Business Plan Templates

Popcorn Business Start A Gourmet Kettle Corn Popcorn Business

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Popcorn Business Start A Gourmet Kettle Corn Popcorn Business Summary


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Business Plan Made Easy

How To Write A Business Plan Made Easy E-Book. Writing your business plan is simply the process you'll use to organize your business goals and strategies. Your business plan is a written expression of your business ideas. And, it also provides information needed for others to evaluate your business for a loan or grant A thorough business plan can help if you are seeking assistance from a financial lender. It will let the lender know that you are serious, and also let them know that you are working and planning for your business to ultimately be successful Listed below are samples that are included: Bar Business Plan, Car Wash Business Plan, Coffee Shop Business Plan, Construction Business Plan, Day Care Business Plan, Ecommerce Business Plan, Franchise Business Plan, Hair Salon Business Plan, Hotel Business Plan, Internet Business Plan, Mlm Business Plan, Night Club Business Plan, Non Profit Business Plan, Real Estate Business Plan, Restaurant Business Plan, Retail Business Plan, Tanning Salon Business Plan. Read more...

Business Plan Made Easy Summary

Contents: Ebook
Author: Shaunta Pleasant
Official Website:
Price: $29.70

Business Plans and Strategy

The biggest red flag in nanotech business plans is people's estimation of how easy it is to penetrate a market We see too high of a hockey stick in those early years. Unless they've already been around a number of years building experience, na ve expectations in a business plan are probably the first sign of weakness.1 The investment environment that nanotech entrepreneurs encounter when seeking capital will be very different from the world that Internet entrepreneurs encountered in the late 1990s. Investors have learned bitter lessons about the risks of funding companies prematurely. As a result, they will not be pouring in large amounts of capital to companies that possess little more than three scientists and a dog.2 In order to fund companies, nanotech investors will require tested technology, defendable patents, growing target markets, a clear shot at profitability, and a strong management team whose members possess diverse skill sets. This new funding environment means that...

General Business Plan Considerations

A businesses plan is a document that defines business goals and priorities. It may be used by entrepreneurs to obtain venture funding or by established corporations to communicate the corporate vision to interested parties such as business partners and employees. There may be many versions of the same business plan tailored to different audiences such as employees, investors, and potential strategic partners. What is constant about good business plans is that they clearly describe business objectives and they realistically project how a company intends to obtain and apply the resources necessary to achieve its goals. Instead of differentiating between different versions of business plans, we will describe the archetype of the business plan the version required by and intended for investors.

Business Plan Outsourcing

There are a number of professionals who offer help for business plan writing. Their contributions include conducting research, providing analytical support, preparing financial and valuation support, or writing the business plan entirely. Investment bankers, consultants, and others offer these services. Entrepreneurs without experience writing business plans may choose to outsource business plan preparation. However, ongoing and active involvement by entrepreneurs at each step of business plan preparation is absolutely essential. Table 11.6 details some of the sources and fees associated with engaging firms to prepare the business plan. As discussed in this book, intellectual property and related legal discussions will be central issues for nanotech companies. As a result, companies must give them consideration in the business plan. For these discussions, entrepreneurs may seek legal advice and opinions to substantiate their own intuitions and to provide validation that the company's...

Business Plan Uses

There are at least four reasons why a prospective entrepreneur should write a business plan before attempting to launch a nanotech company. First, a business plan is essential for securing outside investment. The 2001 crash in Internet stocks has made investors wary of unproven technologies such as nanotech. Venture capitalists, corporate investors and Wall Street bankers are only interested in well-defined strategies and are looking for entrepreneurs with a firm grasp of financial reality. A good business plan addresses these concerns by both demonstrating the potential of the technology and showing that the entrepreneur has carefully considered the important obstacles the company will face in reaching its goals. Indeed, other things being equal, a well-constructed plan can be the difference between begging for capital and receiving multiple offers for investment. A second reason to write a business plan is to explain the company vision to customers. It is said that customers are...

Impact of Too Many Patents on the Commercialization of Nanotechnology

The resulting uncertainty and large transaction costs will have a particularly significant impact on start-up companies.77 Attracting venture capital and other forms of financing requires a defensible IP base.78 Venture capitalists will be reluctant to invest in start-ups if they are concerned that the company will likely be subject to liability for patent infringement. Those start-up companies that can secure financing will spend precious resources on conducting acrimonious licensing negotiations with dubious outcomes and expensive court battles.79 As the Venture Capital Journal declared, Even if a start-up has the brains and the cash to fuel its research, there are complicated intellectual property issues to throw a wrench into the best-laid business plans.80 This inhospitable environment is unfortunate, because nanotech-nology start-ups could be engines for rapid technology development and wealth creation. The experience in biotechnology demonstrates that start-up companies are...

Hype or a reaction to complexity

The investment picture offers a view of how nanotechnology is seen by those who have to 'put their money where their mouth is '. In 2003, US venture capital funding for nanotechnology was at US 305M, a 42 per cent increase over 2002 (Multimedia Research Group, 2004). Similarly, in 2003 nanotech-nology represented 3 per cent of the total venture capital investment, compared with 2 per cent in 2002. The nature of this funding is evolving. In 2001, 75 per cent of funding was to startups and early stage rounds (in which business plans are matured, and the company formed). By 2003, 60 per cent was to expansion and late stage rounds (in which products are being developed).

Exogenous Variables that Determine Valuation

While it is important to reduce the perception of risk through solid projections and thorough evaluation of variables such as competition, other factors that are not in the company's control will be critical to determining the actual discount rate that is used. First and foremost is investor sentiment. No matter how much work is done preparing a business plan or financial model, investor sentiment may be the most important factor determining funding and valuation for nanotech companies. It is difficult to predict the moods of TABLE 11.6 Sources and Fees of Business Plan Outsourcing technologies with a focus on nanotech Sygertech An early leader helping nanotech ventures write business plans and evaluate markets

The Importance of Good Methodology

Financial projections for start-up technology companies are never fully realized and rarely come close to the original estimates.32 Experienced investors know this and approach projections with a very critical eye. While they do not expect entrepreneurs to possess a crystal ball, they do expect them to be able to defend projections against many tough questions.33 Sloppy estimates are one of the first ways investors weed out weak business plans, and poor estimates reflect negatively on management's credibility. Because the cash flows predicted by the financial model are the basis for determining the valuation of the company, creating a good model with strong assumptions is also essential for getting the best possible financing terms.

Research and Development

Almost all nanotech companies must conduct research and development to bring products to market. Because companies with research facilities must purchase sophisticated tools, nanotech R& D can be extremely expensive. While equipment prices vary, in total they can be prohibitive for poorly capitalized companies. State-of-the-art chemical vapor deposition systems currently cost upwards of one million dollars.26 Atomic force microscopes currently cost upwards of a hundred thousand dollars. Clean rooms, super clean water, reliable backup power systems and commercial disposal systems are also expensive. The business plan must provide an overall estimate of how much the company must spend on R& D and how long it will take to develop the product.

The Importance of Market Focus

In many cases, tools, materials, systems, and devices based on nano-technology are broadly enabling. As mentioned, the National Science Foundation predicts that nanotechnology will be a 1 trillion industry by 2015. If a company liberally refers to capturing part of a 1 trillion market, investors are likely to be skeptical. They will want to know who the customers are, what specific products they are buying, and how much of the total value being purchased is directly attributable to the company's particular technology. An effective business plan will argue that the company's technology can be used in a range of different applications, but it has chosen to focus on one or two in the immediate future. For example, NanoOpto's business plan identifies telecommunications applications as its target market, even though the company's nanoimprinting technology can be used in a variety of ways. As NanoOpto Chief Executive Barry Weinbaum put it, If the company was going after 10 or 12 markets,...

Manufacturing Strategy

Realistic price-volume estimates are also essential to a good business plan. The highest volume MEMS products (accelerometers and pressure sensors) all represent a small part of the total system cost, even though the functions they provide are absolutely critical to system performance.

Nanotechnology Startup Companies

Certain key characteristics often differentiate nanotechnology start-up companies. They possess a technology platform with a body of intellectual property and a team of scientists, but no formal business plan, product strategy, well-defined market opportunity, or management team. Second, they are founded by (or are associated with) leading researchers at top-tier academic institutions. They employ a financing approach that highly leverages equity financing with the application of grant funding, and they need to have a more scientifically diverse workforce than other start-up companies.

Surface Area Total Exposure

In late 2005, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) established a new technical committee, ISO T C229 Nanotechnologies, with three working groups The United States is represented on the Measurement and Characterization Workgroup, WG2 . The Draft Business Plan for T C229 53 details the high-priority needs and strategies for this group A limited number of standards relating to nanoparticle measurements have been published, with several more in progress ISO TR 27628 2007 contains guidelines on characterizing occupational nanoaerosol exposures, with a discussion of applicable measurement terms . Specific information is provided on methods for bulk aerosol characterization and single-particle analysis . Other standards currently near completion include N 270 TS Terminology and definitions for carbon nanomaterials N 271 TS Format for reporting the engineered nanomaterials content of products and N 272 TR Guide to nanoparticles measurement methods and their limitations 53...

Seeking Venture Capital

To obtain venture capital, a nanotech start-up must have a viable strategy, pro-tectable intellectual property (IP), and a strong business plan. We discussed these issues in the first two chapters of this section. We now describe the process of pursuing venture capital, from getting an initial meeting to negotiating a Letter of Intent. The first major issue in nanotech fundraising is networking and leveraging a group of personal connections and contacts. During the Internet boom, entrepreneurs could expect to engage venture capitalists by simply submitting the business plan online to a number of different venture firms. In nano-tech, however, obtaining venture capital will require deeper relationship building. Peter Grubstein, managing partner of NGEN Partners, notes, We do actively review web submissions, but we are much more likely to follow up when we get a personal referral.32 Who the referral comes from is also important. Referrals from financial investors are much less...

Future Rounds Of Financing

Most nanotech companies will require multiple rounds of financing before they are self-sustainable. As soon as a company completes its first round of private equity financing, the race toward the next round begins. The terms and conditions associated with future financing turn on the success of the company in following its business plan and developing its technology. Investors will evaluate whether the company meets certain goals. If a company progresses according to plan, subsequent rounds will be easier to obtain. First-round investors will become active partners in soliciting additional investment for a next and higher-valued round. They do this both to help the company and to increase the value of their first-round investments. The company must negotiate the deal terms of the new money with the lead investor.

Market Timing

Which subsectors It is as if we need to pull the sea of possibilities through an intellectual filter to tease apart the various segments into a time line of probable progression. That is an ongoing process of data collection (for example, the growing pool of business plan submissions), business and technology analysis, and intuition.

Key Elements

All business plans tell the story of the company where it comes from, who is involved, what its goals are, and most importantly, why investors should want to be involved with the company. Table 11.1 describes eleven sections commonly included in business plans. This list is not intended to be a fixed prescription, but it is a frame of reference that entrepreneurs can use to consider whether they have covered the issues that investors may consider most relevant to the company's particular situation.5 We describe these issues in the context of nanotech.


Nanotech companies must tackle these issues in the business plan and explain how they will manufacture their products. As we discuss in Chapter 14, many nanotech start-ups should structure their business plan to rely on corporate partnerships for manufacturing capabilities. The plan must also identify other issues related to manufacturing such as EPA regulations (see Chapter 4), FDA regulations (see Chapter 6), and export control laws (see Chapter 7) to ensure that it is operating within the law. Complying with regulations can be an expensive and time-consuming process, and entrepreneurs cannot overlook this fact when writing their business plans.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is an introduction to the company. For investors who review many business plans and may have limited time, it may be the only part of the plan they read. Therefore, the executive summary is a very impor- TABLE 11.1 Sections Commonly Included in Business Plans6 tant part of the business plan and should be concise, typically not more than three pages.7 What is most important is that it provides a clear mission statement of the company and it explains the technology and potential market to investors. It may also describe other issues such as marketing and sales, the company's capital position or projected returns to investors. The purpose of including these other items is to create additional context for describing the overall mission, vision, and strategy of the company. In some cases, this may be a simple task for nanotech companies. For example, it may be easy to convey the benefits of a lighter material, a cleaner fuel additive, or a longer-lasting battery. In...

Financial Modeling

Nanotech business plans include financial models. A financial model is a forecast of key business variables and their effects on cash flow.31 This section begins by describing the importance of good methodology, the time period covered in financial projections, and the data that must be included in financial models. Data sources for creating nanotech market estimates are given and a methodology for dealing with uncertainty in nanotech is proposed. Finally, we provide an example of how a nanotech market estimate and projection should be prepared.

Customer Service

Nanotech companies must also address customer service in their business plans. This is an area that is often overlooked but that is a significant cost and source of risk.30 This is especially true in nanotech where clients may not have the technical capabilities to solve problems on their own. Technical problems can undermine customer confidence and delay sales of future product versions. Companies that accurately anticipate customer requirement needs can design service plans for customers that charge a fee in this way, the company can tap into a potentially large source of continual revenue and at the same time ensure customer satisfaction.

Sales and Marketing

The large expenditures that nanotech companies must devote to sales and marketing creates a risk that the company will burn more cash than it can afford. One company we interviewed had an excellent technology and high estimates of future earnings. However, it was discredited because it did not include a realistic estimate of the number of salespeople required to go out and achieve the sales they predicted. Thus, companies must realistically assess the costs of marketing and sales in their business plans.

Zenos paradox

Of course, none of this has happened yet. And it is impossible to say when it might. The culture of nanotechnology research is partly to blame. To compete against more proven areas of research and development such as information technology and biotechnology for government grants, venture capital, and investment capital, nanotechnology advocates have had to make big, bold promises. But unlike the early days of information technology and biotechnology, technology is leading science, not the other way around. In other words, investors are betting on companies based on business plans rather than bodies of knowledge.

Market Estimates

Company projections of income statements, balance sheets, and cash flows are based on the company's estimates of the future state of the market. There are three commonly accepted sources for market estimates in a business plan. First, business plan market estimates can be quoted from third-party sources. Second, market estimates can be derived from inductive analysis of each of the components of the market. This generally involves creating independent estimates by aggregating and analyzing primary data related to each of the underlying components of the market. A third approach is to combine the first two approaches and compare both third-party sources and inductive estimates in order to provide a range of possible outcomes for the total size of the market.

Sources And Uses

The business plan should include a description of sources and uses, the name for the company's sources of funding, and the uses to which it intends to apply those funds.41 A typical sources and uses chart is shown in Table 11.5. If the company cannot raise its intended funds, then the uses will change. Similarly, if the company faces unanticipated challenges, such as technology development delays, the uses of the funds it does raise will almost certainly change. As a result, companies must describe the risk that either actual sources or actual uses might be different from what is anticipated in the business plan.

Risk Disclosure

While entrepreneurs may not want to think about the many things that can go wrong in starting a new nanotech business, the business plan must disclose all relevant risks. First, experienced investors understand that all new companies face many obstacles, and they will be highly skeptical of a business plan that does not directly address these issues. Second, all private companies raising money in the United States are required by law to fully disclose significant risks known to management.25 Companies that do not fully disclose risks to investors unnecessarily expose themselves to investor lawsuits and permanent loss of credibility.

Key Management

The business plan should include a description of the background of key managers and board members. As described in Chapter 10, it is highly advantageous for new nanotech companies to gain credibility by hiring well-known and experienced employees. However, hiring high-profile employees is accompanied by the risk that if these employees leave, the company will lose their particular expertise and damage investor confidence. The plan should mention the risks associated with key employees leaving the company.


Semiconductor economics is rooted in the principle that expensive processes are cost-effective when many devices are made simultaneously. Obviously, a MEMS product that is sold in low quantities loses this critical advantage. MEMS components are disruptive technologies - they are the key element in higher-level products that were previously impractical. It can take several years to develop a higher-level product and build its customer base. Therefore, it is prudent to include an incubation phase in the business plan for a novel MEMS device. Low sales volume during this phase causes high unit costs - batch process cost benefits are achieved only after the market develops.

Third Party Sources

Predictions without a full understanding of the underlying issues can turn investors off to an otherwise solid business plan. A very prevalent example of this issue is the National Science Foundation's estimate that the total market for nanotechnology is 1 trillion. Because no one knows where this analysis comes from, or what assumptions such a prediction are based on,39 the number evokes skepticism and derision on the part of investors looking to address real and immediate markets.

The Deal

One of the most important issues in negotiating the letter of intent is determining valuation. We discussed valuation issues in nanotechnology in Chapter 11. Small companies should be ready for a barrage of questions designed to identify flaws in the business plan, technology, and strategy of the company. In addition to the fundamentals of the business, entrepreneurs should be aware of recent nanotech acquisitions to have a gage for determining if what is being offered is in line with market norms.

Timing of engagement

This funnel of development also implies translations and handoffs between functionally separate individuals or departments such as scientists, engineers, marketers, cost accountants, etc. All are needed to make a strategic business plan (formulate and implement a strategy). We return to the issue of translation later. To a business strategist, scientific technical development, standards and regulatory approval, and business planning are all part of the process of innovation (Figure 10.3).

Pursuing a Deal

Second, the start-up must establish a strategy for engaging large companies and develop a plan to implement the strategy. Management should work with legal and financial counsel to develop alternative deal structures and to analyze the potential outcome of different deal types. By properly framing the situation, managers avoid wasting resources by focusing on too many players or the wrong ones.18 It is also very important that the start-up put together a comprehensive list of potential partners. The company should compile information packets that may be derivations of the business plan, designed to send to potential partners to generate interest in the company. Finally, a timeline must be established for implementing the plan. Even though the final deal outcome will likely be very different from the initial plan considerations, preparation is an essential component of deal preparation.19


Even though the nanotechnology market is still very much under construction, legitimate nano companies are coming up with great innovations and products. Many of these companies are evolving out of university research, headed by brilliant scientists who have never written a business plan. Some companies hire business managers to get things off the ground and make sure a reliable growth model is in place. Then, when everything is running smoothly, they hand off to operational managers and others to keep the forward momentum going. The most successful startups have a solid business plan from the beginning and stick to what they know. These companies pattern their growth after tried-and-true methods without getting carried away with overly grand (and unattainable) expectations.

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