Business Plan Tutorial

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Industry Analysis A good way to open this section is with a brief industry analysis.

An industry is a group of businesses that manufacture, distribute, or sell similar projects or services.

The products and services section is a concise description of what the business will sell or deliver to the customer.

Business Concept The business concept section gives the reader the big picture about what the business will do and how it will succeed.

Also cite or footnote all major data sources so the reader will be able to judge how dependable the data are.

For some businesses in some industries, an extensive industry analysis may be required.The business description includes two sections with both required and optional content.The business concept section includes an industry analysis, the mission statement, business goals, business model, and, project objectives (optional).For example, recently we critiqued a business plan for an expansion of a grocery store chain into a nearby city.That plan included historical and projected data on the chain's performance in its current locations, an extensive description of the grocery market in the new city, location analysis data, assessment of internal and external environmental factors (e.g., the impact of online grocery stores), and a list of assumptions upon which all the projections were based.For example, if the industry is new and unfamiliar to the reader, if the business intends to be a major player in the industry and perhaps in a business case (see Business Case Box 2).However, in most e-business plans, the industry analysis does not have to be very extensive.In the United States, the Fed Stats Web site provides access to statistical data from over 100 Federal agencies including (of interest to business plan writers) the International Trade Administration (e.g., U. Industry and Trade Outlook), the Small Business Administration, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of the Census (e.g., Statistical Abstract of the United States), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Few, if any, countries do a better job at collecting and publishing industrial data than the United States.An industry analysis defines the industry in which the business will operate (e.g., retail, information distribution, financial services) and uses reliable and objective data to show the future prospects of the industry and, by implication, the business.Sources of information for the industry analysis include research companies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Standard & Poor's Investor Services, and the Risk Management Association that publish business directories and industry surveys.

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