BUSINESS 4

Business PLAN

This unit is only required for Senior Division teams, who will submit a business plan. However, Junior Division teams are encouraged to follow along with this unit to gain a better understanding of business development.


This module is not mandatory for Junior Division, but Junior teams who want to learn more about building a business are encouraged to read it. Only Senior Division teams are required to submit a business plan.

Learning Objectives

In this module, you will learn…

  • What makes up a business plan
  • How to create a business plan

How to Create a Business Plan

You have accomplished a lot! Let’s review what you’ve done:

  • Learned about different types of businesses in Business 1
  • Performed market research and created a report in Business 2  
  • Developed a business model in Business 3

You’re going to put all that hard work to use by creating a business plan. In the last unit, you learned about business models, which deal with developing ways to make money and sell your product. However, a business plan is different, it is a proposal about how you will run your entire company from the start. A business plan is a formal document that has important information about your company, your goals, and a plan to accomplish your goals. You can think of it as a comprehensive document that incorporates many of the things you’ve already learned in the other Business Units-- you are just putting all of it together! In other words, it is a set of instructions on how you will build your business, describes the important parts of your business, and explains why you are building the business. The plan tells a story about your mobile app:

  • How the idea began
  • How an idea became a product
  • The future outlook for the product

To find out more about what a business plan is all about, take a look at this video.

Anatomy of a Business Plan

Without a business plan, it is difficult to build a business. It's like building a house without any blueprints. A plan outlines the roles, responsibilities, and future for your business. To keep it simple, we are going to go over the components of the business plan that you’ll need to submit. In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

  • Executive summary - A short and concise description of your business.
  • Company description - Information on what you do, how your business is different from others, and who your business serves.
  • Products and/or service description - Define what products and/or services you sell, explain why it benefits your customers, and how your mobile app will be developed.
  • Market analysis - Give background on the market that you plan on entering. This is where you will include your work you did in Market Research, like consumer research and competitive analysis.
  • Strategy & implementation - Here, you will explain how your business will run, or operate, and how you plan to introduce your product and/or services to the market. This will be taken from your Branding and Business Model.
  • Financial plan & projections - summary of how you will be spending money, making money, and using the money for the future, which is information you developed from your Business Model.

Throughout this unit, you can use examples of other business plans as a reference to help you as you create your own. Make sure not to take directly from others' plans, since each one is different and you should develop one that is unique to your own business!

Reminder: This module is not mandatory for Junior Division, but Junior teams who want to learn more about building a business are encouraged to read it. Only Senior Division teams are required to submit a business plan.


Technovation Team Examples

Other Examples


Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.
— Mae Jemison, Engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary should be the first section. It's an overview of your business plan, and should be no more than 1 page. This will give a first impression, so it needs to be well written. You want to make the reader interested in your business and want to know more. You can think of this like a trailer for a movie—it has to give the reader an idea of what your business is, but also entice them to keep reading.

Although this section goes first, you should consider writing it last! That way, you know all the details of your business plan and can summarize your thoughts well. The Executive Summary for a standard business plan should include:

  • Your business name and location
  • The products and/or services offered (mobile app)
  • The purpose of your business plan (to secure investors, launch an app, etc)

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:

Company Description

A Company Description is an overview of your business, which should broadly describe who you are, how your company runs and functions (operates), and what your goals are. It is an elaboration of the Executive Summary, and gives much more detail and explanation. It should cover:

  • The type of business (for-profit, social enterprise, nonprofit, etc.)
  • Your company's mission statement
  • The important people in your business and the roles they play
  • An overview of your product/service and who your market will be
  • A brief history of how your business was created
  • An outline of what you want to accomplish in the immediate future based on the information in the rest of the business plan and your future goals. Keep in mind, you should connect your own goals to the Sustainable Development Goals that you decided on in Ideation.

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:

Products/Services

In the Products/Services section, you should clearly describe what you are selling and focus on how the customer benefits. You’ll want to include details about how your mobile app is being developed—if there is anyone you are working with on it, or if you are creating the mobile app by yourselves. Here, you should consider adding pictures or screenshots of your mobile app, or include diagrams on how your mobile app will work. In general, this section should include:

  • An in-depth description of your product/service, emphasizing the specific benefits to the customer
    • Try using visuals or images to depict this. Screenshots of the app can help. Show, don’t just tell!
  • An explanation of how your product/service has advantages over the competition
  • Your product development; the current stage of development product is in, and how ready is it for being brought to market
  • Research and development activities that may lead to new products/services

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:

Market Analysis

Here is where you will show off all of the homework you did in Market Research. You’ll want to summarize what you learned about the market your mobile app is designed for, and your conclusions on how you think it will perform. Your market analysis should include:

  • Description of the market
    • Who are the key competitors?
    • How do you think your mobile app will perform and why?
  • Customer research
    • Market size
    • Demographics
  • Competitor analysis
    • Competitor strengths and weaknesses
    • How will your app stand against these competitors

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:


If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.
— Yogi Berra, Baseball Manager and Player

Strategy & Implementation

In this section, the first thing you want to do is explain your marketing strategy, and how you will promote your app to potential customers. You’ll also want to include details like how much the app will cost, how customers will hear about your app, and how customers will buy and get your app. Essentially, you want to explain how you will show people your product, how you will get people to buy it, and what happens once people buy your app. In order to describe this, you’ll need:

  • An explanation of how you will reach target customers and enter the market
  • Details about pricing, promotions, and distribution of the app
  • An explanation of how the company will function, from when the app is produced to when the app is delivered to the customer
  • Information on the number and types of employees you currently have or will need

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:

Organization and Management Team

Now you’ll want to describe all of the key people that are in your company. This will explain who does what in your business and justify why you have them on your team. Give a detailed description of each division or department of your company and what it does. Include the background and reasoning for any advisors if you have them here too. If your team is small, you can demonstrate all the different key roles they play in your company. You’ll want to provide:

  • Information about owners, including their names, extent of involvement within the company and a biography listing their background and skills
  • Profiles of your management team, including their names, positions, main responsibilities, and past experience (what each team member did to create the business and app)
    • You can come up with job titles for your team members, like Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Technical Officer (CTO). You can get silly with it too, like Chief Idea Maker! Here are some examples.
  • List of any advisors, such as your mentor(s).

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:

Financial Plan and Projections

For your last section, you will need to give a monetary explanation for how you will achieve all of the things you described in your business plan—this is coming from the Business Model. This is a key piece that ties everything together. You need to show that your plan is achievable and that your business will be successful, since it’s hard work to start a business! Use tables and graphs to show the information in a simple format. The key parts of your plan are:

  • How much money you have now and how will you be using it
  • How much money you’ll need and what goals you have set 
    • What would you do with the funding if you were a finalist? How would you allot those funds to the parts of your business? It helps to be as specific as you can, it’s understandable if you don’t know exactly—your business is new and developing!
  • How much money do you plan to make in the next 3-5 years and how (profit projection)

Ask your mentor for help if you get stuck! Make sure to ask them questions and give feedback to you. They’re here to help you.

If you need any additional help, here are some recommended resources:


Create a Business Plan

Now that you know all the different parts of a business plan, you’re going to have to start putting it all together! It is a big document, so it will help if you work with your team and mentor create it together. Divide up the work into different sections so each team member can help out. Let’s recap what we learned:

As you put all the different parts together, try using the checklist below to make sure you have everything you need to finalize your business plan.

Reflection

Writing a business plan is a huge accomplishment, especially since you're still a student! Get excited, you are almost ready to submit!

After your mentor or your team have looked over the business plan as a group, make sure to incorporate their feedback. It helps to get different people’s point of view, since this is a document that might be read by all different types of people. Read your business plan as a group, and finalise your business plan by using the checklist to confirm you incorporated all of the different parts.

As you were working on this business plan with your team, think about:

  • What were the challenges of working as a team?
  • What were the good things about working on this document as a team?

Additional Resources