How To

Business Plan 101: General Company Description

The general company description is the first part of the business plan that will actually be written. This section follows the executive summary and is the second part of the business plan. This section provides a general direction of the business and outlines the company for potential investors or potential partners. In this section you can include details about your business, your business structure, and your business' core values. 

Related Post: Business Plan 101: Executive Summary

The general company description should address the following:

Basic Information

  • The Nature of the Business: Describe your industry and what your business will do to address a industry need.
  • Business Structure: Include a description of the legal structure of your business and why the business structure works best.
  • Mission Statement: While not required, this short (30-40 words) section encompasses your business and its guiding principles and values. 

Goals & Objectives

  • Goals: This is a statement of what you want for the future and supports the reaching of an objective.  For example, if your objective is to increase users by 50% – a goal could be to increase active users by engaging your audience through social media.
  •  Objectives: This is an achievement that you hope to reach and is usually mesuarable. For example it would be to increase revenue by 50% within the next twelve months.

Values & Philosophies

  • Target Market: Include a brief description of who you target market is and how you plan to reach that market. This should be brief and will be expanded upon in a future section.

Strengths & Resources

  • Industry: Describe your industry along with any forseeable volatility and growth in the industry. Also provide future descriptions for the demands of your products or services.
  • Strengths: Include information about the strengths and resources you and any other working partners bring to the business to help it succed. Include their relevant experience.


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  1. Start from the very beginning understanding that your business plan ought to be specific to your business needs and objectives. There are many reasons why every company should have a business plan, but not every business needs a full formal plan with carefully crafted summaries and descriptions.

    If you don’t have a specific immediate need to show a formal business plan to a banker or investor, then you are probably better off doing just a lean business plan, for your internal use only.

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