I was reading over the rules today and I happened upon the major part of the Entrepreneurship Award: The Business Plan. When I read the guidelines for it, it seemed like they wanted very short and concise plans.
The Executive Summary is your chance to tell a story and should be no longer than two pages. It provides a concise overview of the plan along with a history of your team. This section tells your reader where your team is and where you want to take it. It’s the first thing your readers see, therefore it is the thing that will either grab their interest or make them want to keep reading or make them want to put it down and forget about it. More than anything else, this section is important because it tells the reader why you think your business idea will be successful.
Am I to presume they truly mean two pages, with nothing in between? Is there any wiggle room? There is quite a bit that they want you to tell in those two pages.
Those two pages are just for your executive summary. I believe you are free to add as many pages as you want after the executive summary. I know last year this rule was the same, and our business plan was over 2 pages long.
In reality, the guidelines that they give out for the business plan is just a list of info that is necessary to include. I should know, last year, I pioneered (FRC Team 1625) Winnovation’s business plan. We took it to the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth, Minnesota, and as stated in the records for that regional, we didn’t win. Team 1816, the Green Machine did. I got to look at their business plan (which they have posted on their website), and I was completely blown away. Their business plan was some 20 pages, and quite detailed.
I’m currently making major revisions for Winnovation’s 2013 business plan, working off of Green Machine’s and Team 234 Cyber Blue Robotics’ past business plans.
The bottom line that I’ve inferred is that the business plan should be somewhat extensive and detailed, though allowing for some info to be excluded with the assumption that the judges would already know the info that would be excluded.
You will find that teams that share their business plan’s are about 50%. If your team creates the plan and is unsure of content or direction, I would be more than happy to look it over and offer some advice.
Team 2130’s business plan is focusing on sustainability and our involvement in the community. I am personally writing the plan and i though it would be about ten pages plus the two page executive summery but now it is over twenty and i keep adding more components.
Keep going! The more detailed, the better I think. Also, if you can make it a working document, so that it may be applicable in future years, that would make it even better; that is what I’m doing for 1625’s business plan.