Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Your job as hired strategists is to analyze the market data, organize it logically, and usefully communicate that analysis in a way that will achieve your objective: buy-in and funding for your proposed entry strategy.  Use this template to integrate the research and analyses (course assignments) into your proposed business plan.


Effective communication consists of a short executive summary of the Business Plan, followed by a supporting document in which each section is organized in a way that will best support the analysis and recommendations. As you begin your executive summary (after completing the business plan), please use this first template sentence, representing the outcome of your analysis, to keep your executive summary focused on support for that recommendation.


"It is recommended that (selected client company) enter the_(named country) with its (specified product/service) through  a _(specify the type of legal structure) with  (selected company partner or acquisition)."  





Title Page

  • State the client company, country and size of its market for the client’s product/service, recommended legal structure, and alliance partner: for example:

Business Plan for [NAME OF COMPANY] to enter [COUNTRY’s] $(SIZE OF MARKET IN DOLLARS) market for [PRODUCT/SERVICE] through a [type of legal structure] with [NAMED ALLIANCE PARTNER]

  • Date and contributing team member names


Table of Contents 

  • Page numbers for each major section


Executive Summary 

  • These 1-2 pages summarize  the results of your analysis and how you arrived at the recommendation.  

  • It is NOT an introduction, so you would not use words like “this paper will..”  The exec summary is all about what the paper DID do (not will do) and therefore parallels the conclusion, not the introduction.

  • It is a separate stand-alone summary, not a part of the paper body.

  • Belongs on a separate page from the introduction to the paper.


  1. Introduction (first paragraph of paper body)

    • State  the purpose of the paper 

    • Tell what the paper will do

    • Name the industry, country  and company


  1. Company Description (Week 2 company profile) 


  • Company type of business  and  industry

  • Company product/service

  • Targeted buyer and buying proposition (what needs/desires the product meets for the targeted Buyer –and User if different from Buyer)

  • Rationale for international expansion  

  • Goals and objectives for international expansion

  • Company supports needed to be successful in country (e.g., will it need an in-country workforce? Transportation infrastructure? Internet access? Facilities?) 

  1. Company Strengths (Week 2)  

    • Describe special features of the  product or service 

    • Identify company competencies (competencies reside in people)

    • Identify company assets that may strengthen the company’s competitive position (e.g., human, financial, geographic, contractual, political assets)

    • Identify company processes that may be a competitive advantage (e.g., manufacturing efficiencies, vertical or horizontal integration)

  2. Company weaknesses (Week 2) - ABRAM

  • These are the flip side of the strengths; e.g., undifferentiated product, lack of human resources/skills;  limited financial assets, no unique processes that set it apart from competition


  1. Global Industry Description (Week 2) 

    • Global Industry Opportunities and Threats

    • Global industry trends (e.g., technology change, growth forecasts)


  1. Country Selection Rationale (Week 4) 

    • Explain the process for selecting the two countries you compare in this plan (how you pared down from 16 to 2 countries)

  1. Macro-level comparison of countries (opportunities/threats)

  2. Countries that are new to the Company

  3. Selection criteria/rationale for the two countries selected for analysis

  4. Ability to meet company support needs in country (section 2 above)


  1.  Country Comparison (Week 4)

  • Opportunity comparison across the two analyzed countries 

  1. Market size, growth  

  2. Business climate  

  3. Industry structural advantages (e.g., access to suppliers; ease of entry; government support; limited internal competition…)  

  4. Other opportunities from PESTEL and Industry factors  

  • Risk comparison across the two analyzed countries (Week 4) -

  1. This is the flip side of opportunity; focus only on risks relevant for your company;

  2. Identify general level of competition in the countries (intensity, number of competitors and potential  new entrants/availability of substitutes)

  3. Other risks from PESTEL and Industry factors

  1. Summary rationale for country selection (Week 4)

  • Summarize opportunities and threats for both countries 

  • Explain major reasons for recommending the country of entry

  1. Total Country market size and growth reflects the Opportunity

  2. Opportunity support factors 

  3. Threats (to be mitigated, but not significant enough to override opportunity) 

  1.  Target Market size (Week 6)

  1. Estimate Target Market(s) in dollars or units or buyers

  2. Estimate  growth of Target Market over 3-5 years

  1. Competitive risk/advantage in the selected country of entry (Weeks 6,7)

    • Identify key multinational and local  competitors and their competitive threat

    • Identify client company’s competitive weaknesses 

  1. Relative to specific competitors

  2. Relative to other country threats (identified in 8. iii)

  • Identify the competitive advantages of your company (based on strengths in Section 3 above, relative to competitors)

  1. Risk Mitigation Strategies for the selected country of entry (Weeks 2, 6,7) - 

    • Recommend strategy to mitigate competitive threat identified in section 10 above (e.g., cost, differentiation, and/or focus strategies) 

    • Recommend mitigating strategies that would be needed for each of the industry threats identified in 5 above (Week 2) 

    • Recommended mitigating strategies that would be needed for each of the other country threats identified in 8. iii above (e.g., local partner/agent to mitigate cultural and/or regulatory threats)

  2. Opportunity Exploitation Strategies for the selected country of entry (Weeks 2, 7)-  

    • Recommend Strategies to  exploit Opportunity and Opportunity support factors (identified in 5,and 8i and 8ii above)

  3. Entry Strategy Legal Structure (week 8)

    • Develop 2 potential Entry Structures  (legal) that will:

  1. Mitigate specific risks

  2. Realize specific market opportunity

  • Describe any alliance partner or in-country relationship

i.       Specify how the in-country relationship supports and makes possible the entry strategy and/or the risk mitigation strategy (these are benefits to your client  company)

ii.      Will the partner/alliance  help with competing, with overcoming country threats?

  1.   Justify the strategic “fit” with the partner /alliance organization. 

  1. How will the alliance with your client benefit the partner?

  2. What are the “costs” to the partner (what will the partner contribute)?


  • Compare the advantages/disadvantages of the two structures 

  • Summarize selection rationale and  recommend one entry structure


  1. Entry Strategy Organizational Structure for  the recommended legal structure (Week 8)

  • Create organization chart showing :

    1. your client’s salaries/costs for each position

    2. your client’s relationship to outside/alliance organizations (dotted lines)

  • Describe responsibilities for each position in the organization chart

  • Estimate capital/cost requirements  for the structure (facilities, equipment)


  1. In-country marketing plan and costs (week 9)

  • Product modifications if needed and estimated costs to modify

  • Pricing strategy and Price recommendation 

  • Promotional message

  • Channels and methods for communicating product value to the target market and estimated costs of materials and channels

  • Estimated market share: What percent of the target market (9i) your client is likely to gain 


  1. Financial Value of the entry strategy (create projected Income statement)  (week 10)

    • Estimate Revenue for first year of operation (Price x market share in units)

    • Cost estimates for year zero  and year one

  1. Year zero: Start up costs before revenue is generated (e.g., negotiation time, build-outs of facilities, importing of inventory)

  2. Year one: Operational cost estimates

  1. Headcount dollars from organization chart

  2. Promotional expenses from  marketing plan, 

  3. Equipment and facilities expenses (e.g., office supplies, rent) 

  1. EBIT: Potential profitability (Revenue less expenses) 

  • Separately identify Capital investment (e.g., in plants, depreciated equipment), but balance sheet is not required.


  1. Balanced Scorecard (week 11);Specify the major factors to be tracked for your strategy to be successful


  1. Conclusion: Two-three  brief paragraphs summarizing the strategy and its expected strategic and financial benefits, 


Some Final Advice: Format & Integration 

The final team project paper should be approximately 30 pages, exclusive of cover page, appendices and references.  References should be in proper APA format.

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