by Kurt Frohlich, president of Apex Performance Solutions
Why think about starting a business NOW? Because it’s an effort that requires lots of planning; so take the opportunity today to start the process and be ready to launch your business when all of this is behind us.
The company description provides key details about what the company is all about and answers these questions: What problem are you solving? What do you want to accomplish? Who are your customers? What makes your company different?
Company Name and Location
What is your business’ name? Where will you physically be located?
Company Mission Statement
A mission statement is a brief explanation of your company’s reason for being:
Doggie Tales is a dog daycare and grooming salon specializing in convenient services for urban pet lovers. Our mission is to provide service, safety and a family atmosphere, enabling busy dog owners to spend less time taking care of their dog’s basic needs and more time having fun with their pet.”
In general, it’s best to keep your mission statement to one or two sentences.
Company Philosophy and Vision
What values does your business live by? Honesty, integrity, fun, innovation and community are values that might be important to your business philosophy.
Vision refers to the long-term outlook and strategy for your business. What do you ultimately want it to become? For instance, your vision for your doggie day-care center might be to become a national chain, franchise, or to sell to a larger company.
Specify your long and short-term goals as well as any milestones or benchmarks you will use to measure your progress. For instance, if one of your goals is to open a second location, milestones might include reaching a specific sales volume or signing contracts with a certain number of clients in the new market.
Products / Services and Target Market
This section includes an overview of what you will sell and to whom. This will be elaborated later in the Marketing Plan section.
Describe your industry and what makes your business competitive: Is the industry growing, mature or stable? What is the industry outlook long and short-term? How will your business handle projected industry changes and trends? What might happen to your competitors and how will your business successfully compete?
Is your business a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or corporation? Why did you choose your business type?
If there is more than one owner, explain how ownership is divided. If you have investors, explain the percentage of shares they own. This information is important to investors and lenders.
If you’re preparing a formal written business plan, here are some additional tips:
- Be clear and concise. The details come later in other Business Plan sections.
- Allow your voice and passion to come through.
- Check for wordiness and “passive” voice, and re-word to be more “active”.
- The ball was kicked by the player = passive
- The player kicked the ball = active
- Have others proof-read it. They will find typos and grammar issues you missed.
Kurt Frohlich has been a SCORE mentor since 2017, and was the President of Apex Performance Solutions, the Co-Director of the non-profit TechIsGood, and owned and operated a local restaurant called Wings ‘N’ Things.