This module will introduce you to the different business structures and their characteristics. You’ll also answer key questions which will help you have a more productive conversation with a lawyer or accountant about which legal structure is the best fit for you.
So now what?
By the end of Module 1, you will complete the Business Overview Section. This section provides background information on the business and a general overview of the business structure.
Watch the following introduction for Module 2 and how to compose a business idea.
Describe the management structure of the business, listing and describing key people on the management team (including the owner). Include each member’s position, key functions and relevant experience. Make sure to include what experience and educational background that you, the owner, bring to the business.
Note: Do not underestimate the importance of this part of the plan. Readers need to know that the people running the business have the skills, drive and experience to enable its success.
Location and Facilities
Indicate where the business is located and describe the facilities (size of the office, furniture and equipment needed). If there is more than one location or office (for example, a home office along with a distribution centre), discuss both in detail. If the business is home-based, include the home address from which you plan to operate the business.
Describe how you, the owner, came to the decision to start the business and highlight some of the reasons for the development of the business. In other words, tell your personal story of how this business concept evolved.
Describe the legal name and legal status of the business (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation).
Vision / Mission Statement
Include the business’ vision statement and/or mission statement. In addition to the business’ core values, a vision statement and mission statement provides readers with insight into what the business is trying to accomplish and what the business stands for.
A Vision Statement is a long-term dream for the business, often very inspiring.
A Mission Statement is the purpose of the business – the problem the business seeks to solve, often stated as a solution. It usually captures what can be done on a daily basis. Consider that some businesses use mission statements to highlight specific business strategies and philosophies (e.g., importance their business places on developing good customer and employee relationships).
Core Values form a set of guidelines, which influence how a business chooses to operate and approach its key initiatives. Define the business’ core values, and expand on how these values are lived out in your business.
While you’re hopefully excited to take the leap and become an entrepreneur, we know it can also be nerve-wracking to think about these questions when starting out.
At the end of this section, you should have an understanding of why a Business Overview is important. You should understand how to put together it together, how to research it and the objective of putting it together.
Tip: At the beginning of each module you'll find a Looking Ahead topic like this one that sets up what's to come. And, at the end, you'll find a Looking Back, which gives you a quick summary and wrap-up of what you've learned.