Business Plan Checklist

September 30, 2014

The Market, Customers, Competition, Management Team, Intellectual Property, Financial Plan

The Market
Describe the Opportunity

  • What stage is your business in – e.g. concept, development, later stages?
  • What is the market’s total size?
  • Annual growth rate?
  • What are the market segments?


  • Who Are They and What’s in it for Them?
  • Why do customers need your product or service?
  • Why will they change their present buying habits to use your product or service?
  • What is the value proposition of your product or service to your customers?
  • How will you retain your customers and encourage repeat and multiple purchases?
  • What is your plan for Customer Service?

Companies and Regulatory Issues

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Describe your competitive advantages.
  • Do you have first mover advantage?
  • Are the regulatory issues affecting your business?
  • Are there international trade and globalization considerations?

Management Team
Leaders, Managers, Workers

  • Who is on the Management Team?
  • Describe their experience, successes and failures in the industry
  • How much equity does Management have invested in the company?
  • Does Management display motivated and enthusiastic leadership?
  • What degree of confidence do you, as CEO, have that the business will be
  • How will you communicate that confidence to investors, employees, stakeholders
    and the media?

Intellectual Property
Unique Assets

  • Are there patents awarded or pending?
  • Are these patents defensible?
  • Are competitors infringing on your patent rights?
  • Does your company have breakthrough technology that could change your industry
    or create a new one?

Financial Plan – First Five Years
Revenue Outlook

Optimistic & Conservative scenarios

  • Can it be a big company?
  • What are the limiting factors to your company’s growth?
  • Show the margin analysis, including:
  • Gross margin
  • Operating Cash Flow Projections
  • Explain the use of proceeds showing complete financial projections and


  • How has the business been financed until now?
  • Who are the investors in the company?
  • How much equity do the investors and managers have?
  • How much money are you seeking in this round?

Cost Management

  • Is the business capital intensive?
  • What are the main capital expenditures over the next 5 years?
  • What systems will be used to track and control costs, e.g. IT systems &
    services, Internet tools, ASPs, etc.?

Staffing and Alliances

  • Describe the Organizational plan
  • How many people will be needed?
  • Show ramp-up over 5 years.


  • What are the measurable benchmarks for success in
  • Revenue growth
  • Customer growth
  • Expense reduction
  • Organizational expansion

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