Business Plan Guidelines

Provided here is an outline to help you build a comprehensive, sound business plan that identifies goals and help you obtain financing. Building a business plan is a crucial step towards turning dreams into reality and profitability. Take the time to formulate thoughtful responses to each of the questions. Each bolded headline should be considered a new section of your plan.


Cover Sheet

  1. Business name and address
  2. Business owner(s) with phone numbers


Statement of Purpose

  1. How much money are you asking for?
  2. How much money are you contributing to the business?
  3. How much money will it take to open the business?
  4. How will the money be spent?
  5. Why does the loan make sense?


Description of Business

  1. Name of business
  2. Type of business, i.e. retail, service, manufacturing
  3. Address of business
  4. Products/services you will offer
  5. Description of your primary customers
  6. Hours of business
  7. Why is this business necessary / why it will succeed?
  8. Explain your experience in this type of business


The Market

  1. Who is your market / target audience? Describe these characteristics - For individuals: age, gender, income. For businesses: location, type of business, number of employees.
  2. What geographic area will you serve?
  3. What is the present size of your market?
  4. What percent of the market will you have?
  5. What is the market's growth potential?
  6. How can you expand your market?
  7. How will your attract and keep this market? Describe the type of promotion and advertising you will use.
  8. How will you price your service/product?
  9. How did you arrive at your pricing strategy?
  10. Why will someone pay your price?
  11. Will your offer credit to your customers?


Competition

  1. Who are your five nearest competitors? List them by name.
  2. How will your business be better than theirs?
  3. What do you know about their business?
  4. How is their business: steady? Decreasing? Why?
  5. How are their operations similar and dissimilar to yours?
  6. What are their strengths and weaknesses?


Location

  1. What is your business address?
  2. What are the physical features of your building/location?
  3. Is your building/location leased or owned? State the terms. Describe necessary improvements.
  4. What types of businesses are immediately around you?
  5. Why is this the desirable site for your business?
  6. How does this location affect your operating cost?


Personnel

  1. What are your personnel needs now? In year one? Year two?
  2. What skills must they have?
  3. Are these people readily available?
  4. Will they be part-time or full-time?
  5. What will you pay them?
  6. Will you provide fringe benefits?
  7. Will you have to train employees? What is the cost?


Management

  1. What is your business background?
  2. What management experience have you had?
  3. What education have you had (both formal and informal)?
  4. Why are you going to be successful at this venture?
  5. Do you have the managerial experience in this type of business?
  6. Who will your management team consist of?
  7. What are each person's responsibilities?
  8. What will be the salaries of each of these individuals?
  9. Who will be your business attorney, accountant, other professionals?


This section contains tools to help you get on the road to building and evolving your business at Union Station. If you have questions about Specialty Leasing, please contact Roy Staeck at 202.683.4512 or via email at rstaeck@unionstationdc.com.