Investors will want to know what advantages you have over the competition and how you plan on differentiating yourself..
Competitors may not always come in the form of “direct competition,” which is when you have a competitor offering a similar solution to your offering.
There are four main chapters in a business plan—opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan.
The opportunity chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives—it includes information about the problem that you’re solving, your solution, who you plan to sell to, and how your product or service fits into the existing competitive landscape. Maybe the existing solutions to your customer’s problem are very expensive or cumbersome.
Ideally, your executive summary will be one to two pages at most, designed to be a quick read that sparks interest and makes your investors feel eager to hear more.
If you’re a shoe company, you aren’t targeting “everyone” just because everyone has feet.Investors look for great teams in addition to great ideas.Use this chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire.You’re most likely targeting a specific market segment such as “style-conscious men” or “runners.” This will make it much easier for you to target your marketing and sales efforts and attract the kinds of customers that are most likely to buy from you.If you are writing a business plan to get a bank loan or because you’re asking angel investors or venture capitalists for funding, you must include the details of what you need in the executive summary.Often times, you may be dealing with “indirect competition,” which is when consumers solve their problem with an entirely different kind of solution.For example, when Henry Ford was first marketing his cars, there was very little direct competition from other car manufacturers—there weren’t any other cars.You will also provide a quick overview of your legal structure, location, and history if you’re already up and running. Because once you know the details of your business inside and out, you will be better prepared to write your executive summary.After all, this section is a summary of everything else you’re going to write about.Your solution is the product or service that you plan on offering to your customers. How exactly does it solve the problem that your customers have?Depending on the type of business you are starting and the type of plan you are writing, you may not need to go into too much detail here.