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Business Plan Writing in Sri Lanka


Business plans are generally sought after in Sri Lanka for funding purposes, and are sometimes not given the due recognition they should have been given otherwise. In our experience we have seen a few start-up businesses which struggle to get funded and a few start-ups that have enough source funds but struggled and shut-down because they did not have a business plan in place. This made it hard for them to operate as they did not have a benchmark or goal to work towards. A starting point to a business plan is the mapping out of a basic business model, and if the business owners are able to completely map out this framework, then everything else falls into place automatically.

What is a Business Model?

“A Business Model describes how an entity organizes itself to create value and derive revenue” says Alex Osterwalder. A business model is a conceptual tool that consists of a set of elements and their relationships; this allows the owners to map out the business logic of the organization. Slywotzky (1995), was of the opinion that “business design / business model acts as the totality of how a company selects its customers, defines and differentiates its offerings, defines the tasks it will perform itself and those it will outsource, configures its resources, goes to market, creates utility for customers, and captures profit. It is the entire system for delivering utility to customers and earning a profit from that activity.”

The Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder

The Business Model Canvas was developed by Alexander Osterwalder as a strategic management template for developing new or documenting existing business models. It is a visual chart with elements describing the following:

  • Firm’s value proposition
  • Infrastructure
  • Customers
  • Finances

Business Plan Writing in Sri Lanka 1

The canvas has nine elements and what goes into these elements is depicted in the figure below.

Business Plan Writing in Sri Lanka 2

So what is the help/benefit of using this canvas? It creates an easy way to map out each and every task / activities / elements that defines your business and also helps in logically mapping out the relationships / dependencies. And as the canvas is completed it makes it much easier for the owners to start writing their business plan which they could use for bank loans, to source funding from venture capitalists / angel investors, and also to pitch in start-up competitions such as venture engine, CIMA’s business competition, etc. It is very crucial to get the elements correct before writing the business plan, because it will shorten the time taken to write the plan and also makes everything clear and concise. Given below is a business canvas of Facebook, and as we know Facebook made it big in the IPO and in the source of funding due to their clear cut strategy.

Source: Vespyr Pickup Sports

Business Plan Writing in Sri Lanka 3

Objectives of Writing a Business Plan

  1. Systematic study of viability of the proposed project/activity

−         Identification of risk factors

−         Strategies to mitigate them

−         Detail an action plan for execution

  1. Convince stake holders

−         Investors – partners, venture capital companies, private equity, public

−         Lenders: banks, development financial institutions, non-banking finance companies

−         Government Agencies

 What Should a Business Plan Contain?

A business plan should consist of the following elements, discussed with enough details to assure the reader that the business is in safe hands and is a sustainable model. The elements in a business plan are:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Summary

−         Company Ownership Details

−         Objectives

−         Mission

−         Keys to Success

−         Start-up Summary

  1. Products and Services
  2. Market Analysis

−         Market Segmentation

−         Target Market Segment Strategy

−         Service Business Analysis

−         Competition and Buying Patterns

  1. Strategy and Implementation

−         Competitive Edge

−         Marketing Strategy

−         Sales Strategy

−         Sales Forecast

−         Channel Strategy

  1. Management Summary

−         Personnel Plan

  1. Financial Plan

−         Capital Costs

−         Start-up Funding / Source of Finance

−         Important Assumptions

−         Break-even Analysis

−         Profit and Loss (estimates / forecasts for five years)

−         Cash Flows (estimates / forecasts for five years)

−         Projected Balance Sheet (estimates / forecasts for five years)

−         Financial Ratios (estimates / forecasts for five years)

−         Sensitivity Analysis

−         Long-Term Plan

  1. Social Cost-Benefit Analysis

−         Employment generation

−         Export orientation

−         Location

−         Type of entrepreneur

−         Type of technology

−         Use of industrial waste or agriculture surplus

−         Development of ancillary units

−         Pollution: air, water, sound.

−         Deforestation

−         Environmental degradation

Having discussed in detail as to what a business plan should consist of and how best to start collecting details / information for a business plan, it is always best to get the help of a professional when it comes to writing the actual business plan, who will be able to greatly facilitate in using the correct format and also help make the document look professional. Business plan writing in Sri Lanka has not been a wide spread practice among entrepreneurs in the past, but, with evolving technology and the ease of which the market barriers have reduced, it is of utmost importance that a business plan is written with contingency actions listed so that there will be no unwanted surprises down the line. And for this particular reason we would advise you to develop a business plan before you start operations, you may want to change the strategy or direction down the line but, a business plan will help- you with this decision greatly, and will direct you towards the correct path to success.


Epitom Consulting (Pvt) Ltd,
15/1A, St.Joseph's Road,
Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.
Phone: +94 71 303 2422

Website: http://www.epitom.org
Email: info@epitom.org

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