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1.2 Highlights Questionnaire

What does the Highlights section of the Business Plan for a Full Service Restaurant accomplish?

The Highlights section of the business plan does exactly what the heading says - it highlights the key parts of the business plan for the reader. The executive summary section of the business plan requires that the main highlights of the entire business plan be covered in a few lines so that a busy reader may get a very quick birds eye view of the business plan. This makes the highlights section of the business plan for a small business like A Touch of Tuscany very important. All key items of the business plan need to be summarized in a very succinct manner here.

What are the items of a business plan that need to be included in the highlights section of the plan for small business owners like Jack Gordon?

We always recommend that the highlights section of the business plan along with the rest of the executive summary section be written up last. If you don't have anything to summarize, you can hardly starting writing a summary! Thus when the entire plan is done, and you get to the highlights section of the business plan, we recommend that you keep the rest of the plan open on a computer screen and look it over as you are looking to find items that you need to include in the highlights. Lets examine each section of a typical business plan to see what we may be able to include:

Section 1: Executive Summary:

The executive summary section contains a high level summary of the most important points for a small business like A Touch of Tuscany.
- It includes the mission statement where a business owner like Jack Gordon has to answer the key question about why they are in business.
- Also covered are highlights of the key items in the plan like owner experience, total cost of acquisition, set up or purchase, how much funding is required, how much is being contributed by the owners of the business.
- The location of the target market and a very quick demographic summary of the marketplace.
- A summary view of the competition - how many competitors.
- What are the sales projections and gross margins for the coming three years.
- What technology does the business employ or intend to employ.

Section 2: Company Summary

The Company Summary section of the business plan includes information on company ownership, startup summary, history, start up funding, source of funds, loan summary, company location & facilities. Here we recommend that you select highlights that cover all or some of the key elements like. A sample high light from this section is as follows:
- The business owners (include actual names) have 18 years of experience in this business are now looking to start a new business or continue to grow their existing business that will offer certain products and services to the local, regional or national market place.
- Start up / acquisition or expansion summary: a few words that summarize if you are starting, acquiring or expanding an existing business.
- History: Some words that give an overview of the history of the business if there is one, where it used to be located, who were the previous owners, the names of any large clients the business used to serve in the past and so on - if there is history for any business, we highly recommend that you take a few words to highlight them.
- Estimation of funds required for startup, acquisition or expansion: clearly just a mention of the final dollar amount that you are looking to borrow would be perfect to include here.
- Source of funds: A few words that lay out where you plan on getting the funding for your business should be mentioned in the highlights.
- Business Location and facilities: here you would simply lay out the locations of a small business like A Touch of Tuscany that is located in White Plains, New York.

Section 3: Products and Services

Without going into too much detail, a small business owner like Jack Gordon needs to be able to summarize the products and services that a small business like A Touch of Tuscany intends to offer its customers in the highlights section of the business plan.

Section 4: Target Market and Industry Analysis

A few quick words that summarize the target market for a small business like A Touch of Tuscany and also the demographic and trends in in the industry of a small business like A Touch of Tuscany would be ideal here. If there are metrics on population, housing, consumer expenditure, pricing both wholesale and retail and other economic metrics that give the business significant advantage, they should be mentioned in the highlights. The total number of establishments that are competing with a small business like A Touch of Tuscany could be mentioned right along with the number of households with a reference to the income, age, education profile and race demographics of the population.

Section 5: Strategy and Implementation Summary

This section of the business plan is full of key information that can be included in the highlights of the business plan. One can start with a few words about the elements that give a small business like A Touch of Tuscany a competitive edge while also touching upon the positioning, advertising public relations and sales strategies of the small business. Also important to note is the final sales projections for each year included in the business plan - these annual sales numbers must be included in the highlights section of the a business plan for a small business like A Touch of Tuscany

Section 6: Web Strategy and Technology:

Without getting too elaborate, we recommend that a small business owner like Jack Gordon give the readers of the business plan a quick overview of the technology that the small business is or will be using in the days ahead and also what if any are the plans to attract business using a web based marketing strategy.

Section 7: Management & Personnel Plan:

From the management and personnel plan, a few quick words about the total staff and managers that will be working for a small business like A Touch of Tuscany should do the job.

Section 8: Financial Plan:

It is recommended that only the key elements of the projections from the financial plan be included in the highlights section - for example the number of units it would take to break even, gross and net margins and anticipated retained earnings would suffice. Also worth mentioning would be the a couple of key ratios like debt to equity ratio, current ratio and other ratios that are deemed to be important in the specific industry of the small business.

Section 9: Exit Strategy:

Any plans for an early exit should be mentioned in the highlights of the business plan.

Quick Links:

  1. Go to the Corresponding Business Plan section for this industry.

Small Business Owner Resource Center


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The Foundation Grant Directory is a free listing of sources for grants by state. Why not look if there is some free money out there for your business. Hey - you never know!



The Business Loan Application covers every item you will need in your loan package and tells you how to get approved for business loans.



Fire your loan broker and use our Free Business Loans Bank / Lender Directory to find every bank in the country lending to small businesses.



If you are looking to start a business - look no further.  Check out the Free Incorporation Guide discussion and the State Incorporation Resource Directory.

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