Business Plan Guide – Page 3

3. Background Information

This section contains information about you and any partners who will be involved in running the business. You need to use it to provide details of why you are starting this business and what previous experience and qualifications you have.

You need to be honest if there are any skills that are required that you do not have. There is nothing wrong with this unless you ignore it or try to hide it. If there are gaps, you need to clearly identify how you will fill them. This may mean outsourcing certain work, taking on specialist staff or undergoing training.

Start off by explaining why you are setting up this business and what it is about you personally that is going to make it successful. This has to include any work experience you have that is relevant to the business, as well as training or qualifications you have. Provide a CV for yourself and any other people involved in your business as an appendix, so as not to clutter up this section too much. If you are mentioning qualifications for yourself or anyone else you should provide copies of certificates too.

You can also bring in interests outside your work life as these help to give a rounded picture of you and can also be relevant to the qualities you will need in business.

4. The Product/Service

This section is for the nuts and bolts of your business idea. You will either be selling some sort of product, providing some form or service, or both. You need to use this part of the business plan to explain exactly what it is you will be offering.

cheesesCheese On Market by Petr Kratochvil

One mistake people sometimes make in this area is to get too technical or take for granted an understanding of the niche you are operating in. The best starting point is to assume the reader of your plan knows nothing about your area of business and write it in such a way that it is still clear what you are proposing to do. A good test for whether you have managed to do this is to get someone who has no involvement in the business to read through it and see if they understand what you are saying.

Feel free to include images too if that helps to clarify or illustrate what it is you will be offering. Remember to explain the full range of what you will be doing. If you plan to add products or expand your services at a later date, explain that too, including what you will be adding later and why you are not providing that from day one.

Make sure that if you are talking about new products, inventions or improvements to products, that you include any information about any patent ownership. If you approach an investor for funding to develop a new product the first thing they will want to know is whether you own the patent, so make sure you answer these questions in this section if relevant.

Your Unique Selling Point

You should identify what it is that makes your proposition unique. This is very important in explaining why people will choose to buy your product or service rather than someone else’s. This has to be specific reasons, rather than vague descriptions of being ‘better’ or ‘excellent’. You need to be clear about what specifically you are going to do different to your competitors and why people will stop using them and come to you.

< Back     Next >