Business plans are good for entrepreneurs starting a business who want to attract funding and established firms looking to expand into a new venture or grow their business. A business plan is a road map to the success of a business, many businesses fail every year because of improper planning. A good business plan eliminates this dilemma.
Purpose: The purpose of a business plan is to help determine the course of the business; where it should be in the future and where to place the resources in order to achieve that goal. It is a document that provides future lenders and investors with proof of the entrepreneurs’ credibility. Thus, making them better candidates for funding.
Length: A Business plan wording and formatting should be straight forward and simple. The business plan should not be more than 40 pages. Summary tables and business charts should be used to make the numbers easy to read and grasp. No more than two fonts should be used. Font size should be at least 11 or 12 point size. Page breaks should be used to separate pages and
Business plans were traditionally considered an exercise to communicate the future prospects and planning with the staff and others associated with a business. Today, it is the core tool for obtaining finance, charting the future course of your business, forming alliances and even for recruiting senior professionals for important and responsible positions in an organization. Companies and entrepreneurs prefer using the services of business plan writers because of the expertise they bring to the planning process.
Your business document is no longer a confidential file to be read only by insiders and traditional lenders who want to know how their money is being spent. Today plans are used to attract funding for your venture amidst stiff competition and to attract the best talent for key employment positions. Business writers can do the writing part with a great degree of professionalism. Writing a business proposal is a specialized task which is precisely why company executives fall short in the effort. The plans they prepare does not articulate their company’s achievements and vision in an impactful manner to attract investors’ attention.
Customized Plan or Canned Software Products? The
There can be many ways to approach the writing and editing of a business plan. We will discuss some of the basics about the structure and content of a good plan. One of the keys to creating a great plan that meets the needs of investors, banks, and even grant providers, is to make sure that you understand your business well, whether it’s a start-up company or one that has been in operation for many years. Professional business plan consultants help owners, directors and founders to develop a better understanding of their business in order to assist in providing answers to questions that will create a solid business and financial plan for any purpose.
Business Plan Templates and Outlines
Most experienced business owners strongly recommend hiring a professional plan writing company to create a business plan. They have learned a lot in all their years in business and know that it is important to hire experts in their fields. Companies that are reputable and have been creating plans for many years are the best options. Often, when someone attempts to create their own
The New Basics of Business
With unemployment continuing to rise, home prices falling due to a surplus of inventory, and small business lending at a standstill, this recession doesn’t seem likely to end soon. The recovery will be slow and Americans will certainly not enjoy the prosperity of a few years ago for a long time to come. It’s not just economists who think this way. “Half the population in [a] new ABC News poll thinks both job security and retirement prospects in the years ahead will remain worse than their pre-recession levels.” (“Poll: Less Job Security is the ‘New Normal,'” ABC News The Polling Unit, June 15, 2009, analysis by Gary Langer) This confidence, or lack thereof, is an integral part of an economic cycle. The analysis goes on to say, “Those diminished expectations – plus the pain of the current downturn – are fueling retrenchments in consumer behavior that could fundamentally reshape the economy.”
Basically, consumers are hunkering down to limit spending, save money, conserve resources, and change the way they’ve been living. The major influence on the health of an economy is the psychological state of its consumers. When there exists a
Everyone has prepared a business plan. Well, should that read, everyone should have prepared a business plan? My thinking is that these tend only to be prepared when they are needed, rather than as a useful business tool for all senior management. My top five ingredients are:
1. Understand what a business plan is;
2. Understand what you intend to use it for;
3. Identify and implement the critical steps to achieving a successful business plan;
4. Understand what needs to be included in the plan;
5. Be aware of gaps or weaknesses in your plan.
What is a business plan?
A business plan sets out the method for running a specific activity over a specific future period.
Why are business plans needed?
Business plans are needed essentially for the four following reasons:
1. A formal, explicit document of the planning process;
2. A request for finances;
3. A framework for approval;
4. A tool for operational business management.
What are the critical steps needed to achieve a successful business plan?
This may come as a surprise to my fellow business consultants,
How To Write A Business Plan
In my previous article, I talked about how you can plan your business startup. I defined a business plan as a written description of the future of your business. This is a document that indicates what you intend to do and how you intend to do it. I further explained that if all you have is a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you have written a plan, or at least the beginning of a plan. I also said that a business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets.
I mentioned that the ‘writing of a business plan’ as one of the pivotal steps involved in setting up a successful business. By now you should understand the need for writing a business plan. Writing a business plan, for a traditional brick and mortar business, will probably take a lot of time. It may take up to 100 hours or even more. For obvious reasons, a new business needs to carry out a lot of research before a business plan can even be developed.
For an online business, a detailed and
I am mentoring small businesses and I am amazed at the ideas I read from the entrepreneurs I have the pleasure of meeting.
Unfortunately, not many have well laid out business plans and most use the Internet for planning.
A big percentage of the documents they use from the Internet are impressive, but what they do not understand is that one cannot use a business plan tailored for another region of the world to fully execute his specific business.
Business concepts are similar universally, but execution and sustainability differ depending on one’s environment and market.
The business plans I have read display glorified projections and their market analysis clearly depicts great profit.
In short, one look at a business plan will tell you that some issues have yet to be thought out clearly. For example, competition, risk, challenges and so forth.
Before embarking on your venture, draft at least three business plans.
This plan is the truest of them all. I refer to it as the naked business plan. It covers almost everything including risk and possibility of failure. No business life lesson can be complete without a discussion
Most successful businesses have created a business plan at some point, usually before their start-up.
A business plan is needed to address all of the central components to starting a business. It is essential to make sure that you, as a new entrepreneur have carefully thought through many if not all, of the important components of your business. Ideally, you need to do this BEFORE starting your business.
What is a business plan?
They are generally prepared for two reasons:
1. To obtain financing for the business
2. To help determine if essential components of starting a business have been considered.
Often times with new entrepreneur’s (and sometimes even with the more experienced!) they overlook certain aspects of starting a business. So the business plan helps to ensure that most, if not all reasonable questions have been answered and strategies thought about.
Although business plans are often considered optional – they serve a vital importance to entrepreneurs.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs and even experienced entrepreneurs fail to recognize their importance. It is often considered an “optional” component of their business and should only be prepared when absolutely necessary.
If you are an entrepreneur thinking about business planning for your startup or to develop your existing business, consider an effective way to write your business plan. With a plethora of software accessible, it is more often than not that business owners lose their core objective while they start business planning. Business planning is a continuous process not an event where you write and forget about it. Planning an effective business plan needs plenty of work and time. Do not rush yourself or your consultants while planning.
The key to having an effective business plan is dynamic adaptability. Recognize these key concepts before you start making a plan.
1. Make your strategy the soul of your plan- Strategy is the key. It is important to focus on your target market using specific products or services. Your strategy should be based on your niche or your unique characteristics that links you to your customers. It should define how you want to set your business apart from the rest. Strategy should be a concept, which can define you, your product, your market and your specific branding focus. While you can change most of the business planning aspect
An investor, banker or lender will demand a plan before they make any financial commitment. Besides being a prerequisite to getting finance for your business, a plan also is a blueprint for efficient management of your new business.
It can be argued that in a fast-changing market, a business plan may quickly become obsolete. However, the insight gained from the planning process can prove to be an invaluable experience and come in handy to deal with the various challenges your business throws up from time to time.
A Plan Creates Tactics and Objectives
A plan describes the long term vision of your venture and the objectives you aim to achieve during a given time frame. It will also detail the tactics and strategies deployed to reach those objectives. A well structured plan will provide the basis for operational budgets, business procedures and management controls.
It must be remembered that no two plans are exactly the same, ever. Every plan is tailored to meet the specific needs of a business situation and the industry it operates in. For instance, a business plan for a coffee shop will be vastly different from one for
In many cases business plans are very important but so much of the time it’s a plan to try to convince someone else that you know what you are doing with your business like banks, investors, partners, etc. Now it’s true that a well written business plan can also be a major benefit to your success as well if done right. It can guide you and keep you on track and can be the vehicle to get you were you want to be especially with so many outside forces now days that bombard you. A plan can be extremely important to your success especially when you look at the statistics that says 51% of small businesses fail sometime during their first 5 years.
So why make a business plan? I want to show you a totally different kind of business plan. What if you made a business plan that focused only on what you want for your life? You have dreams about what you would like your lifestyle to be, right? Why not make a business plan that could give you those dreams? What would your business look like if it gave you exactly what you want
You probably know that there is more to starting a business than you initially thought. There are so many pieces to put together, coordinate and do before starting a business. Many entrepreneurs are either overloaded with information or confused as to where to start from!
A business plan is a formal document that put these ideas together in a logical sequence. Just like a blue print is necessary for building a house, a business is the THE first step in starting a business. It is a realistic and a workable plan that outlines various aspects of business including industry performance, market statistics, and financial summary and so on.
Alan Lakein once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Many entrepreneurs write business plans only when they seek financing or start-up capital for their business. I have always felt that a business plan is an essential document to any business whether or not it is seeking capital. Yes, investors and bankers need a business plan to understand your plan, but more important than that is you being sure as to what you need and where you want to go!
However, in order to
If you are interested in starting your own business you should carefully consider writing a business plan. This is a vital step in starting a successful business; it is a roadmap outlining how you plan to maintain and grow your business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 90% of businesses fail in the first 4 years. Even if you do not need funding to start your business you should write a plan for yourself. This will allow you to see if your ideas are realistic and if a profit can be made.
Preparing a business plan can be an especially complex, nerve-racking, and time consuming process. Whether you are planning to write this yourself or hire someone, there are several things you need to know. Learning what components are involved in a business plan and where to find help will make this process less stressful and quite a bit easier.
Writing a Business Plan Yourself
While no two plans are exactly alike, the following are the necessary components all plans need:
Company Overview: This is your mission and the vision you have for your business, company values, the products and/or services
Make Sure You Have A Business Plan
The first point to keep in mind about business plans is… have a business plan! This may seem obvious but is overlooked. Many people start businesses without a plan; sometimes it can come from sheer bravado, thinking “I don’t need a plan”, or alternatively you might hear “It’s all inside my head, that’s my business plan”. The reality is no matter how much you work with things in your head, no matter how confident you may be and how much you think you already have a great vision for your business, there are so many great reasons why you should get it down on paper.
Most of all if you are seeking funding for your business, it will be absolutely crucial to go along and show someone an actual plan, because there will be very few people who will loan you money on the basis of what’s just in your head. So it’s pivotal to have a plan and be committed to preparing that document. If you are someone who shies away from planning, or you don’t like writing or preparing documents, nevertheless you are going to have
Plans are Useless; Planning is Indispensable
“Plans are useless; planning is indispensable,” according to Dwight D. Eisenhower, then Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WWII. Now, you may be in total agreement with the first part of that statement, but you are really not convinced of the truth of the second part.
At this point, you may be tempted to skip writing a business plan altogether, viewing it as an unnecessary exercise in jumping-through-the-hoops, suggested by some old business professor who probably never held down a “real” job anyway. Maybe it’s okay as an assignment for an MBA class, but it would be just too confining and irrelevant for today’s fast-paced business environment. Anyway, you’re ready! You’ve thought about this business venture for a long time and talked it over with friends and everybody agrees it’s a great idea. Best to strike while the iron is hot!
Press for Success
Far be it from me to dampen your enthusiasm, but you should give yourself every opportunity for success. That’s what the planning part of the process of creating your business plan will do. By the time you have pressed your way through
Every day, millions of businesses spring up, both online and offline. These businesses run the gamut of categories, from spas to sneaker stores, accounting firms and accessory websites. Business planning is the first step in creating a secure future for your company.
Creating a Plan For Your Business
Writing a plan is the first stage of business planning. As the name suggests, a business plan is a roadmap for the direction of your company. While many owners fail to write such a plan, it is an essential step in the growth of your company. It helps you to forecast and problems that may develop in the course of business. Think of it as a contingency plan. If you are planning to apply for commercial real estate or bank loans, you will need to demonstrate proper planning for your business.
A business plan contains several main elements. First, it lays out the mission and the goal of the business. The plan will spell out whether your company is in business to serve a greater good or simply to fulfill an unmet need. Determine whether your business will serve other businesses or supply products to consumers.
Having a business plan is so important to you as an online marketer. But most people, who start online businesses, especially small businesses, do not really take the initiative to make a business plan. Probably they think that it’s not necessary. But for sure there is little you can achieve in life without proper planning. More so in the contemporary times when survival depends largely on one’s ability to organize your physical and mental resources well. The future is actually for those who are organized. And the future of your business is dependent on your good planning.
Planning is very important in life. Everybody should do planning at individual or family level. As an individual, you should plan for the day well in advance in order to accomplish what is to be done in that day. At family level, a family plan helps to focus on supporting the entire family in its growth and development. Planning is also done at business and organizational level.
A business plan is therefore an outline for taking an idea for a product or service and turning it into a commercially viable reality. It’s a roadmap of the business you
Business preparation is essential anytime you think of starting a company, a key component of which is researching the market. A product or service provides very little value or real worth unless it provides a distinct benefit and appeal to the target industry, competes with key rivals and fits in with the general industry.
Numerous business owners will agree that profitability is really a key sign of business success and most calculate their improvement by monitoring sales as well as market share improvements. Business owners are often on the search for new and improved ways to increase their company growth, however many don’t see the outcomes of long term business sustainability and business planning. For some, it is a tedious procedure that they do not have time for, whilst other people are unsure of how to proceed.
Business planning is an ongoing business activity. As your business changes many of the techniques in your plan will need to develop to ensure your business is still proceeding in the correct direction. Having your plan present can keep you focused on where you are proceeding and ensure you are prepared when you need it once again.
You can find a sample business plan for a small business in all kinds of formats. There is a sample business plan for a small business where you basically fill in the blanks or you can have access to a sample business plan for a small business where you can pattern yours from it or you can develop a business plan that is centered on what you want for your dreams and your life.
I don’t know of better way than to let your business give you what you want for your lifestyle. Whether it’s a sample business plan for a small business or one where your business gives you a plan, it should tell you what is needed to take you where you want to go and when and how you can get there and it should be in clear simple terms, supported with all the specifics.
So using a sample business plan for a small business is just one of many ways to make a business plan but frankly I think designing one that will have your business give you exactly what you want is by far the best way.
So, why not
1. If you misstate your point, spell-check won’t correct you or suggest alternative wording. And if you’ve taken too long to get to your point, spell-check won’t suggest how to say more with fewer words. If an error damages your reputation, it costs you business and money. Make sure you have a staff member on hand who is qualified to review any marketing messages. If you don’t have one, hire someone or contract the work. Your reputation is worth more than just ‘good enough.’
2. Update your social media profiles for accuracy. Oftentimes, businesses cater to clients first and take care of themselves last. But it ought to be the other way around. Potential clients need to know that your business changes with the times and doesn’t remain static. When you take care of your business needs first (marketing, advertising, etc.), you put your customer needs first at the same time.
3. Find out what your customers’ pains are and solve them. Then back it up with great customer service. Enough said.
4. Make every communication about your customer: their needs, hopes, wants, and desires. Use ‘You’