order to find the audience that they are looking for. By doing this, you can create a marketing budget as effectively as possible and maximize your results. Knowing or choosing exactly who you are getting your message to has proven to be the most effective method of forming a marketing campaign. Once you have identified your target audience, the hard part is figuring out how to reach it. Below, we will discuss ways to do so.
The goal of any marketing campaign is to give the most amount of information about a product or service to the prospective customer possible. The more the customer knows, the more likely they are to take action. The more that is known about that customer, the more likely it is that you can communicate that information effectively. Using information about your customer base will help you make connections that they can relate to and in turn, they will be more likely to respond to your campaigns call to action.
There are four main ways that are commonly used in identifying targeted markets.
Geographic: This includes the location, the geographical size and makeup of the area and other environmental factors such as climate.
Demographics: This includes age, gender, income, average family size, average education, and the types of jobs that are in the geographic area.
Psychographics: This involves factors such as the personality that you area tends to take on, what and how people behave that live in that area and also factors that will affect the way your potential customers will use your product or service. Will they use it often not so often? Is it a necessity or luxury?
Behaviors: This has more to do with how your potential customers will react to things such as price changes and price points, how they will react based on what information is given to them, and what types of marketing campaigns they are most likely to respond favorably to. All of these factors can be used to help determine how a population will respond to a specific marketing campaign. Likewise, you can a marketing campaign that will increase conversions based on the information gathered above.
One of the fundamentals of marketing focuses on the benefits to cost trade-off. Understanding how customers will weigh the potential benefits of a product or service versus the costs to obtain that product or service is critical when designing a marketing campaign. Ask yourself, how will your customer gain monetarily or in other ways from purchasing your product or service? Though it is not always achievable, satisfying this is the most effective ways to create sales.
To better understand how they will you this trade-off, ask yourself the following questions.
- How much will it save them? Is this a product that can potentially pay for itself?
- Are there any intangible benefits to this particular product or service that a customer may ignore or find appealing?
- Will this product or service save the customer money, time, effort, or resources?
- Will it increase the customer’s income, investments, future, or personal relationship will it reduce a customer’s expenses, taxes, liabilities, or work?
- Will it improve that customer’s abilities, productivity, appearance, confidence or peace of mind?
Understanding the effect that your product or service will have on the customer will serve as an invaluable tool when designing an effective marketing campaign.
As mentioned in the beginning, understanding, identifying and reaching a target audience is the most effective way creating a marketing campaign that will give you the best results possible relative to the budget and time you are allotted. Ignoring these factors can costs you money and can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful marketing campaign.
It’s important to define the nature of your involvement, in both depth and scope, in the business you are founding. An entrepreneur’s involvement in his own business can range from being a full-time manager/employee (active ownership) to that of a hands-off investor (passive ownership).
An active owner materially participates in the day-to-day activities of the business. Most business owners and entrepreneurs actively participate in their businesses in some way, shape or form. Many work full-time in their businesses as employee/managers, drawing both a paycheck and profits (if there are any).
The definition of a passive owner is a little trickier to nail down. A passive business owner does not participate in the day-to-day activities of the business he or she owns. The IRS states that passive income can only come from two possible sources: rental activities or “ trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate .” Within the context of entrepreneurial endeavors some examples of passive income are:
- Earnings from a business from which you, an owner, are not required to be directly involved with (neither labor nor day-to-day management)
- Rent from either tangible personal property or real estate
- Royalties from intellectual property (patent, copyright, trademark…)
Receiving passive income is delightful. The hard part is usually accumulating enough assets in the first place to begin receiving passive income from them (rents or passive business activities). Examples, where an entrepreneur can derive passive income from her investments, are:
- A landlord rents an apartment building to tenants and uses a real estate management company to collect rents and make repairs.
- A passive investor invests capital into a partnership where others manage the business, and in return for his contribution of capital, the passive investor receives a portion of the business’s profits.
- An entrepreneur builds a successful business from scratch. She then hires a manager to manage the day-to-day affairs of the business. She then receives the profits from her business even though she is no longer actively involved in it.
Most entrepreneurs who start businesses have one of two basic plans for their involvement in their enterprises.
1. The entrepreneur(s) plan to be heavily involved in the lean startup plan and operations over a period of a couple of years. Then, at some undetermined point in the future, they plan to hire a manager and then run the company as a passive investment.
2. The entrepreneur(s) are essentially creating a job for themselves. They plan on working in the enterprise as an open-ended, long-term committment.
Starting and/or running a business is a complex and daunting task. Identifying both potential roadblocks and opportunities well in advance is essential for businesses of any size to outmaneuver the competition and gain a foothold as a dominant market leader. But over one-half of all new businesses will fail within five years of their founding. The vast majority of all new businesses never achieve the financial success originally envisioned by the founders. These new businesses and start-ups begin with energetic enthusiasm, but unfortunately, many business plans fall short due to various reasons: lack of capital, a flawed business strategy, unrealistic expectations, or they lack the people with the required skills and expertise to succeed.
Business plans may be required for any number of reasons. Here are a few of the most common business plan needs.
- To Obtain Debt Financing . A company may be required by a bank or other financial institution to provide a detailed, professional business plan in order to secure debt financing. Examples would be bank business loans or a line of credit.
- To Obtain Equity Financing . Start-ups and other new businesses often must sell equity (stock or membership units) to investors to raise capital for new business ventures. Investors can range from friends and family to angel investors to venture capital firms.
- For Internal Company Planning . Companies often need business plans to compare the relative viability between competing potential business projects. This can give those companies a clearer perspective on where to invest limited resources within the organization.
- Joint Ventures and Partnerships . When entering a strategic JV or partnership with another firm, a business plan works to outline the objectives of the two firms working in tangent.
- Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Divestiture . Detailed plans are needed when businesses change hands in order to help new owners see details in the industry and the enterprise itself. An expert plan can also serve as part of the marketing material to get the business sold.
The reasons for creating a business plan can be as varied as the businesses themselves. Each plan requires a unique approach to the industry you are in, the market you intend to serve, and your financial needs. That’s where we come in.
Creating a professional business plan can help mitigate these risks, raise capital from potential investors and put the company on the path to success. A good business plan helps to focus an entrepreneur’s mind on accomplishing the tasks necessary to make his or her business succeed. A business plan is not a static document. It is a logical series of informed assumptions that are relevant at the time the plan is written. As soon as market and industry conditions begin to change (which usually happens about five minutes after the plan is written), the plan begins becoming obsolete. For the entrepreneur, the value in the business plan isn’t necessarily the plan itself. Instead, its real value lies in the process – the research, thought and inquiry – in creating it.
We will work with you from start to finish to create a professional business plan that will help you accomplish your objectives. We will ask the necessary questions, help you find the answers, and organize your ideas into a coherent plan. From researching your market and industry to producing realistic, justifiable pro forma financial statements (cash flow, income statements & balance sheet), we will craft a document that can help you accomplish your business objectives.
So your business needs a plan. The question is, what kind of plan does it need? Please check out our business plan menu options and pricing here.
Business Plan Review & Evaluation
If you already have a business plan and would like to have it reviewed by a professional business plan consultant, then this is the right service for you. We will review and critique your business plan with an investor’s eye, scrutinizing it for financial errors, grammatical errors, and weak or unrealistic assumptions. We will also point out what you did right. Our business plan review service is an efficient and affordable way to ensure that your business plan is as good as it can be. Our business plan review services are provided at a substantial discount to our normal hourly rates. Depending on your needs and budget, we offer three levels of business plan review services:
– We will spend 2 and 1/2 hours reviewing your materials. We will then provide a written evaluation and critique your plan and financial model.
– We will spend 30 minutes consulting with you on the telephone, answering any questions you may have and offering additional guidance.
– Optional: if you have made any changes to your business plan, based upon the evaluations and critiques we made in our first examination of your materials, we can offer subsequent reviews of the improvements you have made to your plan. In these subsequent reviews, we will spend up to 2 hours examining your materials again.
– Flat Rate Price: $297 for first review; $147 for subsequent reviews
- Once you place your order, we will provide instructions for sending us your business plan. Your plan must be sent to us in Microsoft Word format so we can use the Track Changes feature).
- Your review will generally take place within 3-5 business days of you sending us your business plan.
- When our review of your business plan is complete, we will send you the redlined/track changes version of your business plan with our critiques and suggestions.
- After you receive your reviewed/critiqued version of your business plan, we will work with you to schedule a mutually convenient time for the telephone portion of the review service.
- Optional Subsequent Reviews: After you make changes to the critiqued version of your business plan that we sent you, you may send us your new version for further critiques/comments. Please allow 3-5 business days to complete the evaluation.
– All information you provide will be treated confidentially.
– Fees are payable in advance and are non-refundable. If you decide you no longer want a business plan review after you have made payment, we will provide an equivalent amount of consulting firm services of your choosing (3 hours for the Standard Evaluation and Review).
– Once you submit your plan for review, please allow two business days to schedule an initial discussion so that we can understand your needs and tailor our review for your specific situation. This allows us to make sure you get the most out of this process.
– Depending on our existing workload, please allow up to 5 business days for us to complete the review following this initial discussion.
– All reviews are provided on a best efforts basis. You are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the information in your business plan (and related materials).
– You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold us harmless from and against all third party claims, losses, or damage which we incur and which arise from or are attributable to our role in this business plan review.
We believe that we have the most transparent and customer friendly pricing strategy on the market.
For someone writing their first business plan, even for simple small businesses, the process can take upwards of 100 hours of time. Often, it takes more than 200 hours . For complex business plans (business plans for unproven business models and undefined markets), the process can often take more than 400 hours. Because we have considerable experience and skill at writing plans, we estimate that, on average, that we can complete an average business plan (depending upon its type, audience and complexity) in the range of 30 to 120 hours.
The range between 30 and 120 hours depends upon three general factors that contribute to a business plan’s complexity. The first factor is whether the plan is for a new business or a business already in existence, The second factor is whether the business’s industry and market are well defined (for example: dry cleaners, dollar stores, organic vegetable farms, family restaurants…) or if the market or industry is new and untested. The third factor is who is the audience for the business plan: equity investors, debt lenders or the internal management of an existing business.
Note: unless your business idea is exploiting a new market or market niche, or offering customers a product or service that is radically different from what is currently offered to the market, then only on rare occasions will your business plan require longer than 70 hours to complete.
From three factors above, we can generally estimate the average number of hours the plan will take to complete, and therefore we can charge a base flat fee for the project. We Our base flat fee rates are the product of our estimated number of hours times our business plan writing hourly rate. For our business plan writing, we charge $75 per hour.
The business plans we produce fall into the following six general categories:
But often, due to unseen factors (a change in the business plan format scope and direction), a plan may take longer than the anticipated range. Often project extensions occur when it becomes necessary to modify or change the focus of the business plan due to unforeseeable factors (i.e. new market research, assumptions are proven wrong, the founders choose to shift or expand the scope of the business…). So, if your business plan takes longer than the anticipated number of hours to produce, we will charge you at only $20 per hour beyond the original estimated time frame.
This ensures the following:
– By using our pricing formula (flat fee plus $20 per hour beyond the estimated project timeframe) versus using only a fixed billable hour rate, we mitigate any incentive to “run the meter” and unnecessarily inflate the price of your solid business plan. Our goal is to maximize our income per hour for each plan that we produce. Therefore, if we end up going beyond the project’s estimated timeframe, this means we will be working at a significant discount ($20 per hour after the end of the project’s initial timeframe estimate).
– We use our pricing formula also gives us some measure of protection against unforeseen changes to the project’s scope or direction. Creating a lean business plan is a dynamic process. Information discovered or uncovered during the plan writing process can change the focus, scope and goals of the project. Also, by charging a modest hourly rate beyond a predetermined period, helps to focus and frame exactly what you want in your business plan.
– Ultimately, our system encourages both you and us to remain disciplined, efficient and to maximize the value of each other’s time.
For example: You task us with writing a Type 1 business plan. The project takes 50 hours to complete because the scope changed in the middle of the project. Under these circumstances, the final price for the project would be the Type 1 business plan flat fee ($2,250) plus $20 per hour for every hour spent on the project over 30 hours (20 hours x $20/hour = $400). Therefore, the final complete price for the project would be $2,650 ($2,250 + $400 = $2,650).
- One half (50%) of the project’s flat fee price is required to be paid up front.
- 30% of the project flat fee is due upon completion of the business plan’s Executive Summary (the last plan component to be completed).
- Upon completion of the business plan’s final draft and its approval by the client, the remaining 20% of the project’s flat fee is due plus any extra hourly charges if the project goes beyond its initially estimated time.
Preparing an expert business plan can be extremely time-consuming. While the process of mastering and completing your plan may be helpful in understanding the business dynamics, corporate strategy and overall financial and marketing model, it can take you away from operational support that is vital for day-to-day operations. That is where our business planning services come into play. We help business owners in crafting expert MBA-level business plans for internal management buy-in as well as external business funding needs.
Companies often create business plans to obtain financing from venture capitalists, private equity groups and angel investors. Your particular plan will be dependent on the industry you play in, the financing you are seeking to obtain and your overall strategy for execution. Finding the key strengths, knowing potential flaws and being conversant with competitive forces in the industry are only a few of the necessary components of your completed plan. In other words, a full SWOT analysis may be necessary.
Regardless of whether you write a business plan yourself or outsource it to one of the expert members of our qualified MBA team, it is helpful to have a second pair of eyes to edit and provide constructive feedback. You plan and pitch will help to make or break your financing efforts. Don’t skimp on quality. You need to show off your financial health.
Being conversant in finance is certainly not a requirement to operate or be successful in business. Having great financials, including thoughtful projected and proforma financial statements is a must for any entrepreneur seeking to secure funding or internal management buy-in. We help to craft properly-structured financial plans for your business using historical data and realistic assumptions.
Obtain financing for your business with an professionally crafted financial plan as part of your overall strategy.
Business plans are great, but execution is the name of the game. Without a proper marketing plan coupled with flawless execution, your business may eventually disappear.
We work directly with the entrepreneurs themselves to craft detailed, specific and attainable goals and strategies to take your product or service to market. For the seasoned entrepreneur, this may be “old hat,” but having an expert business plan consultant in your corner is helpful to the proper execution of your overall strategy. While there are many business plan software providers on the market, you will still need the human-touch element to really make business plan sing.
If you are seeking funding from any number of sources or simply need help crafting a plan to help you take your business to the next level, we can help. Contact us today to find out more.
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