Unformatted text preview: ier to attend. The agenda of each meeting should be predetermined by the milestones coming
due soon, and milestones recently due. Managers review and discuss plan vs. actual results, and
explain and analyze the difference.
At Palo Alto Software, we review coordinated milestones once a week in about 20 minutes. The
monthly plan vs. actual review includes ﬁnancial results and other measurables — product milestones,
support calls, sales events, etc. — and takes just two hours a month.
It doesn’t take much time, but there is very little in management more valuable. It makes your plan a
planning process. CHAPTER 6: DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY A standard business plan needs to lay out the background and history of a company. First review your
thinking about your company and its long-term strategy. You should also develop baseline numbers, either
start-up costs or past performance, depending on whether you are planning for a start-up or an ongoing
You’re probably noticing as we proceed through chapters that developing a business plan doesn’t really happen
in a straight, logical order of steps. It isn’t really a sequential process.
As discussed earlier in Chapter 2: Pick Your Plan, the standard business plan outline includes a chapter topic
on your company right after the Executive Summary. I pointed out then that you may not need to include
this chapter if you are writing an internal plan. However, any outsiders reading your plan will want to know
about your company before they read about products, markets, and the rest of the story. Legal Entity and Ownership
In this paragraph, describe the ownership and legal establishment of the company. This is mainly
specifying whether your company is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or some other
kind of legal entity, such as a Limited Liability Corporation. You should also explain who owns the
company, and, if there is more than one owner, in what proportion.
If your business is a corporation, specify whether it is a C corporation (the more standard type) or an
S corporation (more suitable for small businesses without many different owners). Also, of course,
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