This section clearly identifies the long-term and short-term objectives that will contribute to the overall mission. These objectives will give the operation direction for future activity and serve as a measuring stick for the success of the operation.
What short and long term goals have been set?
List both the long term and more specific short-term goals of the company. List these goals in order of importance. Short-term goals (less than one year) should be very specific. Long-term goals may be more general. Some common goal areas include:
- Growth targets (i.e. sales, production, capacity to produce, market share)
- Product quality and service
- Research, development and adoption of the production and marketing methods
- Comparative profitability (i.e. return to owners or investors, profit/investment)
- Maintaining control over your company’s resources.
A strong management team is the key to a successful business. Investors will look for a committed management team with a balance of marketing, technical, operational and financial skills and experience. Show that your management team has these necessary skills or is making efforts to attain them.
What are the business and management skills of the key management participants?
List management personnel and the position they will fill in this business venture. Emphasize the skills and abilities each person brings to the operation.
Does your management team have direct operational or managerial experience in your business field?
If the management team has direct experience in this proposed business area, it should be stated. Support this experience by listing accomplishments related to other successful ventures.
Describe your organizational structure and include a brief description of each person’s responsibilities.
Include an organizational chart if your group is very large. It is necessary for the company to determine the relationship between the key management roles. In addition, show who has authority and responsibility for the successful completion of each business function. An organizational chart may make this area easier for you to explain and easier for the reader to understand.
What plans have been made to increase the level of expertise in management?
Address the areas where your management resources are not as strong as they should be and show how you plan to fill these gaps. Consider using other management resources such as consultants.
What consumer need(s) is not currently being met?
What do consumers want that no one is currently providing? Consumer needs may relate to things such as special features, quality levels, service, price, availability, or greater selection.
Needs are areas that you should focus on when developing your product.
Further on in the business plan you will want to show how your product meets these needs.
Who are your target market(s)?
A target market is a group of similarly described customers. Many businesses will have anywhere from one to five target markets, or groups of customers. List your target markets and describe each in detail. Include possible future target markets.
Include each target market’s common characteristics including:
- Income level
- Other factors which may influence their buying decisions
- You may also consider:
- Level of education
- Marital status
- Ethnic and religious background
Identifying your target market involves segmenting the entire market based on these common characteristics and other factors. By segmenting the market, you can focus your marketing efforts on the segment(s), which are the most likely to purchase your product.
Possible sources of information to define target market:
- Canada Business Service Centres (click on your province): www.cbsc.org
- Statistics Canada – Census Division and Subdivision Profiles: www.statcan.ca
- Canada Post – Demographic and Income Statistics for Postal Statistics
- City Planning Departments – Neighbourhood Profiles
- Provincial Health and various market research reports and trade journals.
What factors affect their decision to buy?
Consider the following factors:
- How, when and where they purchase
- The quality demanded
- Packaging requirements
- Supply requirements
- Service level demanded
- The price they are willing to pay
Other related issues
Is the market primarily domestic or foreign?
Will the greatest amount of sales occur in Canada or a foreign country? Information on foreign markets can be obtained from government agencies in other countries. For more information on international trade, contact one of the regional offices of Industry Canada (located in Regina and Saskatoon).
Will the foreign market be affected by tariffs, political instability, lack of patent protection or currency exchange?
If the greatest percentage of your sales will occur in a foreign country, be aware of the country’s importing history, as well as future trends. Countries that have trade policies that support importation of products provide a good opportunity for the Canadian exporter. Protectionist nations may not be so receptive and added tariffs may make your products uncompetitive in that country.
Clearly identify the Service area within which the Company will operate.