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Your Business Plan IS Your Business

How Important Is Your Business Plan?

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Do you currently have or anticipate developing a prototype, or filing for a patent or copyright? Note all planned activities. For example, if you are writing a plan for a coffee shop, you would include a detailed menu that would outline all your products. Before writing the menu, you would include a short summary indicating why your particular menu sets your business apart from others.

You may state, for example, "Our coffee shop will provide five different types of beverages, including coffee, teas, smoothies, soda's, and hot chocolates. Our wide variety will be a key competitive advantage as we can provide a diversity of product offerings that our main competitors are currently not offering". Write your marketing and sales strategy. In this section, explain how you intend to penetrate the market, manage growth, communicate with customers, and distribute your products or services.

Will you use sales representatives, billboard advertising, pamphlet distribution, social media marketing, or all of the above? Make a funding request. If you will use your business plan to secure funding, include a funding request.

Explain how much money you need to start and maintain your small business. Provide an itemized summary of how start-up capital will be used. Give a timeline for your funding request. To accurately complete this step, in some cases it might be necessary to hire an accountant, lawyer, or other professional. For one full year, provide monthly and quarterly statements. Each year after that, yearly statements. These documents will be placed in the Appendix Section of your business plan.

Include projected cash flows for at least 6 years or until stable growth rates are achieved and if possible, a valuation calculation based on discounted cash flows. Write the executive summary. Your executive summary will serve as an introduction to your business plan.

It will include your company's mission statement and provide readers with an overview of your products or services, target market, and goals and objectives. Remember to place this section at the beginning of your document. When was the business first conceptualized? What are some notable growth benchmarks? Start-ups will focus more on industry analysis and their funding goal.

Mention the company's corporate structure, its funding requirement, and if you will provide equity to investors. Existing businesses and start-ups should highlight any major achievements, contracts, current or potential clients and summarize future plans.

This is the very last section and it's meant to provide additional information. Potential investors might want to see this information before making a decision. The documents you include here should support claims made in other sections of the business plan. There should a section clearly outlining the risk factors affecting your venture and your mitigation plans. This also indicates to the reader how well prepared you are for contingencies.

Review your business plan for spelling and grammatical errors. Do this several times before deciding on the final version. Rework or completely rewrite content to ensure it works from the perspective of the reader. This is especially true if you are creating a "presentation plan". Read your document aloud. This allows you to detect if any sentences do not flow together well, and it also makes any grammatical mistakes more obvious.

Make a copy and give it to a trusted friend or colleague to proofread and provide feedback. Create a cover page. The cover page identifies your document and gives it aesthetic appeal and professionalism. It also helps your document to stand out.

Your cover page should include: The words "Business Plan" centered in large bold font, along with your company name, company logo, and contact information. Not Helpful 11 Helpful What is a marketing business plan sample for a boutique and fashion store? Not Helpful 14 Helpful You can start with something small.

Business cards, website, or anything that will alert people about your company. You can even post flyers at your local church or grocery store. A business must be registered to make sure that it is legal and a viable choice for investors and customers. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Follow the steps in this article but craft it to make it specific to hardware. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 3. Where does a tech company start? I need money for servers to run the service, but I need the service to earn money.

If you don't have your own starter money or ways to create the income, the next best thing would be to find some investors and people willing to lend you money to start your business.

A good solid foundation and business plan showing them how you will become successful could help in getting that revenue..

Not Helpful 9 Helpful 3. How do I write a business plan for a distribution company? Answer this question Flag as How do I write a business plan for a lingerie shop? I have no capital but am planning to ask for funding. How can I write a business plan for starting up an aviation service? How can I start a home appliance small business in India with 50k rupees in capital? What should I do for a cosmetics company's business plan?

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a business plan for a small business, start by writing an executive summary that briefly outlines your business. Did this summary help you? Useful Small Business resources are available through city and state government agencies. Article Info Featured Article Categories: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times.

Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. A Anonymous Jul 9. SG SG Jun Helpful, as I want to create my own small business! SM Sandisiwe Magoshane May VR Vanessa Robinson Oct 24, Don't ignore this reality; instead, work with it. Can you still do a better job or provide a better widget than your competitors?

In many cases, it's likely that you can provided you know the market well and how to add value in ways your competitors are not doing. In other cases, it may be a case of focusing more narrowly or more broadly than your competitors are doing. They follow specific guidelines, such as the Risk Management Association R. A database, which are designed to ensure that they will make money by investing in or lending to your business. Lenders will typically look to the company's Capital, Capacity, Collateral, Conditions, and Character or what is known as the 5C's of lending when underwriting a loan.

You'll need to have covered all these bases well before seeking funding. A business plan won't be useful until you're certain what your company exists for. What will you accomplish for others? What products and services will you produce or provide? Write down all the specific needs your company will satisfy. Potential investors need to know that your business will be meaningful and marketable to people who can use your product or service. So concentrate on the external needs your company will meet.

What will your product or service enable people to do better, more cheaply, more safely, or more efficiently? Will your new mousetrap help people capture mice without feeling sick to their stomachs? Will your new bubblegum scented bubble bath revolutionize the way children agree to take nightly baths? Choose a winning strategy. How will you distinguish your product or service from others?

Although there are millions of types of businesses, there are actually only a few basic strategies that can be applied to make any enterprise successful. The first step in selecting an effective strategy is to identify a competitive advantage for your product or service. Your competitive advantage may include designing special features not found in rival products. It may entail superior service characteristics such as speedier delivery, a lower price, or more attentive sales people——these are never to be sniffed at as possible winning ways, as many companies grow complacent and can be overtaken by giving customers experiences that are better than the average expectations.

Consider how will you hire and organize your workforce. Keep in mind that your initial plans will undoubtedly change as your business grows. You may need to hire more managers to supervise your expanding staff or to set up new departments to meet new customer demands.

For now, you want to secure help in getting started and convince your funding sources that you will become profitable. Consider the practical issues of running a business. Think about your role as leader or boss of the business.

As you think about hiring personnel and organizing your workforce, you must also confront your desire and ability to be a good boss. Decide how you will handle your employees' entitlements. For example, salaries and wages, their insurance and retirement benefits, as well as analyzing the extent of your knowledge of tax related issues.

Do you need to bring in experienced managers right away? Will you keep some of the existing employees or hire all new people? And where do you find these potential employees?

Funding sources will also want to know if any of your partners expect to work alongside you or if their obligations are only financial. Your plan will need to specify the key management jobs and roles. Positions such as president, vice presidents, chief financial officer, and managers of departments will need to be defined along with stating who reports to whom.

Decide on a marketing plan. Consider how will you reach your customers. What will you say to persuade and convince customers that your product or service is better value, more timely, more useful, etc. If it currently has no rival, how will you properly explain the purpose of and the consumer's need for the product? What advertising and promotional efforts will you employ? For example, two for the price of one specials or free coupons inside those same kid-oriented cereal boxes?

Where can you locate lists of the greatest concentrations of children under the age of eight or whatever group constitutes your market? Build a dynamic sales effort. In a nutshell, this part of your business plan is about how you will attract customers or clients for your product or services. What will your basic sales philosophy be? Building long-term relationships with a few major clients or developing a clientele of many short-term customers? Organize all the relevant information about your business.

Begin creating section headings and putting the appropriate information under the appropriate headings. Title Page and Table of Contents Executive Summary , in which you summarize your vision for the company General Company Description , in which you provide an overview of your company and the service it provides to its market Products and Services , in which you describe, in detail, your unique product or service Marketing Plan , in which you describe how you'll bring your product to its consumers Operational Plan , in which you describe how the business will be operated on a day-to-day basis Management and Organization , in which you describe the structure of your organization and the philosophy that governs it Financial Plan , in which you illustrate your working model for finances and your need from investors.

Write the executive summary last. The executive summary is basically your big appeal to investors, or really anyone who reads your business plan, that should summarize and articulate what it is that's great about your business model and product. It should be less about the nitty-gritty details of operations and more about your grand vision for the company and where it is headed.

Gather all the information together and prepare multiple drafts. You've done all of the hard work researching, deciding what your business is about, targeting it accurately and selling it. It's time to put the business plan together and articulate all your thinking, research, and hard work into a comprehensive description of your structure and service.

At first, do not worry about capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. All you need to worry about is putting your ideas down on paper. Once you have a general form, you can spend time proofreading your plan and correcting mistakes.

Have someone else read over it for you and take heed of their comments. Sell yourself and your business. The idea of the business plan is to present yourself in the best light. The talents, experience and enthusiasm you bring to your enterprise are unique.

They provide some of the most compelling reasons for others to finance your concept. Keep in mind that investors invest in people more than ideas. Even if your potential business has many competitors or is not on the cutting edge of an industry, the qualifications and commitment you demonstrate in your plan can convince others to proffer their support. Focus on group experiences, leadership opportunities, and successes at all levels.

Present and explain your financial data. How will you convince others to invest in your endeavor? By having clear, transparent and realistic financial information that shows you know what you're talking about and that you're not hiding anything. The accuracy of your financial figures and projections is absolutely critical in convincing investors, loan sources, and partners that your business concept is worthy of support.

The data must also be scrupulously honest and extremely clear. Since banks and many other funding sources will compare your projections to industry averages in the R. A data, in the United States you can use the R. A figures to test your projections before the bank does. Sample Small Business Business Plan. Specify the product, source of it, and people in need of the product.

List capital, handy or loan. List whether you have sales reps, your availability for outreach on demand, and your source of mobility. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Is it important to write a business plan for a small business even if financial support is not really needed?

Yes, since you are running a business, you need a plan that keeps you focused on what's important to you. You can also review it once a year to see how much you and your business needs have changed.

Not Helpful 17 Helpful Discuss how you will secure financing, showing details on sales projections, costs, etc. Not Helpful 18 Helpful The same way you would write it for anything else. Just follow the steps in the article. A little different or not. Answer this question Flag as How do I write a business plan about a company which deals in technology? If I want to go into business selling tap water, what would be a good way to approach the business plan?

How can I write business plan for avocado supply? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business.

Did this summary help you? Tips Many sources exist for finding information for your business plan. Your local library and the internet are always helpful sources. If you live near a university, you may be able to schedule an appointment with one of the college's professors. The professor may be able to give helpful insight. There are a few valuable online archives of business plans that feature companies which have successfully penetrated the market based on a well defined and executed business and marketing plan.

Take the time to study the market through a successful company's eyes and consider what your company will offer that distinguishes your product or service from the rest. Be certain about what gives your business the competitive edge. Make sure you cite your information. This way you will have support for any statistics you put into your business plan.

Warnings Do not submit your draft business plan to potential investors! However, it is advisable to give the executive summary instead of the whole plan after it is completed.


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A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've .

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Oct 23,  · The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments, how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success/5(). And in the game of business, the number one trick is having a fabulous business plan. Takeaways You Can Use. Your business plan is the business. Running a business without a plan is like sailing a ship without a rudder. If you don’t have a differentiated strategy, your business plan is worthless.

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Jan 20,  · How to Write a Business Plan. Four Parts: Doing Your Homework Structuring Your Business Writing the Business Plan Sample Business Plans Community Q&A. Creating a business plan will help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals%(22). The business plan is the blueprint for your business. You wouldn't walk over to an empty lot and just start nailing boards together if you wanted to build a house. Starting a business without a business plan is just as foolish. .