Business Planning


Teaching at CWE

BUSINESS PLANNING DUE DILIGENCE* – the old fashioned way!


  • Why are you starting this business?
  • What are your expectations and goals?
  • What products/services will be offered?
  • What is the niche or special attraction?
  • Why does your market need your product/service?
  • Where will financing be found?
  • How will the company operate?
  • How profitable the company will be.  ROI time-frame. (Return on Investment)
  • What are the red flags?
  • Is your business model flexible enough to accept change?

Company Overview

  • Mission Statement
  • Vision Statement
  • Description of Organization – business model
    • Products or Services
    • Location
    • Legal Structure
    • Insurance
    • Licenses, Permits, etc.
    • Advisory Board
    • Equipment, Technology, Intellectual Property

Marketing Plan: Research & Analysis

  • Competition
    • Direct,
    • Indirect
    • Inertia
    • Future
  • Location (In-depth if major component of the business)
    • Access
    • Security
    • Parking
  • 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
    • Niche
    • Pricing model
  • Marketing Strategies (should support revenue projections)
    • Target Markets
    • Product Strategies
    • Pricing Strategies
    • Distribution Strategies
    • Promotion Strategies


  • Human Resources
    • Culture of Organization
    • Skill Sets
    • Managers and Employees
    • Qualifications and Responsibilities
    • Training
    • Performance Revies
    • Salaries and Benefits
    • Future Needs
  • Operations Cycle
    • Organizational Structure
    • Production, Customer Service and Delivery
    • Operating Complexities
    • Risk Management
    • Technology

Financial Plan

  • Use of Loan Funds
  • 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

Supporting Documentation

*This is a start. Depending upon your business and financial needs, there are many more topics to be covered. 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 above before you open. It will set the foundation and make the journey easier. Keep it simple, use bullet points and add an page appendix for ideas that may be useful later on.

For established businesses in need of  a plan see the websites below for variations on the above checklist.