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Anatomy of a Business Plan Part 2

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

The Saipanpreneur Project's Anatomy of a Business Plan series is designed to introduce you to, educate you about, and empower you with the knowledge to create a business plan for your own unique passion-centered business.

If your business idea is one that requires some capital (money) to launch or grow, then any investor or bank will request to see your business plan. The purpose of any good business plan, therefore, is to communicate the capabilities and talents of the principals (that’s you and other owner/partners), and the details and soundness of the strategies you will implement in order to 1. launch and grow the business, 2. achieve profitability, 3. repay any loans, and 4.reward any investors.

Last week we covered Section I. The Executive Summary. This week we'll explore section II. The Company Description. This section typically includes:

A. Legal name & structure of business

B. Mission/objectives/vision

C. Management team

D. Location and Geography

E. Company development stage

F. Trademark, Copyrights, Patent, Domain name & other legal holdings

G. Products and Services offered

H. Specialty business information

I. Financial status of company

J. Milestones achieved thus far

Remember, the goal here, as in all sections of the business plan is to impress, while you truthfully and accurately inform. While you always want to be truthful in your representation of your company, your goal is not to be pessimistic or modest either. This is your time to shine!

As you create this section of the business plan, note that much of what you write here will also appear on your future website on the “About Our Company” page. Note also, as we move through each major section, that not every section will apply to your business. Company names and ideas included in this article are all fictitious, so feel free to use any you like!

A. Legal name and structure of business

What is the legal form of ownership of your business? Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation? Why have you selected this form? Who are the company's main owners? What percentage of the company does each stakeholder own?

e.g., The Tinian Hot Pepper Export Emporium is a Limited Liability Company formed on the island of Tinian, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. All membership shares are currently owned by Bartholomew and Teresita Castro, with the intent of using a portion of the shares to raise capital. If all funds are raised, based on the pricing established in the financial section of this plan, Bartholomew and Teresita will maintain ownership of no less than 51 percent of the company.

B. Mission/objectives/vision

Here's where you can expand on the mission and goals you summarized in the Executive Summary. Many companies have a brief mission statement, usually in 30 words or fewer, explaining their reason for being and their guiding principles. Your mission can be anything you wish. It can be lofty, idealistic or extremely practical. But here's where the reader of your plan can best appreciate what you wish to accomplish.

e.g., Mission

“The long-term goal of The Chamolinian Bed and Breakfast is to become the best choice on Saipan for temporary lodging for tourists by creating a differentiated experience capitalizing on personal service, exposing the historical and cultural significance of its native population, and Saipan's unique location in one of the most attractive parts of the world. We plan to be more than a great bed and breakfast. We plan to create an environment of pampered luxury that surpasses the standard fare for Saipan. Expanding our exposure via the Internet and introducing the island to people who have not yet discovered this year-round paradise will allow us to maintain a higher than average occupancy rate and above average profits.”

You may also wish to include in this section the specific objectives related to any funding you are requesting. For example:

e.g., Objectives

- Open the Chamolinian Bed and Breakfast by January 2008

- Demonstrate a minimum of 65 percent occupancy averaged throughout year 2008.

- Increase exposure and market using Internet technology and direct advertising to Japan, Australia and specific regions of the United States.

- Through incentives and increased exposure on the Internet, we hope to increase off-season occupancy by 30 percent the first year.

- Increase off-season use by divesting into other uses for property (cater parties, receptions, weddings, etc.).

C. Management team

This, in my estimation, is one of the more important sections of the business plan. People put their faith in people. In this section, you will create a biographical summary of each key person on your management team. What facts, accomplishments and experience about each person will instill confidence in your investors or financial backers? Is the president a former business owner? Has she been recognized by community organizations for her knowledge, skill or passion? What experience does each stakeholder bring to the company? What are the management skills, and commitment levels of each of your team's key players? Are there any advisers, coaches, consultants or board of directors whose experience and input are also critical to your venture's success?

e.g., Catherine D. Hocog received her diploma in Computer Science from Northern Mariana College in 2001. Ms. Manolo spent four years in Japan, working for a major publishing company as part of their research and development department. Prior to founding the Pinoy Parent Magazine, Ms. Hocog, a mother of three, was the manager of a day care center in the Philippines.

D. Location and geography

Where is your company physically located?

e.g., Jorge's FreeFall Adventures has identified three potential locations for operations, one on each major island (Saipan, Rota, and Tinian). Once established, Jorge's FreeFall will be the only adventure travel specialist in the immediate area.

E. Company development stage

Simply state if your company is at the startup phase, early growth, seeking investors, in business for several years and poised for takeover, public offering, or about to execute its exit strategy, perhaps.

e.g., SaipanSalsa Hot Sauce, Inc. is currently in the startup phase seeking investors for purchase of manufacturing equipment.

F. Trademark, copyrights, patent, domain name & legal holdings

The legal rights of trademark, copyright and patent, which provide recourse should anyone attempt to steal or infringe on your unique ideas and creations, can be valuable assets as your business grows. So obtaining any necessary protection of these ideas is a prudent move, and also shows investors that you take the intellectual property that may be the foundation of your business very seriously.

e.g.,Northern Stream Boats has applied for a patent for our exclusive invention of a solar-powered fishing boat. The patent is pending.

G. Products and services offered

What specific products and services are you offering the world? Describe in depth (technical specifications, drawings, photos, sales brochures, and other bulky items belong in the Appendix). What factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantages? Examples include level of quality or unique or proprietary features. What are the pricing, fee, or leasing structures of your products or services? If you are in the startup phase, you might also include future products and services in this section.

e.g., #1. The Paradise Brain Storms Company offers high-tech consulting, website design, and web hosting to customers worldwide. We offer:

- Consumer consulting - to newbies who wish to join the Internet revolution.

- Corporate consulting - to companies wishing to establish Internet presence

- Market Research - for mainland companies wishing to improve their consumer-targeted marketing, especially to the Pacific islands and surrounding region.

e.g., #2. Cocomotion offers locally-made environmentally-sustainable, animal-free, vegan footwear constructed entirely out of coconuts, coconut trees and derivative products. We offer:

- The Coco-sandal (sizes 9-12 men; 5-10 women; retail: $25)

- The coco-motor walking shoes (retail price $34.00)

H. Specialty business information

Are there other unique aspects to your business? Do you create ancillary products or offer related services that can differentiate you in the market?

I. Financial status of company

What are the company's holdings? What cash on hand do you have available? Do you have a credit line established? Have you already been successful in getting investors?

e.g., Noni Madness presently has $20,000 cash on hand, which represents the investment of our founders. We have a revolving line of credit through the Bank of Saipan.

J. Milestones achieved thus far

Whether you're in the startup phase or executing your exit strategy, you may have some significant milestones in growth or recognition that might impress investors or a bank. Have you reached a specific figure in annual sales? Have you been featured in any prominent and influential industry publications? Have any celebrities endorsed your product? Have you been recognized, or had any honors conferred on you for business success, or have any principals received similar recognition?

As you see, the Company Description section, along with the Executive Summary, provides anyone who reads your plan with the best overview of what your venture and your product/service are all about and what makes them unique.

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Until next time, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!-Walt


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