Does anyone do or even know how to do a business plan? This is our first year doing one and no one knows how. Help me, please.
Business Plans for Dummies. I’m in the middle of writing a real business plan, but I have never done one for a FIRST team.
Attached is a business plan I helped to create this summer as a part of the Shad Valley Program, a business and entrepreneurship camp at one of 10 universities across Canada. This plan is more than 20-25 pages without financial data and graphs, but it is obvious that some of the headings will not apply to FIRST, like product profile and research. However, this should give you the basic sense of what the language should be, what the set up should be. Your Executive summary headings could be easily adapted from what I have there to pertain specifically to your team.
Hope this helps!
SBA (United States Small Business Administration) has plan examples on their site and tells you how to write a business plan. I am using their examples to write my own plan for a company that I will be starting later this year.
Here is their site with business plans
There are official ways to do this and then more informal ways to start.
A easy way to think of this is what information would be needed for a grant proposal. The great part about putting a business plan together is that your team will then have the information all together that can be used for future grants.
History and Organizational background
If in a school, details about your school.
Mission Statement-you need one
How much do you need? -your entire budget
What is your plan to get funding? Do you go to companies? Write letters? Do local fundraisers?
How do you make sure you have money for the team NEXT YEAR.
*Information contained in the Yearbook page on the TIMS
What you would do differently based on past experience.
It is hard work to collect all this information, but once you have it, it can be used over and over.
Our team won the national business plan award in 2003, and i am one of the people who wrote our award last year and this past year. If you need any help with your business plan or have any questions, please feel free to PM me.
Yeah it can be pretty scary to be writing a business plan when you have no idea what to do, that was me last year. :ahh:
Ok, here are some things to include.
1.Executive summary- Overview of the whole business plan, but keep it short and sweet. This always goes first, even before the table of contents!
2.Table of contents- self-explanatory
3. Team description- what is your team, another overview basically, you will go into more depth about your team further into the plan.
4. History- what has your team won, gained, lost, everything important!!
5. Organization- a page or so about FIRST, since that is the organization your team is involved with.
6. Target market- simply who do you promote FIRST to? How? Why?
7.Goals- The goals set for your team, go into depth about the important ones. Why did your team set this goal? What are you looking to accomplish?
8.Long-term growth- If you are a veteran team, how has your team grown and progressed?
9.Marketing strategy- How do you promote your team within FIRST? How do you promote your team within the community? Why do you choose to go about it that way?
10.Management and Organization- How your team is run (coaches, mentors, etc.)
11.Operations- Of your team has a complex way of getting things done explain each group (build team, awards team, etc) in depth
12.Budget- What exactly your team has spent, fundraised, sponsors, donations, etc.
13.Community Involvement- How your team interacts with the community (demonstrations etc)
14.Competition- Even though we all show gracious professionalism, talk about the team you graciously run up against often.
Here are basics of what to have. Of course go in depth with each one and feel free to add anything else you feel is necessary. It doesn’t have to go in this order, the exception of the executive summary. don’t forget to add the negative things that have happened to your team because the judges aren’t looking for which team had less trouble, they are looking at how well thought out your team is run. Everyone has bumps in the road! Hopefully this helps you. Anyone feel free to add to this! Plus don’t hesitate to PM me or email me with any questions you have. I’ll be more then happy to answer them.
Don’t forget that your team is a non-profit organization, so base your business plan around that concept.
hey guys thanks alot for all of your help it has really helped me out. if you have anything to add for those of you who haven’t please feel free. thanks alot agian Travis
Hey. I’m from team 301 and last year we won the national Entreprenuerial award for our business plan. If you would like to get an e-copy of last years we will be more than happy to send it to you. Just email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.
I thought that a team is only considered non profit after the government approves there 501 c3 application?
But I’m not sure
Schools are already 501c3 organization. It’s only if you are not associated with a school (like us, Kyle) that you need to get the status from the IRS.
Some teams apply for their own 501©3, but this is a lot of work. Others use an exisiting 501©3.
Team007 approached the school board and asked to have an account within the school boards 501©3. Corporations may prefer to make donations to an account like this rather than to the school.
Was shopping on-line at Office Depot. They have examples of business plan and financial statements you can download for free.
MS Office does as well:
Yes, it depends whether you are using a school account or not. If you do use a school account, it already counts as a non-profit organization. If you decide to set up your own seperate account and want to be considered a non-profit, you need to apply for a 501©3, which as stated above is a whole lot of work and a lot paperwork to fill out.
Public schools are not 501©(3) corporations, but they may accept tax-deductible donations. (I want to say that they fall under Section 509, but IANAL, and I don’t remember for sure.)