You have an idea for a business. You know
what you want to sell, who you can sell it to,
and how much you stand to earn from it. There's
just one more thing you need: a business plan.
people dread the idea of preparing a business
plan. They think of them as complicated, unnecessary
documents that exist only to make it more difficult
for them to get started as an entrepreneur.
They are wrong.
plans are necessary because they help you see
your business. Instead of just talking in abstract
ways about your customer base and
your profit potential, it lets you
put those things in writing and in concrete
terms. It forces you to think through every
aspect of your business in advance so down the
road you don't realize you've made a mistake
that's cost you your business, your life's savings,
and your job.
all of that, they are also important tools for
getting other people interested in your business.
For one, if you've taken the time to create
a business plan, others will realize that you
are serious about this endeavor and that it
isn't just some pie-in-the-sky dream. A business
plan also shows people that you are a professional
and that you understand what it takes to start
and manage a business. This is all extremely
important, particularly if you need any type
of outside funding, such as loans or investors.
while the bad news may be that you definitely
do need a business plan, the good news is that
they don't have to be complicated. The truth
is that your plan only needs to cover seven
main areas and none of these areas are going
to require you to write a full-length novel.
These five sections are the executive summary,
the company overview, the business environment,
the company description, and the action plan.
All of those sections may sound complex, but
most of them won't involve information that
you don't already know.
though this section will technically be first
in your business plan, you should actually write
it last because, just as its name implies, it
summarizes the entire contents of your business
plan. Because many readers never bother to get
beyond the executive summary, you must make
sure that it is comprehensive and well-written.
that sounds difficult, it isn't. Just make sure
to read through your entire business plan before
you start writing the executive summary. Make
a list of information that you think is the
most important or that would really stand out
to a reader, and be sure to include all of it
in your summary.
section explains the guiding force behind your
business. It gives them a chance to see what
you have in mind for the business and how you
plan to get there. Generally, the overview does
this by providing a mission statement, goals,
and objectives for your business.
a nutshell, a mission statement provides the
answers to all of these questions in less than
50 words: What am I selling? Who am I selling
it to? Why am I selling it? It doesn't need
to be just one sentence, but keep it as brief
and objectives, the other components of the
company overview, are often confused by first
time business plan writers. Remember that goals
are things your company wants to achieve while
your objectives are how they plan to get there.
section will probably require you to do some
outside research because it involves information
relating to your industry, your market, and
your competition. You need to take an honest
look at the field you are preparing to enter
and pay close attention to its structure, its
trends, and its barriers to new businesses.
Become familiar with the major competitors in
your industry and decide how you will differentiate
yourself from them. Also, get to know your potential
customers and what makes them tick. The more
you know about them, the more likely you will
be to turn them into buyers.
this point in your business plan, you need to
go into detail about your business. You can't
simply define your company in terms of what
you sell, but also in terms of who you serve,
what resources you will use, what types of employees
you are looking for, what type of distribution
method you'll utilize, and more. All of this
factors combine to create your company.
addition to this, you should also state your
company's UPS (Unique Positioning Statement).
This is a one sentence statement that explains
what sets you apart from all of the competitors.
last part of your business plan is this section
which outlines the steps you need to take now
in order to make your plan work. These should
also reflect the goals and objectives that you've
outlined in your company overview.
these primary pieces of a business plan, you
may also need to include a financial section,
particularly if you plan on using it to get
outside funding for your business. This may
take more thought and planning than the other
sections because it will require you to make
some assumptions about your business's revenue
potential. The most important thing is to base
any estimates on realistic expectations, not
may want to visit the following websites for
some samples to give you an idea of how things
should be formatted and worded:
some useful models and this helpful information,
you'll be well on your way to completing your
effective and professional business plan.
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