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Typical business plan segments
Vision statement
(EXAMPLE) Company will become a market-driven organization that is noted for superlative quality.

Mission statement
(EXAMPLE) The mission of the company is to be a positive force in the agricultural industry by providing customers with safe, nutritious, state-of-the-art food products.

Company values & goals
SUCH AS: creativity & innovation; cutting edge business practices; honesty, integrity & openness; safe operations; sustainability business practices.

Company background
  1. Give the history of the firm.
  2. Who owns the company?
  3. How is the company organized?

Business environment
  1. Macro-economic trends – What are the global trends that can impact the vision? Free trade? Increased competition? Farm policy provides more/less support to agriculture.
  2. Micro-economic trends – State of Oregon economic forecast and/or regional economic data, for example.

Competitive strategy
  1. How will the company respond to each trend?
  2. What experience does the company have with producing and bringing the product to market? Who will manage the company? Who are the key people in the company?

Describe the product
  1. Define your product(s) giving as much detail as possible.
  2. What makes the product unique?

Define the market
  1. Which market segment do you plan to pursue: Retail? Wholesale? Institutional? Direct?
  2. Describe the expected customer in terms of: age, gender, income, occupation, location, attitude, life style, likes and dislikes?
  3. How many consumers fit this definition?
  4. Why will the customer buy the product? (convenience, taste, nutrition, environmental advantages, price, etc.)
  5. Who are the competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Is the number of competitors growing?
  6. Is the market growing?
  7. Where is the product in terms of its life cycle?

Outline a marketing plan
  1. What is required to get the product to the customer and make the customer aware of the product’s value?
  2. Determine a promotional budget. Do you have to educate the consumer about your product?
  3. What makes the product different compared to its competition?
  4. What is the appropriate price?
  5. What is the appropriate distribution?
  6. Will distributors require discounts?
  7. Will the company be required to pay for in store promotion?
  8. How about slotting allowances?
  9. What is the appropriate promotional message?
  10. Can the product be branded?
  11. Who will manage the marketing? The marketing manager will tell the sales staff what they need to emphasize about the product to potential buyers based on market data.
  12. Who will sell the product? Selling is about establishing relationships with people and giving the customer what they want in a consistent and timely manner.
NOTE: Marketing a product IS NOT the same thing as selling a product. Selling is what you do after you define a market and what the market needs.

Operation plan
  1.  Where will the product be produced?
  2. What is the firm’s production capacity?
  3. Who are the suppliers of the raw materials? What do they cost?
  4. What type of equipment is required?
  5. Who will manage the production operation?
  6. What are the quality control and safety procedures?
  7. Who will perform what tasks?
  8. What skills does the company need to acquire to produce and to deliver the product?
  9. Where and how will the company get these skills? Who specifically will perform what duties?
  10. If you have a product and a market, can you deliver a quality product every time?

Financial projections
  1.  Estimate revenues based on market definition and associated demand estimates. It’s OK to guess. A “three year projections” is sufficient with one year broken into months.
  2. What are the costs associated with the given level of production?
  3. What is the projected net income? Is the plan feasible? When will the business make money? If so, how much?
  4. What are the capital requirements? Loans?
NOTE: Grants & loans – no one can expect to get a grant or a loan without having a business plan in hand.

Keys to Success
  1. What needs to happen to succeed?
  2. What can go wrong?
  3. Provide a “Time Table of Events”