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Business Plan: Progressive Consulting

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1. 0 Executive Summary

Progressive Consulting will be formed as a consulting company specializing in
marketing of high technology products in international markets. Its founders are
former marketers of consulting services, personal computers, and market research,
all in international markets. They are founding Progressive Consulting to
formalize the consulting services they offer.

1. 2 Mission

Progressive Consulting offers high-tech manufacturers a reliable, high quality
alternative to inhouse resources for business development, market development,
and channel development on an international scale. A true alternative to in
house resources offers a very high level of practical experience, know how,
contacts, and confidentiality. Clients must know that working with Progrssive
Consulting is a more professional, less risky way to develop new areas even than
working completely in house with their own people. Progressive Consulting must
also be able to maintain financial balance, charging a high value for its
services, and delivering an even higher value to its clients. Initial focus will
be development in the European and Latin American markets, or for European
clients in the United States market.

1. 3 Keys to Success

Excellence in fulfilling the promise completely confidential, reliable,
trustworthy expertise and information.

Developing visibility to generate new business leads.

Leveraging from a single pool of expertise into multiple revenue generation
opportunities: retainer consulting, project consulting, market research, and
market research published reports.

2. 0 Company Summary

Progressive Consulting is a new company providing high-level expertise in
international high-tech business development, channel development, distribution
strategies, and marketing of high tech products. It will focus initially on
providing two kinds of international triangles:

Providing United States clients with development for European and Latin
American markets.

Providing European clients with development for the United States and Latin
American markets.

As it grows it will take on people and consulting work in related markets, such
as the rest of Latin America, and the Far East, and similar markets. As it grows
it will look for additional leverage by taking brokerage positions and
representation positions to create percentage holdings in product results.

2. 1 Company Ownership

Progressive Consulting will be created as a California C corporation based in
Los Angeles County, owned by its principal investors and principal operators. As
of this writing it has not been chartered yet and is still considering
alternatives of legal formation.

2. 2 Startup Summary

Total start up expense (including legal costs, logo design, stationery and
related expenses) come to $73,000. Start up assets required include $3,000 in
short term assets (office furniture, etc.) and $1,000,000 in initial cash to
handle the first few months of consulting operations as sales and accounts
receivable play through the cash flow. The details are included in the table.

Start-up Plan _______________________________ Start-up Expenses Legal
$1,000 Stationery etc.$3,000 Brochures
$5,000 Consultants$5,000
Insurance$350 Expensed equipment$3,000
Other$1,000 _______________________________ Total
Start-up Expense$18,350

Start-up Assets Needed Cash requirements$25,000 Start-up
inventory$0 Other Short-term Assets$7,000 Total
Short-term Assets$32,000 Long-term AssetsWORD
DOCUMENT HAS NO NUMBER HERE Capital Assets$0 ______________
_________________ Total Assets$32,000

Total Startup Requirements:$50,350 Left to finance:$0

Start-up Funding Plan

Investment Investor 1$20,000 Investor 2
$20,000 Other$10,000 Total investment

Short-term borrowing Unpaid expenses$5,000 Short-term
loans$0 Interest-free short-term loans$0 Subtotal Short-term
Borrowing$5,000 Long-term Borrowing$0 Total Borrowing

Loss at start-up($23,000) Total Equity$27,000
Total Debt and Equity$32,000

2. 3 Company Services

Progressive offers expertise in channel distribution, channel development, and
market development, sold and packaged in various ways that allow clients to
choose their preferred relationship: these include retainer consulting
relationships, project based consulting, relationship and alliance brokering,
sales representation and market representation, project-based market research,
published market research, and information forum events.

2. 4 Company locations and facilities

The initial office will be established in A quality office space in the Los
Angeles County ” Dearborn Valley” area of California, the heart of the U.S. high
tech industry.

3. 0 Services

Progressive offers the expertise a high-technology company needs to develop new
product distribution and new market segments in new markets. This can be taken
as high-level retainer consulting, market research reports, or project-based

3. 1 Service Description

1. Retainer consulting: we represent a client company as an extension of its
business development and market development functions. This begins with complete
understanding of the client company’s situation, objectives, and constraints. We
then represent the client company quietly and confidentially,
sifting through new market developments and new opportunities as is appropriate
to the client, representing the client in initial talks with possible allies,
vendors, and channels.

2. Project consulting: Proposed and billed on a per-project and per-milestone
basis, project consulting offers a client company a way to harness our specific
qualities and use our expertise to solve specific problems, develop and/or
implement plans, develop specific information.

3. Market research: group studies available to selected clients at $5,000 per
unit. A group study is packaged and published, a complete study of a specific
market, channel, or topic. Examples might be studies of developing consumer
channels in Japan or Mexico, or implications of changing margins in software.

3. 2 Competitive Comparison

The competition comes in several forms:

1. The most significant competition is no consulting at all, companies choosing
to do business development and channel development and market research in-house.
Their own managers do this on their own, as part of their regular business
functions. Our key advantage in competition with in-house development is that
managers are already overloaded with responsibilities, they don’t have time for
additional responsibilities in new market development or new channel development.
Also, Progressive can approach alliances, vendors,and channels on a confidential
basis, gathering information and making initial contacts in ways that the
corporate managers can’t.

2. The high-level prestige management consulting: High-Tec, San Diego Consulting
Group, etc. These are essentially generalists who take their name-brand
management consulting into specialty areas. Their other very important weakness
is the management structure that has the partners selling new jobs, and
inexperienced associates delivering the work. We compete against them as experts
in our specific fields, and with the guarantee that our clients will have the
top-level people doing the actual work.

3. The third general kind of competitor is the international market research
company: International Electronic Data Corporation (IEDC), Dataquest, Stanford
Research Institute, etc. These companies are formidable competitors for
published market research and market forums, but cannot provide the kind of
high-level consulting that Triangle will provide.

4. The fourth kind of competition is the market-specific smaller house. For
example: Nomura Research in Japan, Select S.A. de C.V. in Mexico (now affiliated
with IEDC).

5. Sales representation, brokering, and deal catalysts are an ad-hoc business
form that will be defined in detail by the specific nature of each individual

3. 3 Sales Literature

The business will begin with a general corporate brochure establishing the
positioning. This brochure will be developed as part of the start-up expenses.

Literature and mailings for the initial market forums will be very important,
with the need to establish a high-quality look and feel for… …[truncated
because this plan is provided for purposes of illustration only]

3. 4 Sourcing

The key fulfillment and delivery will be provided by the principals of the
business. The real core value is professional expertise, provided by a
combination of experience, hard work. and education (in that order).

We will turn to qualified professionals for free-lance back-up in market
research and presentation and report development, which are areas that we can
afford to contract out without risking the core values provided to the clients.

3. 5 Technology

Progressive Consulting will maintain latest Windows and Macintosh capabilities

1. Complete Email facilities in Internet, Compuserve, America Online, and
Applelink, for working with clients directly through email delivery of drafts
and information.

2. Complete presentation facilities for preparation and delivery of multimedia
presentations on Macintosh or Windows machines, in formats including on-disk
presentation, live presentation, or video presentation.

3. Complete desktop publishing facilities for delivery of regular retainer
reports, project output reports, marketing materials, market research reports.

3. 6 Future Services

In the future Progressive will broaden the coverage by expanding into coverage
of additional markets (e.g. all of Latin America, Far East, Western Europe) and
additional product areas (e.g. telecommunications and technology integration).
We are also studying the possibility of newsletter or electronic newsletter
services, or perhaps special on-topic reports.

4. 0 Market Analysis Summary

Progressive will be focusing on high-technology manufacturers of computer
hardware and software, services, networking, who want to sell into markets in
the United States, Europe, and Latin America. These are mostly larger companies,
and occasionally medium-sized companies.

Our most important group of potential customers are executives in larger
corporations. These are marketing managers, general managers, sales managers,
sometimes charged with international focus and sometimes charged with market or
even specific channel focus. They do not want to waste their time or risk their
money looking for bargain information or questionnable expertise. As they go
into markets looking at new opportunities, they are very sensitive to risking
their company’s name and reputation. Professional experience… [truncated
because this plan is provided for purposes of illustration only]

4. 1 Market Segmentation

Large manufacturer corporations: our most important market segment is the large
manufacturer of high-technology products, such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM,
Microsoft, Siemens, or Olivetti. These companies will be calling on Progressive
for development functions that are better spun off than managed in-house, and
for market research, and for market forums.

Medium sized growth companies: particularly in software, multimedia, and some
related high growth fields, Triangle will be able to offer an attractive
development alternative to the company that is management constrained and unable
to address opportunities in new markets and new market segments.

4. 2 Industry Analysis

The consulting “industry” is pulverized and disorganized, thousands of smaller
consulting organizations and individual consultants for every one of the few
dozen well-known companies.

Consulting is a disorganized industry, with participants ranging from major
international name brand consultants to tens of thousands of individuals. One of
Progressive’s challenges will be establishing itself as a “real” consulting
company, positioned as a relatively risk free corporate purchase.

4. 2. 1 Industry Participants

The consulting “industry” is pulverized and disorganized, thousands of smaller
consulting organizations and individual consultants for every one of the few
dozen well-known companies.

At the highest level are the few well established major names in management
consulting. Most of these are organized as partnerships established in major
markets around the world, linked together by interconnecting directors and
sharing the name and corporate wisdom. Some evolved from accounting companies
(e.g. Arthur Anderson, Touche Ross) and some from management consulting
(McKinsey, Bain). These companies charge very high rates for consulting, and
maintain relatively high overhead structures and fulfillment structures based on
partners selling and junior associates fulfilling. At the intermediate level are
some function specific or market specific consultants, such as the market
research firms (IEDC, Dataquest) or channel development firms (ChannelCorp,
Channel Strategies, ChannelMark).

Some kinds of consulting is little more than contract expertise provided by
somebody looking for a job and offering consulting services as a stop-gap
measure while looking.

4. 2. 2 Distribution Patterns

Consulting is sold and purchased mainly on a word-of-mouth basis, with
relationships and previous experience being by far the most important factor.

The major name-brand houses have locations in major cities and major markets,
and executive-level managers or partners develop new business through industry
associations, business associations, and chambers of commerce and industry, etc.,
even in some cases social associations such as country clubs.

The medium-level houses are generally area-specific or function specific, and
are not easily able to leverage their business through distribution.

4. 2. 3 Competition and Buying Patterns

The key element in purchase decisions made at the Progressive client level is
trust in the professional reputation and reliability of the consulting firm.

4. 2. 4 Main Competitors

The high-level prestige management consulting:

Strengths: international locations managed by owner-partners with a high level
of presentation and understanding of general business. Enviable reputations
which make purchase of consulting an easy decision for a manager, despite the
very high prices. Weaknesses: General business knowledge doesn’t substitute for
the specific market, channel, and distribution expertise of Triangle, focusing
on high-technology markets and products only. Also, fees are extremely expensive,
and work is generally done by very junior-level consultants, even though sold by
high-level partners.

The international market research company:

Strengths: International offices, specific market knowledge, permanent staff
developing market research information on permanent basis, good relationships
with potential client companies.

Weaknesses: market numbers are not marketing, not channel development or market
development. Although these companies compete for some of the business Triangle
is after, they cannot really offer the same level of business understanding at a
high level.

Market specific or function-specific experts

Strengths: expertise in market or functional areas. Triangle should not try to
compete with Normura or Select in their markets with market research, or with
ChannelCorp in channel management.

Weaknesses: the inability to spread beyond a specific focus, or to rise above a
specific focus, to provide actuial management expertise, experience, and wisdom
beyond the specifics.

The most significant competition is no consulting at all, companies choosing to
do business development and channel development and market research in-house.
Strengths: no incremental cost except travel; also, the general work is done by
the people who are entirely responsible, the planning done by those who will
implement. Weaknesses: most managers are terribly overburdened already, unable
to find incremental resources in time and people to apply to incremental
opportunities. Also, there is a lot of additional risk in market development and
channel development done in house from the ground up. Finally, retainer-based
antenna consultants can greatly enhance a company’s reach and extend its
position into conversations that might otherwise never hanve taken place.

4. 3 Market Analysis

As indicated by the illustrations, we must focus on a few thousand well-chosen
potential customers in the United States,Europe, and Latin America. These few
thousand high-tech manufacturing companies are the key customers for Progressive.

Potential CustomersCustomersGrowth rate _____________________________
_______________________ U.S. High Tech5,00010% European
High Tech1,00015% Latin America250
35% Other10,0002% ______________________________
______________________ Total16,250n.a.

5. 0 Strategy Summary

Progressive will focus on three geographical markets, the United States, Europe,
and Latin America, and in limited product segments: personal computers, software,
networks, telecommunications, personal organizers, and technology integration
products. The target customer is usually a manager in a larger corporation, and
occasionally an owner or president of a medium-sized corporation in a high-
growth period.

5. 1 Pricing Strategy

Progressive Consulting will be priced at the upper edge of what the market will
bear, competing with the name brand consultants. The pricing fits with the
general positioning of Triangle as high-level expertise.

Consulting should be based on $5,000 per day for project consulting, $2,000 per
day for market research, and $10,000 per month and up for retainer consulting.
Market research reports should be priced at $5,000 per report, which will of
course require that reports be very well planned, focused on very important
topics very well presented.

5. 2 Sales Forecast

The sales forecast monthly summary is included in the appendix. The annual sales
projections are included here in the following table.

Sales Forecast

Sales                   1995            1996            1997 ____________________
______________________________________________ Retainer Consulting
$200,000$250,000$325,000 Project Consulting$270,000
$325,000$350,000 Market Research$122,000
$150,000$200,000 Strategic Reports$0$50,000
$125,000 Other $0$0$0 Total

Cost of sales199519961997 ____________________
______________________________________________ Retainer Consulting
$30,000$20,000$30,000 Project Consulting
$45,000$25,000$31,000 Market Research
$84,000$45,000$50,000 Strategic
Reports$0$20,000$40,000 Other
$0$0$0 Total Cost of Sales$159,000

5. 3 Strategic Alliances

At this writing strategic alliances with Smith and Jones are possibilities,
given the content of existing discussions. Given the background of prospective
partners, we might also be talking to European companies including Siemens and
Olivetti and others, and to United States companies related to Apple Computer.
In Latin America we would be looking at the key local high-technology vendors,
beginning with Printaform.

6. 0 Management Summary

The initial management team depends on the founders themselves, with little
back-up. As we grow we will take on additional consulting help, plus graphic/
editorial, sales, and marketing.

6. 1 Organizational Structure

Progressive should be managed by working partners, in a structure taken mainly
from Smith Partners. In the beginning we assume 3-5 partners:

Ralph Sampson

At least one, probably two partners from Smith and Jones

One strong European partner, based in Paris.

The organization has to be very flat in the beginning, with each of the founders
reponsible for his or her own work and management.

One other strong partner

6. 2 Management Team

The Progressive business requires a very high level of international experience
and expertise, which means that it will not be easily leveragable in the common
consulting company mode in which partners run the business and make sales, while
associates fulfill. Partners will necessarily be involved in the fulfillment of
the core business proposition, providing the expertise to the clients.

The initial personnel plan is still tentative. It should involve 3-5 partners,
1-3 consultants, 1 strong editorial/graphic person with good staff support, 1
strong marketing person, an office manager, and a secretary. Later we add more
partners, consultants and and sales staff.

Founders’ resumes are included as an additional attachment to this plan.

6. 3 Personnel Plan

The detailed monthly personnel plan for the first year is included in the
appendices. The annual personal estimates are included here as Table 5.

Personnel Plan
199519961997 ____________________

Partners $144,000$175,000$200,000 Consultants
$0$50,000$63,000 Editorial/graphic
$18,000$22,000$26,000 VP Marketing
$20,000$50,000$55,000 Sales people
$0$30,000$33,000 Office Manager $7,500
$30,000$33,000 Secretarial $5,250
$20,000$22,000 Other $0$0
$0 Subtotal$194,750$377,000$432,000

7. 0 Financial Plan

We will maintain a conservative financial strategy, based on developing capital
for future growth.

7. 1 Important Assumptions

The table in this section summarizes key financial assumptions, including 45-day
average collection days, sales entirely on invoice basis, expenses mainly on net
30 basis, 35 days on average for payment of invoices, and present-day interest

General Assumptions

199519961997 ____________

Collection days434545
Payment Days353535

199519961997 ____________
_____________________________________________________________ Short Term
Interest Rate8.00%8.00%8.00% Long Term Interest Rate
10.00%10.00%10.00% Payment days
353535 Tax Rate Percent0.00%
0.00%0.00% Expenses in cash%25.00%25.00%
25.00% Sales on credit100.00%
100.00%100.00% Personnel Burden %14.00%

7.2 Key Financial Indicators

The chart summarizes key financial benchmarks. Unfortunately, as we increase
sales we will have to show a decline in performance of collection days and gross

7. 3 Break-even Analysis

Break Even Analysis: ___________________________________________________ Monthly
Units Break-even125,000 Monthly Sales Break-even

Assumptions: Average Unit Sale$1.00 Average Per-Unit Cost
$0.20 Fixed Cost$100,000

7. 4 Projected Profit and Loss

The detailed monthly pro-forma income statement for the first year is included
in the appendices. The annual estimates are included here.

Pro-forma Income Statement
199519961997 ____________
_____________________________________________________________ Sales
$592,000$775,000$1,000,000 Cost of Sales
$159,000$110,000$151,000 Other

Total Cost of Sales$160,000$110,000$151,000 Gross
margin$432,000$665,000$849,000 Gross margin
percent72.97%85.81%84.90% Operating
expenses: Advertising/Promotion10.00%$36,000
$40,000$44,000 Public Relations10.00%$30,000
$30,000$33,000 Travel10.00%
$90,000$60,000$110,000 Miscellaneous
10.00%$6,000$7,000$8,000 Payroll expense
$194,750$377,000$432,000 Leased Equipment$6,000
$7,000$7,000 Utilities20%$12,000
$14,000$17,000 Insurance20%$3,600
$2,000$2,000 Depreciation$0
$0$0 Rent25%
$18,000$23,000$29,000 Payroll Burden
$0$0$0 Contract/Consultants
$0$0$0 Other$0

Total Operating Expenses$396,350$560,000$682,000 Profit
Before Interest and Taxes$35,650$105,000$167,000
Interest Expense ST$3,600$12,800$12,800
Interest Expense LT$5,000$5,000$5,000 Taxes
Incurred$0$0$0 Net Profit
$27,050$87,200$149,200 Net

7. 5 Projected Cash Flow

Cash flow projections are critical to our success. The monthly cash flow is
shown in the illustration, with one bar representing the cash flow per month and
the other the monthly balance. The annual cash flow figures are included here.
Detailed monthly numbers are included in the appendices.

Pro-Forma Cash Flow
199519961997 ____
Net Profit:$27,050$87,200
$149,200 Plus: Depreciation$0
$0$0 Change in Accounts Payable$49,413
$16,799$13,764 Current Borrowing (repayment)
$60,000$100,000$0 Increase (decrease) Other
Liabilities$0$0$0 Long-term Borrowing
(repayment)$50,000$0$0 Capital
Change in Accounts Receivable$94,000$5,750
$50,500 Change in Inventory$0$0
$0 Change in Other ST Assets$0$0$0
Capital Expenditure$0$0$0
$50,500 Net Cash Flow$92,463
$198,249$112,464 Cash balance$117,463

7. 6 Projected Balance Sheet

The balance sheet shows healthy growth of net worth, and strong financial
position. The monthly estimates are included in the appendices.

Pro-forma Balance Sheet
199519961997 ____
Short-term AssetsStarting Balances Cash$25,000
$117,463$315,712$428,176 Accounts receivable$0
$94,000$99,750$150,250 Inventory$0
$0$0$0 Other Short-term Assets$7,000
$7,000$7,000$7,000 Total Short-term Assets
$32,000$218,463$422,462$585,426 Long-term
Assets Capital Assets$0$0$0
$0 Accumulated Depreciation$0$0$0$0 Total
Long-term Assets$0$0$0$0
_________________________________________________ Total

Debt and Equity
199519961997 ____
Accounts Payable$5,000$54,413$71,212
$84,976 Short-term Notes$0$60,000
$160,000$160,000 Other ST Liabilities$0$0
$0$0 Subtotal Short-term Liabilities

Long-term Liabilities$0$50,000$50,000
$50,000 Total Liabilities$5,000$164,413

Paid in Capital$50,000$50,000
$50,000$50,000 Retained Earnings($23,000)
($23,000)$4,050$91,250 Earnings$0
$27,050$87,200$149,200 Total Equity
$27,000$54,050$141,250$290,450 Total
Debt and Equity$32,000$218,463$422,462
$585,426 Net Worth$27,000$54,050

7. 7 Business Ratios

Progressive Consulting will be formed as a consulting company specializing in
marketing of high-technology products in international markets. Its founders are
former marketers of consulting services, personal computers, and market research,
all in international markets. They are founding Progressive to formalize the
consulting services they offer.

Ratio Analysis

Profitability Ratios:199519961997 ____________
________________________________________________________ Gross margin
72.97%85.81%84.90% Net profit margin
4.57%11.25%14.92% Return on Assets12.38%
20.64%25.49% Return on Equity50.05%

Activity Ratios: AR Turnover6.307.77
6.66 Collection days294545
Inventory Turnover0.000.000.00 Accts
payable turnover7.677.067.35 Total asset

Debt Ratios:199519961997 ____________
________________________________________________________ Debt to net Worth
3.041.991.02 Short-term Debt to Liab.0.70

Liquidity Ratios: Current Ratio1.911.83
2.39 Quick Ratio1.911.83
2.39 Net Working Capital$104,050$191,250$340,450
Interest Coverage4.155.909.38

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