Are you about starting a business incubator? If YES, here is a complete sample business incubator business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a business incubator. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample business incubator marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for business incubators. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Business Incubator Business?
Business incubators are organizations that help start-up companies grow speedily as well as ensure that early stage companies become successful. In starting a business incubator, you would need to ensure that you have a high source of networks with angel investors, venture capitalists, state governments, as well as with other investors.
This is also a business that requires you to pick a niche and understand the target market you intend to help accelerate towards success in order to become a success yourself. Even though business incubators have often either been private non-for profit businesses, non governmental agencies or a government sponsored programme, there now exists business incubators that are private and are started with the intention of making profit.
As with starting any business, you need to conduct a feasibility study on if it is worthwhile going into this kind of business. Most new start-ups usually hire a reputable business consultant, who understands the industry, to help them handle this phase. Using a business consultant is helpful as they would point out the obstacles you are likely to face during the course of starting or running the business and how best you can overcome these challenges.
Another serious aspect you shouldn’t overlook is in having a business plan, as it is vital to the success of your business. Below is one of such samples, a business incubator business plan template;
A Sample Business Incubator Business Plan Template
- Business Overview
Business incubators came into existence in 1959 in the United States as Joseph Mancuso started the Batavia Industrial Center in Batavia, New York. This led to the growth of business incubators all over the country and as at 2006; there were more than 1,115 business incubators in the United States of America. Globally, there are more than 7,000 business incubators in existence.
Business incubators usually fall into several categories in order for the specific business incubator to be able to use best industry practices and evaluation to successfully determine outcomes for start-up businesses. The National Business Incubation Association has therefore categorized business incubators into five; mixed-use, service, technology, manufacturing, and other.
There are majorly two types of business incubators in existence; those that have a physical facility and an on-site management for clients to exploit. Also, business incubators that have a physical location usually offer start-ups space in which to operate their business.
Virtual business incubators on the other hand, do not offer clients on-site space for their business and may not even be located in the same geographic areas as the clients. They however usually have a central office in which activities are coordinated and clients can go to for conferences.
Business incubators started being judged based on providing best industry practices in the early 1990s as a determinant to ensuring successful programs for their clients. Another thing used to evaluate business incubators during this period was what value they added to client firms that ensured that these firms had improved outcomes and other economic benefits.
There have started emerging new business incubators that seek to help foreign firms enter the United States’ market. Even though these business incubators provide the same entrepreneurial services as traditional incubators, they also help foreign firms have easier access to the U.S market and resources or partnering with U.S firms.
These services offered usually include language training, translation services, cultural training, immigration and visa assistance, helping to obtain vital licenses (business and driving), as well as housing assistance. The immigration services offered are usually to help spouses and children so they find it easier to settle in their new intended location.
In the United States of America, most business incubators usually receive start-up funding as well as continuous support from donors and the government. According to research, 85% of business incubation programs usually receive continuous public support for their annual operating budgets. However, more nonprofit incubators usually receive higher support in comparison to profit-based business incubators.
Also, the business incubator category that receives the most attention is that of technology especially if these incubators are close to universities and colleges. Most technology based business incubators are often located close to or with science/technology parks.
Business Incubator Business Plan – Executive Summary
Business incubators are usually programmes that are designed to ensure that start-up entrepreneurial companies are successfully accelerated towards successful development through diverse business support resources as well as services. Our aim is to ensure that we achieve a 90% success rate with all those who see our services here in Mountain View – California.
Our location in 1500 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California is very strategic especially as there are several new businesses starting up every now and then as well new businesses already in existence; that require guidance on how to become a success as well as force in the industry they intend going into.
Our aim as a business is to ensure that we help our clients attain their goals by using best practices and providing the best evaluation tools and other form of guidance that will be helpful to our clients. We have set processes and structures in place that enable our team best interpret the United States’ economy and use this in helping our clients become the success they intend to be.
We now that there is no one best incubation practice that would suit all our clients and ensure that they become a success and so in this regard, we intend to have a synergy of multiple policies and services so as to have optimal outcomes that will be most suitable for specific clients’ needs.
To achieve all these, we have built a business structure that is guaranteed to ensure that our business runs smoothly and that we are able to achieve what we set out to do. It is for this reason that we have sourced for and hired proficient and professional employees who are not only competent in their assigned responsibilities but also believe enough in the organization and are committed to seeing corporate goals achieved.
In order to ensure that we achieve a high level of productivity, we will ensure that our employees are well trained and undergo training regularly to ensure that they enhance their sills. We also intend to ensure that our employees work in an environment that is not creatively limiting and is also conducive.
Also, we have the best welfare packages for our employees’ that is the best across similar business incubator start-ups similar to ours here in Mountain View – California as well as across the entire industry in the whole of the United States of America. Also, our incentive packages for hardworking employees are also top notch.
Our owner, Brad Bradley has an experience of over 30 years in the business management and entrepreneurial solutions. Both are Havard Business School alumni and have hands-on experience in several business incubators both private and state sponsored, and will therefore bring their experience to bear in the business and ensure that the corporate goals and objectives set are achieved.
- Our Products and Services
Our intention at Bulb Business Incubator Inc, is to ensure that we offer our customers the intended services they require virtually especially as we are a virtual business incubator that intends to deal in the service based niche, even though we will have a central establishment in which to coordinate activities.
We intend to ensure that we whilst offering our core service that we also create multiple sources of income as well for Bulb Business Incubator Inc. Our intention is to ensure that we generate revenue and also make profits from the several services we intend to offer in addition to our core service here as permissible under the laws of the United States of America;
Therefore below are some of the services we intend to offer;
- Fees for mentoring and guiding of clients’ businesses
- Consultancy and advisory services for already existing businesses
- Provision of technical assistance
- Marketing consultancy
- Training services
Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to help our clients achieve their corporate goals of breaking into the market, securing investment or getting acquired. We hope to achieve a 90% success rate. We also intend to become the preferred brand for start-up and growth companies in our niche.
- Our Mission Statement
To achieve our vision, we intend to ensure that our clients are provided with a low-impact fee structure, great mentoring as well as have competent employees to help them achieve success faster than they would have done on their own.
- Our Business Structure
As a business that understands how to help new start-ups and growing companies achieve success, we know and understand the importance of having the right business structure for our business and are willing to go the extra mile. We therefore intend to go all out in ensuring that we build a business structure that aligns with our vision and corporate goals as a business here in Mountain View – California.
We intend to hire competent and professional employees who understand the industry thoroughly and who are also attuned to our company’s vision and are committed to ensuring that we achieve our corporate goals and also reach an intended standard for our business whilst positively projecting and promoting the business to clients – existing or potential.
We also intend to ensure that our employees are well paid across similar start-ups such as ours in the industry. This is so that they remain productive, motivated and committed to ensuring that we achieve our goals here at Bulb Business Incubator Inc.
Therefore, the business structures we intend to build at Bulb Business incubator Inc include;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Business Development Manager
- Customer Service Executives
- Business Coach
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Marketing Executives
- Security Guard
Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer
- Makes decision that will affect the strategic direction of the company
- Seek for funding on behalf of the company by approaching several sources
- Reviews policies that aren’t working or having much impact and remove or modify them in order to achieve organizational growth
- In charge of coordinating the management staff and ensuring that organizational policies are implemented
- Identifies areas in the company that needs an upgrade
- Liaises with management staff in order to know how best to move the organization forward
Business Development Manager
- Identifies new income sources for Bulb Business incubation Inc
- Drafts proposals on behalf of the business
- Works with manager to ensure that corporate goals are achieved
Customer Service Executives
- In charge of ensuring that all clients’ inquiries and complaints are promptly attended to
- In charge of ensuring that customer database is accurate and updated
- Remain updated about industry trends and company policies so as to have the right information for the client
- Provides the required mentorship for new start-ups and growing businesses
- Reviews mentorship processes and continually upgrade so that clients can get the best
- Know what mix will best suit a client and how best to use the mix
Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Sources for and recruits the right employees for the business and ensures that they undergo orientation to help them settle in
- Conducts training for the employees as well as performance appraisals in order to increase the productivity for the organization
- Ensures that all administrative tasks are smoothly conducted and that the policies of the management are implemented by staff.
- Conducts continuous market research on behalf of Bulb Business Incubator Inc in order to help identify new markets
- Helps new start-ups as well as Bulb Business Incubator Inc develop marketing strategies intended to generate more revenue for the company
- Conducts direct marketing on behalf of the organization
- Carries out an internal audit on behalf of Bulb Business Incubator Inc
- Serves as a temporary financial adviser and guide for new start-ups and growing businesses
- Prepares financial information and statement on behalf of the company and ensure that they are correctly reconciled with ban records at the end of the month
- Ensure that the facility is kept clean at all times
- Ensure that depleted cleaning supplies are re-stocked
- Carries out any other duties as might be determined by the human resources and admin manager
- Ensure that the premises is secure at all times especially after work hours
- Watch the surveillance cameras in order to monitor activities
- Carries out any other duties as might be determined by the human resources and admin manager
Business Incubator Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
In order to better understand our business ideology and concept and how well it would help us fare in this environment, we deployed the help of a reputable business consultant in the service industry here in Mountain View – California, to walk with us through our concept and help us determine if we were going to succeed in the business environment especially in this location which we have chosen.
Having gone through our business plan and looked through our concept and processes, the business consultant deployed the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis that would help in determining our rate of making it in the industry.
Below is the result of SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Bulb Business Incubator Inc;
Our strength lies in the fact that we have processes and structures in place to ensure that we achieve our goal of achieving a 90% success rate in helping our clients. We also have put much emphasis on our business structure in the sense that we are careful in sourcing for and recruiting the right employees who are professionals and competent enough to ensure that we attain our corporate goals and objectives.
Also, we are strategically located in Mountain View – California as there are new start-ups cropping up every now and then in the service based industry often looking for guidance on how to succeed. Finally, the experiences that our owner, Brad Bradley is bringing to the table are more than likely to help us attain our corporate goals and objectives and succeed.
Our weaknesses lie in the fact that we are mostly a virtual business incubator offering services to our clients, and this might affect clients who are not in our geographical location. Also, the service based industry is one that requires that we might have to intensely compete with other already established business incubators for clients; however we have put strategies in place that would ensure we create awareness for our business.
The opportunities that abound for us as a business is in offering other new services that might crop up as the business and industry evolves leading to more streams of income. Also, there are many investors looking to invest in service based ideas and so we would not have a lack of investors for start-ups requiring this.
Every business is faced with threats every now and then and as a business we are prepared to face any threats that might crop up during the course of starting or running this business. Therefore the threats we are likely to face are government policies concerning business incubators that are established for profits. Also, we are likely to face the threat of an arrival of a competitor in same location offering same services as we do.
Business Incubator Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
In the 1980s, even though business incubators were becoming the preferred means by which new start-up companies preferred seeing assistance from, there were only a handful of business incubators present. However as at 1992, according to the National Business Incubator Association on the state of the business incubation industry, it was found that business incubators had tripled.
The trend in the business incubator industry has it that majority of its operators; almost 90% are nonprofit entities and enjoy more state funding than the minority business incubators that were operating in the same industry. Also, most of the incubators that receives higher attention and funding were those that were in technology-based. Incubators that have also received a fair share of attention are those that target disadvantaged populations such as minorities and women.
Business incubators especially those for small businesses have played a major role in economic development by enhancing the survival rates of companies. Reports for the incubation industry have it that start-up companies that have used the services of business incubators have an 80% chance of remaining in existence 5 years after. This has led business incubators especially those for small businesses to be seen as an accepted economic development tool in the rural and urban areas all over the United States of America.
- Our Target Market
In deciding the target market for our business incubator program so as to know what range of customers we would be likely serving here in Mountain View – California in reference to our niche category as well as all over the United States of America, we have conducted a market research that would help us in this regard.
The reason for the market research is so as to know what our target market would likely be expecting from us. This would allow us draft the best strategies that are not only effective but also necessary in ensuring that we rightly penetrate our target market.
Therefore form the result of the analysis; we are in business to offer our services to the following customers;
- New Start-ups in the service based industry
- Growing service based businesses in need of an accelerator
- Other business incubators
Our Competitive Advantage
Bulb Business Incubator Inc is being established to help our clients achieve their corporate goals of breaking into the market, securing investment or getting acquired. Our intention is to achieve a 90% success rate and also become the preferred brand for start-up and growth companies in our niche. With this, we have come up competitive strategies that will allow us compete favorably as well as have an edge over our competitors.
First off, our virtual as well as physical location is opening us up to having more customers than we would have if we were strictly serving customers based on physical locations. Another edge we have is in the offering of standard services regulated by international best practices. Our clients also get a dedicated and competent staff that helps them reach their intended goals.
We have also hired competent and professional employees who now and understand the market well to help us achieve our corporate goals. Our employees have the necessary expertise that will inspire our clients and an excellent customer service that will ensure that we get referrals from our successful clients.
We not only intend for our clients to work in a conducive and creative stimulating environment, but we are also paying them well better than most similar start-ups in the same industry here in the United States of America. This is aimed at motivating them to put in their best in ensuring that the business grows to the required standard.
Business Incubator Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Bulb Business Incubator Inc. is a private business incubator that has been established to help start-ups and companies still in their early stages whilst generating revenue and making profit here in Mountain View – California. We intend to offer our clients various services that are intended to bringing in more revenue that will ensure the sustainability and growth of our business.
Therefore, Bulb Business Incubator Inc will generate income from the following services;
- Fees for mentoring and guiding of clients’ businesses
- Consultancy and advisory services for already existing businesses
- Provision of technical assistance
- Marketing consultancy
- Training services
Every business is established in order to make profit, sustain itself and grow, however not all know how to go about achieving this, which is why there would always be a need for business incubators. Our virtual as well as physical location is very strategic and will allow us to not only generate the needed revenue as it is less expensive to operate but also make profit within six months of operations.
In carrying out an accurate sales forecast on behalf of the business, we have conducted a critical examination of the business incubator industry in order to determine our chances in the industry. We garnered data from similar start-ups such as ours here in Mountain View – California.
Therefore, below are the sales projections for Bulb Business Incubator based on several factors:
- First Fiscal Year-: $300,000
- Second Fiscal Year-: $600,000
- Third Fiscal Year-: $1,200,000
N.B: It should be noted that above projections were carried out based on certain factors such as there won’t be an economic meltdown which will make it difficult for new businesses to start up and that we won’t have a competitor arrive at our location within the period of the above sales projections. However, a change in any of the factors would mean that the above projected figures might increase or decrease.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Before starting any business, it is important to ensure that the marketing strategies have been laid down so that there would be any hitches during the revenue generation process. This is why we have conducted a market survey that will help us determine how we will best penetrate the market and attract the needed number of customers for our business while also favorably competing with our competitors here in Mountain View – California.
It is for this reason that we have hired a reputable marketing consultant that understands the business here in Mountain View and will help us develop marketing strategies that will allow us effectively attract the right customers and enable us gain a huge share of the target market here in Mountain View – California as well as all over the United States of America.
We have also empowered our marketing executives to ensure that the right strategies are adopted that are in line with our corporate goals and that will allow us achieve our intended objectives at Bulb Business Incubator Inc. Below are some of the strategies we would use to market the services of Bulb Business Incubator Inc;
- Ensure that we place adverts about our services in local newspapers, business magazines as well as on radio and television stations
- Engage in direct marketing to target customers
- Encourage our satisfied clients to refer us to others
- Introduce our business formally to industry stakeholders, government agencies, private investors, as well as in campuses
- Ensure that our business is listed in online and offline directories
- Use our social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and other online business inclined forums to market our business.
Business Incubator Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Having the right publicity for our business is very essential as we aware of the benefits that publicity would bring to our business. Publicity and advertising go hand in hand because the benefit of a business getting intense promotion is also revenue generation. This is why we would ensure that we intensify publicity for Bulb Business Incubator Inc here in Mountain View – California.
To ensure that we draft and implement effective publicity strategies, we intend to hire a reputable brand consultant who understands how best businesses such as ours can utilize publicity to maximum advantage. We would be using a mix of strategies in order to achieve our intended publicity and advertising strategies for Bulb Business Incubator Inc;
Below are the publicity strategies we at Bulb Business Incubator Inc intend to adopt;
- Throwing a grand opening party that would create an awareness and make the right impression
- Attend business seminars and events in the service based industry and offer to address the audience. We would also use the opportunity to network
- Create a website and ensure that it is Search Engine Optimized (SEO) so that it can easily pop up on top of search engines
- Install bill boards in strategic locations in and around Mountain View – California
- Distribute fliers and handbills in strategic locations such as colleges and universities
- Broadcast our success rates on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Our Pricing Strategy
Ensuring that the right prices are determined for a product or service is very important because using the wrong prices or rates without much research might lead to the business running at a loss and eventually failing. However, while it might be difficult determining the rates for an intangible product such as service, several factors have to be taken into consideration so as to ensure that the rates are fair to both the company as well as the client.
In determining the rates for our various services, we intend to ensure we take factors such as our overheads, what our competitors are offering as well as what kind of service our clients want into consideration. However, as we are just starting off the business, we would offer lower rates for all our clients so as to build a trust and achieve a level of success rate that will then lead to us increasing our prices.
- Payment Options
Because we would mostly be a virtual business incubator with one centralized location here in Mountain View – California, we intend to ensure that our clients have payment options that would be convenient for them as well as our company.
Therefore, the payment options we intend to make available to our different clients are;
- Payment via check
- Payment via cash
- Payment via ban draft
- Payment via equity
- Payment via credit card
- Payment via online payment portal
The above payment options were carefully chosen and will work for all our clients offering them a hitch-free transaction.
- Start – Up Expenditure (Budget)
As with every business when starting up, there are several aspects of the business where one is expected to spend huge parts of the start-up capital. Creating a budget for our business is necessary so that we are able to determine what aspects would require huge money and which would require less.
Therefore the key areas where we would spend our start-up capital on are;
- Fees for registering the business in the United States of America – $750
- Marketing expenses for general promotional activities as well as marketing expenses for the grand opening of Bulb Business Incubator Inc – $5,000
- Insurance coverage (General liability and workers compensation) – $2,250
- Obtaining of licenses and permits, as well as accounting software – $2,000
- Operational costs for the first 6 months (employee salaries, utility bills) – $100,000
- Cost of hiring business consultants – $2,500
- Leasing of office facility for a period of one year including renovations – $30,000
- Business program packaging expenses – $30,000
- Cost of purchasing stationeries, furniture, computers, printers, fax machines, phones – $12,000
- Cost of launching a website – $500
- Cost of our opening party – $5,000
- Miscellaneous – $10,000
From the above budget breakdown, we would need the sum of $200,000 to be able to start and successfully run our business incubator business here in Mountain View – California. It should be noted that the above amount covers the salaries of our employees and payment of utilities for at least 6 months of operations. It also covers the leasing of an office facility for a period of one year.
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Bulb Business Incubator Business
Bulb Business Incubator Inc is a business owned and operated by Brad Bradley and Steve Cowell. They know how necessary it is to have funds for this kind of business and so they intend to see for funds from some sources. The areas below are where we intend to see for funds in starting our business incubator business;
- Generate part of the start-up capital from sale of personal stock
- Approach the government for a donation to our business
- Approach several private investors
- Apply for loan from bank
N.B: in searching for start-up capital for our business incubator business, we were able to generate the sum of $30,000 from sale of our personal stock. We also have approached the government for a donation to our business and were given the sum of $50,000. After approaching several successful service entrepreneurs who were looking to invest in service based ideas, we got the sum of $50,000.
Finally, as part of having a contingency plan, we approached the ban for a loan of $70,000. The loan has been approved and will repaid back in 5 years at the rate of 2%. We have signed all the necessary documents and have been told that we would receive the amount into our account within the week.
Business Incubator Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
We have established a business that is not only intended to make profit but also remain sustained and even expand at a pace that would be determined by us. Due to this, we are aware that if our business is to be sustained, we would need to ensure that we hire the right employees, have a high success rate and also have an investment strategy for the business.
To help achieve our intended corporate goals and objectives, we have sourced for and hired employees who are not only professionals and competent enough but also have identified with the company’s corporate goals and will ensure that it remains committed in ensuring that these goals and objectives are achieved.
On our part, we would ensure that our employees are well paid and that they will work in an environment that will not stifle their productivity and creativity. We would also ensure that they remain updated about industry trends and receive continuous training that will help our clients attain their own goals.
The only thing that can ensure that our business incubator program is sustained for a long time is our success rate. We have plans, processes and structures in place that are constantly being reviewed every now and then to ensure that we achieve a 90% success rates for clients that patronize our services. This will lead to more referrals for our business as more new start-ups and growing businesses will prefer to use our services in order to reach the height they intend for themselves.
Finally, we intend to continually invest in our business, by ploughing a percentage of the profits made back into the business, to ensure its growth and sustainability. We know that if we focus on these three factors we are likely to successfully sustain and expand our business.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers / merchants: In Progress
- Purchase of trucks: Completed