Your business plan introduction provides a general overview, the “bird’s eye view,” of your plan. It is written at a high level without going into details. (That’s what the rest of the plan should do.) The introduction of a business plan sets the tone right after your executive summary. Here’s how to make your words count.
Introduction of a Business Plan
Your business plan introduction is different than your executive summary. The introduction should contain a two or three-page management overview of the business. It covers the description of the business, the goals and why the business is a good venture to start.
The other parts of a business plan, like the management team outline, the financial plan, the marketing plan, etc., are all going to provide the reader with an intense look at the business: the “ground floor view” of how the business will succeed.
The introduction in a business plan should take all the parts of the business plan and summarize them quickly. Do this section of your business plan first, and last!
Do it first to capture a general overview. This way, you know what you will write about in greater detail as you complete all of the other parts of the business plan.
Then, when you finish writing your business plan, do it last to make sure that you have covered all the critical points you need to convey.
Business Plan Introduction Template
Use the following questions as a template to write your business plan introduction. With this section of the plan you are trying to answer a few things:
- Why this business?
- Why now?
- Who’s going to buy?
- How will they buy? What’s the buying and selling process look like?
- How will my business be different than the competitors?
- What’s my path to profitability?
- When will I become profitable?
- How much will I make and by when?
Again, you will answer these items in detail later in the full plan. The introduction of a business plan gives a general overview and excite the reader to keep them interested.
Business Plan Introduction Example
Your business plan introduction should briefly talk about what you want to accomplish in the business and how you see it working.
For example, a coffee shop business plan might talk about how the market has made specialty coffee shops very popular right now. Provide data on how the location you’ve selected is perfect for a new shop.
You don’t have to give details here (that’s taken care of in the individual analysis sections that will come later). Rather, you simply provide an overview that is meant to get the reader excited.
Download a free sample marketing plan to use as a template to create your own strategy.
So a coffee business can talk about the high-profit margin of coffee and how the shop will be run by a coffee expert and an expert marketer and will serve the people in the area.
A professional services or technology business plan introduction should address the unique approach you will take to secure customers because you may have a lot of competition. Perhaps you will specialize in a specific target market or demographic. Talk about your niche marketing strategy in the introduction to keep readers tuned in.
In a clothing line business plan, for example, your business plan introduction should discuss what makes your brand unique and how you will generate buzz.
Address the Big Question: Profitability
Readers of your business plan (create a complete plan using our discount link for LivePlan) – whether you are looking for investors or money from a bank – will be able to tell very quickly whether you have done your homework and actually researched the business or whether this is just a whim.
Your investors, or even you alone if you don’t have any investors, want to make sure your business doesn’t fail. You don’t have to give all the facts in the introduction of a business plan, but you should be clear and correct in your overview.
Remember, this is the second thing your potential investor will read (the first being the business plan executive summary). They may not be as convinced about the business opportunity as you are. Ultimately, the introduction of a business plan should answer the bottom line question that the reader is asking: will this business be profitable and make money from my investment?