Members Helping Members - Educating, Informing, Supporting
Questions Every Business Plan Should Answer
1. Why will this
2. Why is this product
or service useful?
3. What will the product
do for the user?
4. What is the expected
life cycle of the product?
5. How do advances in
technology affect your product and business?
6. What is the product
7. What makes this
business and product unique?
8. Does the product meet
a specific need or perceived need of the customer?
9. Does the product have
10. Are there repeat uses
for the product?
11. Is this a high quality
or low quality product?
12. Is the consumer the
end user of the product?
13. Are there any
substitutes for your product?
14. Do you lease or own
15. What are the terms of
16. How much do you owe on
17. Are the facilities
adequate for expansion based on your business plan?
18. Will the expansion
19. Who owns the patent?
20. What licensing
arrangements have been made between you and the patent company?
21. Does anyone else have
a licensing arrangement? If so, how does this impact your biz?
22. Why does this business
have high growth potential?
23. What makes this
business situation special?
24. Does this product have
mass appeal or single large buyers?
25. How large is the
26. What is the typical
demographic of your customer base?
27. What are the current
market trends? 28. What are the seasonal effects in your industry?
29. What advantages does
your competition have over you?
30. What advantages do you
have over your competition?
31. Compared to your
competition, how do you compete with price, performance, and service?
32. What is the lag time between initial buyer
contact and the actual sale?
How does your company and product fit
into the industry?
What are the keys to success in your
How did you determine total sales of
the industry and its growth rate?
What industry changes most affect
your company's profits?
Who is your competition?
Do your competitors have an advantage
due to equipment?
What makes your business different?
Why will your business succeed when
it must compete with larger companies?
41. How do you expect the competition to
react to your company?
If you plan to take market share,
how will you do it?
What are the critical elements of
your marketing plan?
Is this primarily a retail or industrial marketing strategy?
45. How important is
advertising in your marketing plan? 46. How sensitive are sales to your
How will your marketing strategy
change as the product or industry matures?
Is direct selling necessary?
If any, what is the capacity of your
Where do you see bottlenecks
How important is quality control?
What is the current backlog?
Is the product assembly line based
or individually customized?
What are the health and safety
concerns in producing this product?
Who are your suppliers and how long
have they been in business?
How many sources of suppliers are
Currently, are there any shortages
How old is your company's equipment?
What is the yearly maintenance
What is the current research and
What is the annual expenditure on Research
and Development (R&D)?
How does R&D impact future
What type of business experience
does the management team have?
Are the members achievers?
What motivates each team member?
Can the team accomplish the job
outlined in the business plan?
How many employees do you have?
What is the anticipated need in the
Where does the labor supply come
70. What is the employee break down, i.e. full
time, part time, managerial staff, support staff, production / service?
71. What is the cost of training?
Is the labor force primarily skilled
or unskilled workers?
Is there a union and what is the
What are your capital requirements
over the next five years?
For what will the capital raised via
the plan be used?
What is the exit strategy? (How will
investors get their money out?)
77. What return on investment can the investors expect?
78. Have you reviewed your personal credit worthiness? (should you
not qualify for a business loan)
79. Have you research for start-up grants and loans from economic
80. Have you looked for any assets you or someone
you know that are worth liquidating?