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DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY AND INDUSTRY
Suggestions for writing this section
1. The following sections are where you elaborate and explain the information provided in the Executive Summary. Be sure to cover in more depth everything you raise in the Executive Summary.
2. Accuracy and realism are important here.
Do you know how your company and your product/services are perceived relative to competitors? Describe the areas that are rock solid and those that are shaky.
3. Write this section of the business plan first. Use it to remind yourself of where you’ve done well and what didn’t work.
Your initial draft should be thorough, with no detail left unmentioned.
Once you’ve written this, then review and edit.
4. Emphasize the accomplishment of significant objectives.
You want the business to be attractive but not “too good to be true.”
5. Don’t forget it is also important to reveal any key negatives, problems, or failures.
Every investor knows there is a downside.
Be honest about yours. It will build trust.
It shows a realistic approach to doing business.
6. It is very important that this section shows how your company is different from others.
It is also critical that you demonstrate to your investors that you have substantial evidence to support your claims.
7. If you provide a service, be certain your reader understands what that service is and how it is used by your customers.
8. Be succinct. The industry portion provides background for later portions of the plan.
Clarify market attractiveness.
Describe key success factors.
Leave elaboration for later.
Resources needed to write this section
1. A history of your company including why and how you started. Note key events.
Show key events and dates.
Consider putting it into chart form.
2. Your charter, tax papers, or incorporation papers that show the legal form you’ve chosen.
3. Have a product specification sheet or FAB (features, advantages, benefits) sheet on the product/service.
4. Be able to state your competitive advantage in a paragraph or less. If you can do it in a sentence, that’s even better. See pages 66-68.
5. A list of your objectives, preferably in quantified terms.
6. A list of key success factors, such as: price, quality, durability, dependability, technology, etc.
Be sure to identify key factors as they pertain to your product/service. A generic list is a warning flag to investors.
7. An assessment of your intangible assets.