A business plan describes a company’s product or service, discusses its market and introduces the management team and key employees. It discusses the competitive situation and what effort and funding are needed to bring the product or service to market. A section presents the current financial situation and projects the company’s financial expectations, going out usually three to five years. Business plans are essential tools for startups and for periodic reviews by established companies.
This two- or three-page section should contain the most important information about the company. To ensure that it includes the necessary information, the executive summary should be written last. Quite often, executive summaries are used in the company’s marketing program. For example, a medical billing company might include its executive summary in the material it gives to the medical practices that are its potential customers.
Products or Services
This is where the reader learns in some detail about the products or services that the company is offering. A home health care business would describe its services in this section–outlining the kinds of care it provides to patients at home, how it interacts with the patient’s doctor and the qualifications of its personnel. Manufacturers of medical equipment would place images and product descriptions in this section.
In this section, a physical therapy business could explain why it is changing its business from a home-based situation to one where it will be located in the heart of the business district. The company could show statistical proof that many potential clients who are working full time still require short-term physical therapy in a setting that is convenient to the workplace. The company should include information about its competitors.
It is appropriate for a health care business to have a separate section in its business plan about the regulatory environment in which it operates. A nursing home would discuss its relationship to state health care authorities and any other regulators. It would be appropriate to discuss the facility’s track record with respect to inspections and regulatory compliance.
This section is where the company should describe any pertinent legal matters. If, for example, the company is a medical equipment manufacturer and it or any of its principals holds patents that apply to the business, those patents should be described in this section. If the company is a party to any material litigation, it should be disclosed in this section.
This section normally contains historical and current financial information as well as projections for the next three to five years. The extent of the financial information depends on the type of company and its purpose in writing the plan. A hospital group seeking long-term municipal financing for a new hospital, for example, would need to present extensive financial information to city officials, banks and other lenders.
This section, which normally appears last, should contain biographical summaries of the company’s management team, directors and key employees. If the company is a manufacturer of medical imaging equipment, it should include its leading scientific and technical staff members in this section. The biographical summaries should describe the person’s business background, education and responsibilities in the company.
Charles Crawford, a former commercial banker, has been a business writer in New York since 1990. He has produced marketing materials for an executive outplacement firm, written the quarterly newsletter of a medical nonprofit organization and created financing proposals/business plans. Crawford holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in international affairs from Florida State University.