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Our Business Plan Writing and Development Process

Business Plan Development


Moreover though, a solid business plan is a living document that will continue to guide your efforts as your business grows. A lot of those mistakes most of them, in fact are the result of poor planning. Bad location, a marginal niche, having no specific user in mind, raising too much or too little money--all of these issues can be prevented or at least mitigated with good planning.

Creating your business plan is more than just getting your ideas down on paper for potential funders to see. It might even lead you to kill off aspects of your business before investing too much time or money in them. Pretty much everything on it can be customized. Check out these comprehensive business plan templates you can download for free to get you started:. Score is an American nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground.

Its template, available as a PDF or Word download, asks a whopping questions and is generic enough to customize for most types of businesses. The Refining the Plan resource that comes with it is helpful, especially if this is your first crack at writing a business plan.

Who said a business plan has to be a long, complicated document? Some funders are going to want to see a lot of detail, but you can provide that in appendices. This one says you just have to answer a few simple questions and will be "done before you know it!

It walks you through getting started, marketing, product, competitive analysis, SWOT, and more, with a window below the input fields to show you the plan as you work away at it. The SME Toolkit, jointly offered by IFC and IBM, offers a simple two-page outline of what should be included in your business plan to meet the minimum requirements of funders and tax authorities in the U. It contains 10 broad sections, including market analysis, management and organization, etc.

A second download on the same page is an Excel file to help with your financial projections. Global financial services firm vFinance offers a basic, page business plan template to download from its website--one the company says has been downloaded more than a quarter of a million times. VFinance is the creator of the massive Venture Capital Directory and has tailored the plan to appeal to funders.

Make a chart of the most expensive and least expensive sites by location and square footage. Determine your start-up cost. Make a list of all the tangible and intangible resources you need to get your business going. Be honest and conservative in your estimates, but also be optimistic.

You can forgo the expensive trimmings of an office of a more well-established company and stick to the basics at the beginning. Put yourself in the shoes of potential investors. Depending on your product, you may need to search long and hard for relevant information. Can you still do a better job or provide a better widget than your competitors? 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. 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. 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.

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.

Write the executive summary last. 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. 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? 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? 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.

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. Be certain about what gives your business the competitive edge. Make sure you cite your information.


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A number of apps simplify the often tedious, complicated process of crafting a thorough bank- and investor-ready business plan. You provide the information, they organize it into a plan, and hopefully soon you'll be in business. Here's a look at three apps that can help get your business plan rolling: 1. Enloop.

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This guide will explain why a business plan is a must-have, provide a shortcut to the business planning process, help you collect important background information, and get . A good business plan template can help you get your thoughts organized. It can provide a guideline so you’re not stuck looking at a blank page trying to figure out where to start. Plus, it can show you the general layout of a standard business plan.

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Start with some of our free business planning resources, like free sample business plans, our one-page plan template, or our template for a complete business plan. Then, scroll down for a complete set of resources that will help you create the ultimate business plan. Jul 11,  · How to Write a Business Plan for a Small Business. A business plan refers to a written document that comprehensively outlines what your business is, where it is going, and how it will get there. You can go online and print a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for them to sign to help protect your business idea. 3. To write a business plan 89%().