Tips for
The CIT Prize for
Business Plan
Quality not
Don’t Cut and
Format clearly
Do proper Market
Explore new
business models
Make sure ALL the
team have worked
on the project
Complete Realistic
Financials (take
care of sales
Very Few
Business’s make a
profit straight away
Typical Content
of a Business
Table of Contents
Marketing Plan
Contact Details
Sales Plan
Company Information
Operation of Business
Executive Summary
Expenditure and Related Financing
Promoters and Team
Manpower Plan
Product and Service Details
Financial Projections and Summaries
Attributes of a
Specific Market
and Technical
Management and
Planning Skills
Customers Easily
Research and
Exit Strategy
How Innovative
is your
What is the ‘problem’ that you see with the current
product/service offering in the marketplace?
What is your ‘solution’ to this ‘problem’?
What is the ‘underlying magic’ to your solution?
How do you intend to commercialise your solution and
‘underlying magic’?
Tips for your
Marketing Plan
Base your plan on the most accurate and most current information available.
Document your information. Your claims about market growth or competitor response
should be supported by realistic and verifiable information.
Who are your competitors?
Why will you be ‘better’ than your competitors?
Are you focused on customers and customers’ needs?
Can you provide testimonials?
Tips for Doing
‘Tailor’ your research efforts and activities to your needs. Don't be overwhelmed by all the
information out there—stay focused on finding the information you need for your business
venture. Provide the info on the markets you will be serving first
Document your sources. Good record keeping at the research stage will pay off in the short
and long term. Remember that the world changes.
Document both Primary & Secondary Research
Primary is ‘better’ than secondary.
‘Quality’ is ‘better’ than ‘Quantity’!
Tips for Your
Financial Plan
A business has to have a healthy cash flow to survive, and has to have the long-term potential
for profitability—otherwise, why do it?
Do you have a clearly defined ‘Business Model’? How will you make money from
commercialising this innovative proposal?
Pay close attention to cash planning. Although most people think of profits first, cash flow can
be more important for a start-up venture.
Do the majority of the ‘number crunching’ yourself. Even if you are not a numbers person and
have expert advice, get in there and do the work of building a cash flow statement.
Don't plan on overburdening the business with too much debt. Debt can seem attractive—
ready cash!—but too much debt can weigh down a company's ability to grow.
Provide Projected Financial Statements – monthly Year 1 and quarterly for Years 2 & 3.
Business Planning is a process as well as a written document.
Not all business plans follow the same ‘structure’.
The ‘Test’ of a Business Plan - does the Business Plan adequately address all of the issues for
the purpose for which it was prepared? Reviewed a ‘sample Plan’.
Write the plan in the ‘3rd Person’.
Don’t go ‘overboard’ with costly presentation - The person reading your plan may ask for a
word or PDF document to be transmitted electronically.
Business Planning problems can be minimised through active engagement in the process.
The financial plan is a critical section of your business plan because it translates all the other
parts of the business (the opportunity, the operating plan, the marketing plan, the
management team) into anticipated financial results. Cash is King!
Present your idea in a clear manner such that it is easily understood
Provide a Prototype or Drawing of your idea and allow the panel to see it
Agree who is to present: Allow the different experts to present but make sure it does not become disjointed
Decide before hand who will answer what questions. Look like you have worked together as a team
Avoid complex presentations which need a web click in or a movie to run in it (End with these so that the panel can see
them at their leisure)
Dress for the occasion, but don’t look like you borrowed the Dad’s suit
If you don’t have an answer don’t bluff
If you have a large team make sure everyone has a role in the presentation
Stick to the time given, you will not be allowed to continue if you run out of time
Choose your first slide carefully: this will grab their attention or put them to sleep
Expression of
Business Plan
Interview –
Q&A Session
• Fill out expression of interest form (EOI
• Deadline: 15th November 2013
• Submit business plan template
• Deadline: Monday 24th February 2014 , before 12.30pm
• Week beginning Monday 3rd March 2014
• Upstairs in Administration Building
• Thursday 13th March 2014
Innovation Day
• Nexus Centre- exhibition of team stands and award ceremony.
• Friday 14th March 2014
• All documentation will be available online at:
Good Luck!