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Write a Business Plan

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Every biotech startup should begin with a thorough business plan to guide the achievement of milestones and help with obtaining research funding. A business plan is a good way to introduce your business as you approach a venture investor, granting agency or loan institution. Check this planning outline for a list of items to include in your business plan.
Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Several Hours

Here's How:

  1. Write an Introduction

    Give an introduction to your business idea including the following:

    • Business Concept
    • Goals and Objectives
    • Management / Ownership

    Describe your business model including if you are a virtual business.


  2. Outline Your Products and Services

    What products and services will your company offer and how do they fit together with the vision of the company? In this section, include information on whether you depend on outsourcing for any aspect of these operations. What are the risks relating to competition or other economic issues, and how is the product protected (eg. patents)? Describe the following relationships:
    • Products/Services Mixtures
    • Products/Services Risks

  3. Do a Market Analysis

    Thorough research to define the demand for your product and what existing competition there might be, will aid in determining the viability of your idea and the startup. Include a SWOT analysis in this sections to evaluate your company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
    • Description of Total and Target Markets
    • Area Market is Situated in
    • Expected Share of Market
    • Competitors

  4. Plan Some Marketing Strategies

    Practical issues such as the following must be considered:
    • Sales
    • Pricing
    • Distribution
    • Promotion

    Running a startup requires many different skills and roles, and it might not always be practical to do it in-house. This is another area where outsourcing might be used.


  5. Discuss How the Company Will Operate

    A description of the state of the research and government approval, if required, will give an idea of the financial requirements and estimated time until a profit can be realized. Other additional practical considerations are listed here.
    • R&D
    • Production
    • Procurement of Supplies

    Include, in your plan, strategies that have been implemented to improve productivity, such as PAT, or XML for document management.

  6. Plan For Human Resources

    How many employees will the company be able to support in the beginning, what will their responsibilities be, what level of training do they need and where will you get professional assistance (legal, accounting etc.) when needed?
    • Skilled Personnel
    • Administrative Assistance
    • Legal and other Specialty Needs

  7. Describe the Company Location

    If you aren't a virtual company, or you don't outsource production, there are many things to consider when choosing a location. You may want to locate in one of the top biotech hubs of North America, and if you do your own R&D, there are considerations for choosing laboratory space. Consider the following:
    • Business Location
    • Size / Type of Building Required
    • Lease, Rented or Purchased
    • Zoning Regulations

  8. Recognize Environmental Issues

    Identify and plan for dealing with any environmental issues such as:
    • Disposing of Chemical Wastes
    • Air Emissions

    Indicate if you plan to get ISO certified for quality environmental or managment systems, or already have the certification.


  9. Plan Your Finances

    Anyone considering investing, loaning or granting money to your cause will want to see the balance sheets:
    • Starting Balance Sheet
    • Cash Flow Forecast
    • Loans, Grants etc.
    • Repayment of Loans
    • Insurance
    • Accounts Receivable Concerns
    • List of Inventory
    • List of Other Assets
    • How Bookkeeping Will be Addressed

    Investors and banks will also want to know about other sources of startup funding, if any.

  10. Establish Goals

    Outline a 3-5 year plan that includes short and long term goals for the company and measurable milestones that demonstrate stepwise progress in achieving them.

What You Need

  • Resume
  • Applicable Certificates or License
  • Credit / Business References
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Insurance Agreement or Quote
  • Applicable Sales and Other Tax Registration Numbers
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