BUSINESS PLANNING DUE DILIGENCE
– the old fashioned way!
Use this outline as a checklist. Depending upon your business, there may be more topics to cover or less. You may find that a bank or investor doesn’t require all of this information. However, it doesn’t hurt to do your due diligence and work out the details. It sets up a foundation and makes the journey easier. Keep it simple. If this is only a planning too, one line will suffice per item. Add a page in the appendix for future ideas. Note: A ‘lean startup‘ plan may be more appropriate if time is of the essence.
Start up questions:
- Why are you starting this business? What are your expectations and goals?
- What is the niche or special attraction? Why does your market need your product/service?
- How will you finance this venture? When will you turn a profit or realize ROI?
- What are the red flags?
- Is your business model flexible enough to accept change?
- Do you know all the terms used below? Take the time to learn before you jump in!
Established business questions:
- What are you looking to accomplish and why? What are your expectations and is everyone on board?
- Do you need new products/services or do you need to pivot and change the model?
- How long will it take and are you comfortable with this time-table?
- Will your current technology, equipment, and employee skill level, meet the needs for change?
- What additional resources and capacity level do you need to meet your new goals?
- Executive Summary (written last, includes pieces of each section) – feel free to disregard if this plan isn’t for financing.
- Mission Statement (include CSR)
- Vision Statement
- Description of Organization – business model
- Products or Services
- Legal Structure
- Licenses, Permits, etc.
- Advisory Board
- Equipment, Technology, Intellectual Property
Marketing Plan: Research, Analysis, & More Research!
- Location (In-depth if major component of the business)
- Industry Trends (Growing, Declining, Support for the business model)
- Consumer Analysis (B2B, B2C, hybrid)
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
- Revenue projections
- Products and Services (From the customer point of view)
- Special features and benefits
- Pricing model
- Sales & Marketing Strategies (should support revenue projections)
- Target Markets
- Product Strategies
- Pricing Strategies
- Digital Content
- Distribution Strategies
- Promotion Strategies
- Human Resources/Talent Management
- Culture of Organization
- Skill Sets (Now/Future)
- Types of Employees
- Qualifications, Responsibilities, Expectations, KPI’s
- Remote, On-Site, Hybrid
- Training (On-boarding/Continuous Learning)
- Performance Reviews, Feedback, Communication
- Salaries, Benefits (Tangible/Non-tangible)
- Future Needs
- Operations Cycle
- Organizational Structure
- Production, Customer Service, Delivery
- Operating Complexities
- Best Practices
- Risk Management
- Technology (On-line/In-house) (Platforms/Systems/Support)
- Use of Loan Funds / Sources
- Forecasted Statement of Cash Flows: 3 years by month.
- Forecasted Statement of Operations: 3 years by month…include start up costs
- Forecasted Balance Sheet: 3 years by month.
- Break-even Analysis