A good business plan becomes the road map for the cooperatively owned enterprise. The business plan is a “living” document that will change and evolve as the business develops. Although a consultant or adviser can provide valuable assistance in creating a business plan, the potential users of the cooperative enterprise need to be heavily involved in the creation of the business plan.
Usually, the key issues of a business plan can be addressed in two to five pages.
- Business organization and ownership
- Nature of the product or service provided
- Demand. What is the demand (past, present, future) for the business' product/service?
Who will buy the product/service?
- Supply. What is the supply (past, present, future) of the business' product/service?
Who are the business' competitors?
- Market niche. Given the trends in demand and supply, how will the business be able to sell enough of its product/service to be profitable?
- What is availability of materials, labor, and machinery needed for the product/service?
- Is the technology to be used by the business reliable? State-of-the-art? Proven?
Industry and Market Area Information:
- Discuss any economic and demographic trends affecting the business (past, present, and future)
- Resumes of management, focusing on relevant business experience