The Company Description section of your Biz Plan is where you are going to describe, concisely, who you are, what you do, who you serve, and where your business fits in the grand scheme of things. It sounds like a tall order, and it is. However, this section of your business plan should not be long and drawn out, especially if you are seeking financing. It should be a snapshot of your business. An investor wants you to get the point and they will decide if they want to read the rest of your plan to get all of the juicy details. So make it good, but get to the point! If you are using your Biz Plan for your own purposes only, this is a great section to refer to when people ask you, “So, what is your business all about?”
1. Industry Overview
Present a general overview of your industry such as current trends, new technology that is being used, and challenges that face the industry as a whole. Where is the industry headed in the future? Why is this industry important to the market? Where does your business fit in? Use factual data from reputable sources to back up your findings. This is where your research will begin. (Oh, you just wait, honey. There will be plenty more research to come!)
2. Company Overview
Provide the basic info about your business, such as business name, location, hours of business, legal setup (sole proprietor, LLC, etc.) as well as the business structure. Are you a wholesaler, retailer, manufacturer, or service provider? Do you have employees or will you be working mostly with independent contractors? Are you a new business or already established?
3. How Do You Make Your Money, Honey?
What are you selling and who are you selling it to? Be specific! What are the products and services you sell? How will it be distributed? Are you selling online or do you have a brick and mortar business? Who exactly is your target (niche) customer? What is your Unique Selling Position (USP), the thing you offer that your competitors do not? Be specific about what sets you apart from the rest.
4. Let Your Light Shine
Who are the key members of your team and why are they so special? What outside companies will be your key vendors, suppliers, and support? Who on your management team is a huge asset? Highlight the experience and skills you and your team bring the table. For example, one of the reasons I am so special to Mz. Rachel’z Place is because I am my ideal client. What is the history of your company? When do you start the business and why? What void does your company fill?
5. What Does The Future Hold?
What are your current and future goals for your business? How will your products and services evolve over time? What are your short and long term goals? Do you have an expansion plan? Do not confuse this with your Vision Statement. A good way to approach this is thinking about what your customer will want or need 5 years from now and how you can supply it.
The Company Description is the last part of your Biz Plan that is in “summary” format (with the exception of the Executive Summary, which is written last, but appears first – weird, I know, but it will make sense later). The rest of the plan goes into detail and gets down to the nitty gritty. Do not let this scare you off! I have clients who come to me with half written business plans because the research was so overwhelming. Look at it as a way to learn your industry inside and out and let’s make it fun!
This is YOUR Biz Plan. You can make it as technical or as whimsical as you want. Obviously, if your are seeking funding, there will be a particular structure and standard you will need follow to present your Business Plan. But to get started on something YOU can use every day, the important thing is to get all of the pieces down on paper and think it all through. Just be sure not to turn the one you wrote in scented markers to the bank! Stay tuned to learn how to write the next section: Products and Services.
Until next time,
Rachel Henderson is a single mompreneur who helps other single mothers turn their pass ion into profit, while maintaining their home. She has over 20 years experience in accounting and business, and is now focused on spreading entrepreneurship among young single mothers. Her hobbies include cooking, shopping, and making gift baskets. She lives and plays with her three boys in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Her faith and the love of her family keeps her motivated every day. For more information visit www.mzrachelzplace.com.