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9.2 Business Plan Overview Template (Mantra, Mission, Money, Goals, Objectives, and Tactics)

The second template is the Business Plan Overview templateA template that uses the Organizational and Industry Analysis information and FAD template to identify the organizational mantra, mission, money or value proposition, goals and objectives, and tactics used to develop the full-blown business plan. (see Note 9.5 "Business Plan Overview Template (do this second)"). This template uses the Organizational and Industry Analysis information and FAD template to identify the organizational mantra, the mission, the money or value proposition, goals and objectives, and tactics. It is essentially a scaled-down business plan that can be used to develop the full-blown business plan that will be discussed in a later chapter.

  1. The mantra: Guy Kawasaki prefers using a mantra in lieu of a mission statement.Kawasaki (2008). He is very critical of mission statements that are crafted by a large committee of 60 at an offsite retreat. We do not see the mantra as a replacement for the mission statement. We see the mantra as an often-repeated phrase that provides the basis for the existence of the company. It is a slogan, a watchword, a byword, and a motto that breathes life into the firm’s existence. The meaning of a product as identified in the FAD template is a good place to look for the foundations of a mantra. Examples include the following:

    • Hospital: Service, respect, and excellence in healthcare
    • Software Developer: Quality software through hard work and creativity
    • Manufacturing: Quality is our endgame
    • Telecommunications: We hear our customers.
  2. The mission statement: The mission statement presents a brief overall view of the business. It describes what the company does and why it exists. It should focus on meeting customer needs. It should address at an abstract level what products or services are produced. It can also include a statement reflecting whether the company will focus on product differentiation and niche markets, focus on being price-competitive, or focus on both. The FAD template is also a good source of information for the mission statement. Examples of a mission statement include the following:

    • We use high-quality materials and craftsmanship to develop superior jewelry boxes for the discriminating buyer.
    • We develop general purpose and customized charity event planning software for nonprofit organizations.
    • We manufacture high-quality measurement instruments for companies involved in oil exploration.
    • Our school prepares students to work in highly productive software environments.
  3. The money: The purpose of this section is to provide an overview for the value proposition. That is how your organization will make money using the two generic business model strategies. The organization can differentiate, be the low-cost producer, or both. As noted earlier, most organizations attempt to differentiate and be the low-cost producer at the same time. Because they are often conflicting strategies, many organizations are slightly better at one or the other. The best performers balance both strategies. One important consideration is the generation of additional sales by offering complementary products and services. For example, a printer company can sell toner, warranties, and maintenance contracts. A phone manufacturer might become a mobile application developer and also sell accessories for the phone. Firms should also discuss the potential size of the market when it is relevant and whether there is potential for a Blue Ocean market. Examples of money statements include the following:

    • We will generate profits by constantly introducing jewelry boxes with new features and cutting costs by using building technology to lower costs.
    • We generate most of our revenues by developing high-end customizable charity planning software. We will keep development costs down by developing software modules that are conducive to adding and subtracting features. We will generate additional recurring revenues by offering upgrades and providing customized systems development for nonstandard applications. It is a largely untapped market with excellent revenue potential.
    • We will sell a high-end social-networking project management tool for large companies. The companies we will sell our product to are not price-sensitive and we will be able to charge a premium price to cover our high fixed costs. We will generate additional recurring revenues by offering upgrades and providing customized systems development for nonstandard applications.
    • We will build an inexpensive house using modular and inexpensive building materials. We will be the low-cost supplier. We will generate additional recurring revenues by offering house maintenance services to our customers.
  4. The goals and objectives: There is a lot of confusion related to goals and objectives. Goals are thought of as being more abstract and broader than objectives. This is a rather overstated and specious claim that creates more harm than good. This section of the business plan template encourages you to list both goals and objectives. The important point is to identify the goals and objectives that will help support the mantra, the mission, and the value proposition over the next 3 months to a year. Examples include the following:

    • Launch new product line in July
    • Increase sales by 5% over the next year
    • Service 10% more customers than last year
    • Reduce waste by 5%.
  5. The tactics: The tactics are the activities the organization will use over the next 3 months to a year to reach a company’s goals and objectives. In the context of the military, the tactics are the techniques used to deploy troops, hardware, aircraft, and ships for combat. In business, this includes the activities related to marshaling human resources, manufacturing resources, acquiring equipment, and related supply chain activities to attain the goals and objectives. The tactics can include timetables and schedules related to the goals and objectives. Examples of tactics include the following:

    • Purchase a high-performance band saw in February
    • Hire employees in April to develop new customer interface software
    • Develop a radio-marketing plan for introducing new product in November
    • Have the sales force contact every customer who has not purchased a product in the last 2 years.

Business Plan Overview Template (do this second)

  1. What is your mantra considering differentiation through innovation or perish or cost reduction (3–10 words on why your company should exist)?

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  2. What is the overall mission of the business (1–3 sentences on what your company does or will do and your target customers)?

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  3. How will you make money in terms of product differentiation, being the low-cost producer, and what complementary products and services will be offered in order to generate recurring revenues?

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  4. What are your goals and objectives over the next 3 months to year (2–6 phrases on precise performance intentions)?

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  5. What tactics will you use over the next 3 months to a year to reach your objectives and mission (2–8 phrases)?

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