CITY NOTES: Business plan competition deadline approaching

By Tim Fox, Executive Director, Charles City Economic Development Corp.

The Charles City Area Development Corporation 2018 Business Plan Competition deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, July 2. You may drop off your business plan or mail to 401 North Main Street, Charles City, Iowa 50616. Or you may email it to me at  Residents of Floyd County and Nashua are eligible to submit.

We are seeking startup or existing businesses wishing to expand, add a new product line or new process of doing business. There is one grand prize, that being $2,500.

Tim Fox
Tim Fox

The key to a successful business plan is to know your project inside and out. This simplifies the business plan writing process and virtually makes it second nature to write the Plan.

You should also realize that it is oftentimes much simpler to make/sell a product or service than it is to manage a business. Being a successful businessperson requires much hard work and preparation.

Here are the components of a legitimate business plan:

1.  Executive Summary: Highlights key points of the business plan. Clearly states what you are asking for.

2.  Company Analysis: Strategic overview of the new or existing company. This includes business legal structure, products and services and opportunities in the marketplace.

3.  Industry Analysis: Evaluates market size, trends and barriers.

4.  Analysis of Customers and Competition: Outlines customer demographics and who the customers are.

5.  Marketing Plan: Strategy for market penetration. This details how the company proposes to introduce its products and at what price points.

6.  Design and Development Plan: Taking the concept from idea to reality.

7.  Operations Plan: Describes who will do what in the company.

8.  Management Team: Demonstrates the company has sufficient human capital to be successful.

9.  Financial Plan: Assesses how much money the company will make in the future, how much money it needs and for what, including three-year pro forma income statements, balance sheets and cash flow projections.

10.  Appendices: Financial spreadsheets and legal documents.

Writing a business plan is really not that difficult! Keep it brief and readable and concise. A sound Business Plan will serve you in the future as you operate your business.