Start the opportunity chapter by describing the problem that you are solving for your customers. What is the primary pain point for them? How are they solving their problems today? Maybe the existing solutions to your customer`s problem are very expensive or cumbersome. For a business with a physical location, perhaps there aren`t any existing solutions within reasonable driving distance.
The most common mistake by far is on profits. Startups that grow don`t produce profits. Investors make money on valuation increases, not profits. Real businesses rarely produce more than single-digit profits. Big profit projections are sophomoric. Take all those profits and dump them into marketing expenses and you`ll be better off.
Like anything else in business, a business plan should be judged good or bad not in a vacuum but in its business context with its specific business objective. Most of the online discussion about business plans is focused on business plans related to seeking investment, and I`m going to make the assumption in this answer that you are asking about those.
The last key element of an executive summary that investors will want to see is the progress that you`ve made so far and future milestones that you intend to hit. If you can show that your potential customers are already interested in—or perhaps already buying—your product or service, this is great to highlight.
By having a written business plan that you`re regularly reviewing, you can make confident decisions. You`ll have all the information necessary to know when you can hire new employees, launch a new product line or make a major purchase. At the same time, you can also plan ahead in case a decision doesn`t work out as expected, minimizing your potential risk.
Working through your business plan, and starting with a one-page pitch, can help you test the viability of your business idea long before launching. As you work through everything from your branding and mission statement, to your opportunity and execution, the best thing you can do is get feedback and test different elements of your business.