Main Body

Business Plan Summary Outline (Printable)



  • What kind of entrepreneur are you? Innovator? Lifestyle? Income-replacement
  • What kind of business are you?
  • Disruptive Innovation? New-to-the-world Industries? Incremental Product/Service? Innovation? Copy-cat? Market Development Market Paradigm Shift?
  • Sole Proprietorship? Partnership? Corporation? S-Corporation? Non-Profit?
  • Is your business part-time or full-time work?
  • Why do you want to start this business?
  • Have you not added your entrepreneurial characteristics quizzes to talk about/discuss yourself in the business details? Remember YOU are your business, and the business identity is shaped in YOUR vision.


  • Market/Industry Lifecycle: New Market? Emerging? Growing? Mature? Declining?
  • Market/Industry Concentration: Fragmented? Consolidated?
  • Market/Industry Geographic Extent: Local, regional or national? Global?
  • Competitors: Direct? Indirect? Future Competitors?
  • Market Size: Potential Market? Total Available Market? Served Available Market? Penetrated Market?
  • Market Analysis Techniques/Tools:

PESTEL Analysis



Political factors include elements such as tax policies, changes in trade restrictions and tariffs, and the stability of governments.



Economic factors include elements such as interest rates, inflation rates, gross domestic product, unemployment rates, levels of disposable income, and the general growth or decline of the economy.



Social factors include trends in demographics such as population size, age, and ethnic mix, as well as cultural trends such as attitudes toward obesity and consumer activism.



Technological factors include, for example, changes in the rate of new product development, increase in automation, and advancements in service industry delivery.



Environmental factors include, for example, natural disasters, and weather patterns.



Legal factors include laws involving issues such as employment, health, and safety, discrimination, and antitrust.

SWOT Analysis






Your Business

Competitor 1

Competitor 2

Competitor 3

  • Value Chain: Porter’s 5 Forces – inbound logistics; operations; outbound logistics; marketing and sales; after-sales service; procurement; human resource management; technology development; firm infrastructure.
  • Why do you think this will work? What opportunity do you recognise? Is there a gap in the market? Are you bringing a totally new innovation?


  • Business Model: Low price (low cost); high differentiation; high customer focus or intimacy; Internet-based model?
  • How are you ensuring that your business has a competitive advantage?
  • What IS your competitive advantage?
  • How do you have a good business model?
  • Value Proposition
  • How your product or service will solve a problem for your target customers.
  • The benefits they can expect – tangible and intangible.
  • Why they should buy from you rather than from your competitors.


  1. Establishing a business character or identity
  2. Building and maintaining a social status or reputation
  3. Connecting with your customers


  • Marketing Mix
    • Product/service: Quality; Performance; Design; Newness or novelty; Colours; Sizes; Specifications; Customization; Packaging; Convenience.
    • Price: List Price; Discounts (volume, loyalty, etc); Auction; Negotiated; Payment Terms; Sales and Specific Offers; Differential or Segment Pricing; Reduction in cost of other products/services.
    • Promotion: Communication; Advertising; PR; Word-of-mouth; Fairs and exhibitions; Sponsorship; Competitions; Point of Sale Displays; Brand.
    • Place: Location; Layout; Distribution Channels; Retail/Wholesale; Internet; Telephone; Face-to-face selling; Accessibility.
    • People: Relationships; Service; Advice; Support; Partnerships; Convenience of use.
  • Launch Strategy;
  • Sales Tactics;
  • Communication Tools;
    • Word of mouth; Relationships and Networks; Social Networks and Media; Blogging; Guerrilla Marketing; Publicity and Public Relations; Newspaper Advertising; Radio Advertising; TV Advertising; Internet Advertising; Sponsorship; Telephone; Posters; Flyers; Billboards; Direct Mail; Email; Texting/Tweeting.
  • Minimum Viability;
  • Customer Feedback and Evaluation
  • Brand Development;
  • Competitive Reaction;
  • Product and Market Development;
    • Product Modification; Product Expansion; Product Extension; Completely New Products.
    • Star; Problem Child; Cash Cow; Cash Dog.
    • Acquisition for product and market development.
  • Growth Potential and Scale-up Plans.
    • Market Penetration; Product/Service Development; Diversification (horizontal integration, backwards vertical integration, forwards vertical integration); Market Development; Franchising.


  • Key Operating Activities (i.e. Manufacturing Processes; Business Model; etc.)
    • Sole Proprietorship; Partnership; Limited Liability or Corporation; Social Enterprise: Not-for-profit, Charities.
  • Safeguarding your business;
    • Intellectual Property Law: Patent; Trademark; Registered Design; Copyright.
  • Partnerships;
  • Business Controls;
  • IP Issues;
  • Scalability.
  • Operations Plan.
  • Gantt Chart (Link:


  • Identified Risks;
    • Pre-launch activities; Post-launch Operations.
  • Risk Monitoring and Mitigation;
    • Pre-launch Delays; Competitors; Competitive Advantage; Market; Customer Value Proposition; Product/Service quality; Customer Service; Cash Flow; Sales; Profits; Operations; Productivity; Administration; Brand Identity; IP; Technology; Investment; Stocks/Inventory; Merchandising; Debtors/Receivables; Interest rates; Exchange Rates; Management.
  • Critical Success Factors;
  • Things that are essential to get right if the business is to achieve its mission.
  • Assessing Risk: Impact; Probability; Control;
  • Strategic Options
  • Affordable loss and lean start-up; Borrowing and bootstrapping; Compartmentalizing risk; High margins and low fixed costs;
  • 3 High, 3 Medium, 3 Low
    • Risk (Medium | External): Snowstorm in winter.
    • SO: Online store.
    • M: Late opening.
    • CSF: Open communication with customers.


  • Key People; their functions and background;
  • Culture
  • Organizational processes
  • Leadership Styles: Authoritarian; Democratic; Laissez-faire;
  • Structures;
  • Controls and rewards;
  • Empowerment;
  • Routines; Rituals; Rites and Taboos
  • Stories; Symbols and Myths.
  • Cognitive Processes
  • Ethics; Beliefs; Assumptions and Attitudes;
  • Norms and Rules of Conduct.
  • Behaviours
  • How things get done: Rational v. Politicking; Following v. Bending.
  • Vocabulary: Job Titles; Slogans; Metaphors; Signals; Gossip.
  • Business Organization or Structure;
  • Spider’s Web Structure?
  • Hierarchical Structure?
  • Matrix and Teamworking Structure?
  • Directors, Advisors or Other Key Partners;
  • Skills, Gaps and Plans for filling them.


  • Human Capital
    • Staff
    • Recruiting people:
    • Job description?
    • Where do you find them?
    • What people do you need? What skills/education?
    • Full-time? Part-time? Contract?
    • Salary? Hourly? Piecework? Commission?
  • Social Resources (Strong vs Weak Networks)
    • Accountants?
    • Lawyers?
    • Business Consultants?
    • Mentors?
    • Emotional Support?
  • Financial Resources;
    • Where are you getting your money from?
      • Premises and Facilities;
      • Machinery and equipment;


  • Founder’s contribution;
  • Loan and/or equity finance requirements;
  • Gearing/leverage;
  • Timescale and exit routes for equity investors;
  • Financial Projections:
  • Income Projections;
  • Cash Flow Projections;
  • Balance Sheet Projections;
  • Key Ratios;
  • The assumptions on which your projections are based.


  • Exit options
    • Sale, Acquisition, Bankruptcy, etc.


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Business Startup and Entrepreneurship: Canada Workbook Copyright © 2021 by Dr. Matthew Pauley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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