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Young companies with fresh ideas need financial resources to help turn their vision into reality. Flush with excitement, these entrepreneurs make the rounds to banks and potential investors. More often than not, these prospects never get a chance. Why?

Holes in the Business Plan.

Over the years, Edward G. Jones & Co. LLC has evaluated hundreds of business plans, and has developed a system to gauge how likely a company's Business Plan will get an investor's attention and receive funding. A company with a high probability to receive funding has done market research, tested its product, has clear goals, a solid management team and has articulated its vision in an effective Business Plan.

Most importantly, any company that has gone through this rigorous preparation will not only receive funding, but will likely become a successful long-term enterprise.

As a service, EGJ has outlined this BUSINESS PLAN CHECKLIST so you, the entrepreneur, can know what is expected in a business plan, can anticipate the kinds of questions potential investors will be asking, and will thus focus on the true objectives of the business.

Using the BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE will help you organize and present clear, comprehensive and concise information to the investment community. Plus, you have created a roadmap to guide your steps to growing your business and ensuring future success.



The Market * Customers * Competition * Management Team
Intellectual Property * Financial Plan

The Market
Describe the Opportunity

  • What stage is your business in - e.g. concept, development, later stages?
  • What is the market's total size?
  • Annual growth rate?
  • What are the market segments?

Who Are They and What's in it for Them?

  • Why do customers need your product or service?
  • Why will they change their present buying habits to use your product or service?
  • What is the value proposition of your product or service to your customers?
  • How will you retain your customers and encourage repeat and multiple purchases?
  • What is your plan for Customer Service?

Companies and Regulatory Issues

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Describe your competitive advantages.
  • Do you have first mover advantage?
  • Are the regulatory issues affecting your business?
  • Are there international trade and globalization considerations?

Management Team
Leaders, Managers, Workers

  • Who is on the Management Team?
  • Describe their experience, successes and failures in the industry
  • How much equity does Management have invested in the company?
  • Does Management display motivated and enthusiastic leadership?
  • What degree of confidence do you, as CEO, have that the business will be successful?
  • How will you communicate that confidence to investors, employees, stakeholders and the media?

Intellectual Property
Unique Assets

  • Patents awarded or pending
  • Are these patents defensible?
  • Are competitors infringing on your patent rights?
  • Does your company have breakthrough technology that could change your industry or create a new one?

Financial Plan - First Five Years
Revenue Outlook

  • Optimistic & Conservative scenarios
  • Can it be a big company?
  • What are the limiting factors to your company's growth?
  • Show the margin analysis, including:
    • EBITDA
    • Gross margin
    • Operating Cash Flow Projections
  • Explain the use of proceeds showing complete financial projections and milestones.


  • How has the business been financed until now?
  • Who are the investors in the company?
  • How much equity do the investors and managers have?
  • How much money are you seeking in this round?

Cost Management

  • Is the business capital intensive?
  • What are the main capital expenditures over the next 5 years?
  • What systems will be used to track and control costs, e.g. IT systems & services, Internet tools, ASPs, etc.?

Staffing and Alliances

  • Describe the Organizational plan
  • How many people will be needed?
  • Show ramp-up over 5 years.


  • What are the measurable benchmarks for success in
    • Revenue growth
    • Customer growth
    • Expense reduction
    • Organizational expansion