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U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

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Carlos Pachon
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: (703) 603-9904 | Email: pachon.carlos@epa.gov



Business Planning and Funding

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Business Planning Concepts and Techniques

Purpose and Contents of a Business Plan

The business plan is a description of the nature of the business and its prospects. The business plan is used in several stages of product and business development, including articulating product concepts, obtaining financing, and formulating the basic business model and direction of the firm. In addition to communicating the facts about the business to the outside world, a good business plan serves as a blueprint for managers and others within the company to help focus their efforts on the mission of the organization. Often, the process of developing a business plan is fruitful in itself. It provides a structured approach to organizing the major components and planning the future of the business.

Prospective investors and lenders will require a business plan and examine it carefully. The plan helps them establish a basis upon which to place a monetary value on the company and estimate its capital requirements. This monetary value, in turn, is the starting point for evaluating credit worthiness, and designing stock issues and compensation plans. Thus the plan will help inform potential lenders or investors understand what makes the company tick and how it will generate a return on their investment.

Generally, the main components of a business plan include the following:

  • Company Profile. Includes information such as the legal form and name, backgrounds of principles and personnel, history of the business, and physical plant.
  • Nature of the Business. Includes a description of what the company does, what is the nature of the products and services, what needs do they fill, what products are in development and their milestones, and what makes the products marketable.
  • Marketing Plan. Describes the characteristics and needs of the customers, how the products and services will meet the needs, the advantages you have over competitors, the growth prospects for the products, and plans for pricing, promotion, and sales.
  • General Management Plan. Describes the company organization and operating approach, duties and interaction of the management team, personnel policies, and compensation approaches.
  • Financial Management Plan. Describe the historical and projected financial performance, start-up and operating budgets, accounting and inventory control systems.

The plan will also usually include an executive summary and addenda to provide detailed data to support the body of the plan, references and sources.

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Links to Further Information on Business Planning Concepts and Techniques

The sources below provide tools for use in developing successful business plans. Some of these include links or references to sample plans. Although some of these sources emphasize starting a new small business, the approaches and techniques are equally applicable to developing a new product line, such as a new technology in an existing company.

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