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Get With the Plan!

How to create a winning business plan

You will be surprised how many people operate their business without a plan.  They feel they do not need it, or only need it to borrow money.  But a business plan is much more than a way to ask for money.  It is a guide to help you define, meet and drive your business goals.   Would you drive cross-country without a map? probably not.

A business plan wont guarantee your business to be a success, but it will help you avoid some common cause of business failure, such understanding your production goals, marketing budgets, and customer services systems.

As you do your research and prepare your business plan, you’ll find the weak spots in your business ideas.  Which will be a perfect time to work in repairing them or improving them and making them stronger.  You will also discover different areas of opportunities you probably didn’t thought about before.

Only by putting together a throughout business plan can you decide whether your ideas has a chance of making it.  So what is a business plan? and more important, how do you put one together?

A business plan conveys your business goals, the strategies you’ll use to reach them, potential problems that may confront your new business and ways to solve them, the structure of you business  and finally the amount of capital required to finance your business.

There are three major parts to a business plan:

  1. The business concept.  Your business industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make the business successful.
  2. Marketplace.  Describe and analyze potential customers, who and where they are, what makes them buy, and the competition your business faces.
  3. Financials.  Income and cash-flow, current and future debts, static and dynamic expenses.

When you are creating your business plan, always keep in mind you are starting from scratch.  A complete, well written business plan gives you a greater chance for a successful start and boosts your chances of reaching your business goals.  So based on the information above, lets break these three steps down further:

  1. Executive summary.  The executive summary is one-or-two page brief description of what your business is about.  Its usually the first thing people will read about your business.  It may contain details will not be included in other sections, such as the vision statement.  But it will also include a brief of other sections of the plan dealing with the market, features of the product or service, competition, management team and financials.
  2. Management.  The people, especially the key managers in your business, are of great interest to potential investors, partners and employees.  Include in this section a brief descriptions of your primary managers, including an overview of their backgrounds and functions in your business.
  3. Product or Service.  This is the place to describe all the key elements of the product or service, including its design, underlying technology and, especially, competitive advantage in the market.
  4. Marketing.  An effective marketing plan, includes details on strategies markets, pricing, placing and promoting your product and service.
  5. Operation.  Amazon didn’t become one the worlds largest online retailers because it snagged the best real estate location.    It did it with extremely efficient systems for its products and services.
  6. Financial Data.  The financial area is all about income statements, balance sheets, cash-flow and other financial statements.  Its important to reflect overtime growth, constant profits and supporting cash-flow.

Where to go from here

  • What the Big Idea?
  • Get with the Plan!
  • Which Entity is Best?
  • Where’s the $$$!
  • Get NOTICED!
  • Water & Grow!

 

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