Basics of the Business Plan No. 13

July 29, 2021 Published by Thomas Cullen

The Executive Summary is the first thing a reader will see but it the last that you will write when all other elements of the business plan have been completed. The quality of your executive summary will determine the opinion of any reader of it.

A good Executive Summary includes four key elements about your business:

  • Describe your business, product, or services.
  • Current market positioning & targeting.
  • Financial assumptions, outlook & funding requirements.
  • Past achievements & SMART goals for the future.

However, the most important function that a great Executive Summary serves is communicating to the reader why they should read the rest of the business plan, and why you want them to.


Business Overview

In this section of the business plan, you should explain precisely:

  • Why your business exists?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you do what you do?
  • Who are you customers?
  • When do you sell and?

Where do you sell?

What are the compelling reasons why the business will succeed in an extremely competitive environment? What are the market dynamics that provide a business opportunity?

Also outline how you compare to others in the marketplace and the goods or services they provide.  Explain how you will compete and on what terms can you excel.

Within this section you should state your Vision, Mission and Values.


  • Outline the good and services you will provide
  • Profile your target market and any current customers
  • What is the structure of your business management?
  • Who are your suppliers and professional advisors?
  • What WOW factor do you have?
  • What is your value proposition in terms of benefits, features and advantages over the competition?

Sales & Marketing Strategy

This requires a deep understanding of your marketplace and how your business positions itself and how you will compete with existing players.


  • For your target market specify – its size, existing and emerging trends, and your projected market share.
  • Asses your market opportunity – how will you attract your target market and why, Use Michael Porter’s Five Forces
  • Use a SWOT Analysis
  • What is your Pricing, Promotion, Product and Place strategy?
  • Are you B2B or B2C company?
  • Provide a customer profiles to describe exactly who you are going to target.
  • Research you Key Competitors direct and indirect.
  • Explain how your business is different from your competitors
  • Provide details of your Marketing Plan & Budget you will use to promote your business.
  • Give an overview of your brand and your communication elements that support it.
  • Pricing and explain your pricing strategy.
  1. Operations & Management

Give an overview of the people and processes of your operations and what competitive advantages do you have so that you can successfully realise the business opportunity.

Focus on two main points:

Operational Plan –all day-to-day operations of the business.

You should include, Production or Service Delivery; Quality Control; Inventory; Suppliers; Credit policies; Legal environment; and location.

Organisational Structure –Provide a list of the people involved, experience and their roles in the business use an organisation chart.  Also include any third party advisors and non-executive directors.

  1. Financial Plan

Be realistic but stretch your projections, budgets and goals that are unique to each business. Explain your assumptions on which you based your forecasts. Every good Financial Plan will include:

  • Profit & Loss Projections
  • Cash Flow Statement & Forecast
  • Breakeven Analysis – a cornerstone of your business.
  • Capital Requirements.

And finally, you need a supporting appendix of materials.


There are many more chapters to the business plan which may be added in but only after you have completed the above to create a robust foundation to your plan.

Looking forward to hearing from you, book a free introductory online mentoring session

Thomas Cullen Founder and C.E.O.

Email me at is here to assist, help, and guide your journey from idea to success when starting or developing a small business like a Sherpa would help you ascend to the summit of Mt. Everest. We guide you in what you need to do and help you with how to do it.


Copyright: January 2021


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