Quotes from “Creating Business Plans (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)” by Harvard Business Review

Sketching out your executive summary can give you a rough idea of what you plan to say, but rewrite and polish it once you’ve finished drafting your entire business plan, paying attention to those areas that may have changed during the writing process.
An executive summary typically includes the following elements:
• A mission statement: one or two sentences that describe what your business is about, its philosophy, and your vision for its future.
• A succinct description of the industry and market environment in which your new venture will develop and flourish.
• An explanation of the unique business opportunity you’ll be
the only section your time-pressed audience may read, so the key is to present your concept passionately and lay out why you believe the business will be a resounding success, even as you acknowledge the risks and costs involved. A well-crafted executive summary will inspire your reviewers to read on.
SAMPLE COVER PAGE
To give you a better sense of how a business plan might look, this book offers a primary case. Meet TechnoExercise Corporation (“TechEx”), an imaginary, hypothetical online diet and exercise service based in Cambridge, MA. Woven throughout this book, you’ll find examples of certain sections of TechEx’s business plan that will help you understand how it fits together. This is just one sample—there are many variations, since a good business plan
customer usage is the result of poor marketing? To gain buy-in for your idea, you’d have to build a case for the technology group and other decision makers with evidence that proves that the root cause of low engagement is a design flaw, not a problem of branding or awareness.
Of course, you can’t really describe your plan and its customer focus clearly without addressing the “context” in which your business will flourish. We’ll explore that part later, in “Analyzing the business environment.”
Executive summary
The executive summary is a concise description of what your company is, where you want it to go, and why it will be successful. In just one page, it gives readers an understanding of your proposal and captures their interest in your new venture. In some cases, this is
what’s available now? And what will compel them to buy your product rather than your competitors’?
Even if you’re not trying to raise a round of venture funding and are instead trying to build a persuasive case for a new product or initiative within your company, you must make sure the business need is clear. If your investors and managers don’t agree with your explanation of the problem, they’re not going to support your venture. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re trying to solve the problem of low customer usage of your company’s mobile retail shopping app. You have an idea to redesign the app that could increase customer engagement. But what if the technologists at your company don’t think there’s anything wrong with the app? What if, instead, they believe that low cus
Describing the Opportunity
You know your idea inside and out, so it can be easy to lose sight of the details that will matter to investors when you draft your business plan. Ensure that your plan explains how your offering will help customers and places that offering within the larger business context, too.
Presenting your idea
Win readers over with a description of your idea that addresses a clear and specific business need and provides details about the larger context within which your offering will thrive.
To add customer focus to your plan, consider these questions as you define your product or service: What customer pain are you easing with your offering? What special technology, new perspective, or unique concept will you offer customers that is better than
only major events
Your exit plan, for instance, may include taking your company public, merging your business with another one, or putting your company up for sale.
Cash flow statement:
growth rates in the industry and market
transported to the end user
second, your total costs and required profit margin.
price sensitivity of your market and the market’s perceived value of your product
product development plan
four Ps” of marketing: product, price, place (distribution), and promotion.
Review your own objectives.
cost to acquire a customer against the long-term value
Determine each customer’s value
When, where, why, and how do consumers buy your product or service?
customers’ buying behavior
consider the opportunity from the perspective of the customer
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