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How useful your business plan is


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A lot of people ask the question:
Why prepare a business plan?

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Your business plan is going to be useful in a number of ways.

  • First and foremost, it will define and focus your objective using appropriate information and analysis.
  • You can use it as a selling tool in dealing with important relationships including your lenders, investors and banks.
  • Your business plan can uncover omissions and or weakness in your planning process.
  • You can use the plan to solicit opinions and advice from people, including those in your intended field of business, who will freely give you invaluable advice. Too often, entrepreneurs forge ahead ("My way"!) without the benefit of input from experts who could save them a great deal of wear and tear. "My way" is a great song, but in practice can result in unnecessary hardships.

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Lets look at the definition of a business plan.

                  Executive summary

Business plan is the lifeline of the product or service that needs to be constantly updated throughout the period of the product or service.

A business plan is a written document that defines the business goals, managerial strengths, marketing activities, method of production and expected financial results for a specific time period.

A business plan can also be seen as a formal statement of a set of busineas goal, reason why they believe it is attainable, plans put in place foe reaching those goals, this may contain background information about the organization.
For an entrepreneur: the business plan is a tool with 3 basic purposes: to communicate, manage and plan the business.

Any business plan must be able to effectively communicate the business idea to people who may have an interest in the business e.g  nonprofits funders and its board of directors. This plan is used to attract investment capital, secire loans and to also attract strategic business partners, it must be realistic look at every phase of business ans must show that the organization has thoroughly thought out ways to overcome potential obstacles. It also allows you to track, monitor and evaluate progress of the business.

Business plan is used by management as a tool that establishes timelines and milestones that the organization wishes to the business to accomplish, these decision-making tools, have no fixed content, rather the content and format is determined by the goals audience.

A business plan also helps an entrepreneur to strategically plan for the various phases of his business, this he can do by identifying pitentials obstacles that will need to be avoided and create a plan. Internally focused business plan aims at intermediate goals required to reach the external goals e.g.development of  New product (Business tools)  and a new I.T system , or a restructuring of finance or even the eefurbishing of a factory or restructuring of a organization. The plan will develop in conjuction with a balanced scorecard and this allows success of the plan to be measured using non-financial measures.

For example a non -prifit organizationwill be more concerned with the link between the business plan and organization's mission, while a venture capitalist will be primarily concerned about initial investment, feasiblity and exit evaluation.

Business Plan Format
The business plan format is a systematic assessment of all the factors critical to your business purpise and goals.

Here are some suggested topics you can tailor into plan:

  • A vision statement: This will be a concise outline of your business purpose and goals.
  • The people: By far, the most important ingredient for your success will be youeself.

  • Focus on how your prior experiences will be applicable to your new business. Prepare a resumé of youeaelf and one of each person who will be involved with you in starting the business. Be factual and avod hype. This part of your Business plan wikk be read very carefully by thise with whom you will be having relationships, including lenders, investors and vendors. Templates for preparing resumés are available in your library, kinki's bookstores and the internet under resumês."
However, you cannot be someone who you are not. If you lack the ability to perform a key function, include this in your business plan. 

For example if you perform a key function, include this in your business plan. For example, if you lack the ability to teain staff, include an explanatiin how you will compensate for the deficiency. 

You could add a partner to your plan (discussed in section 4) or plan to hire key peiple who will provide skills you dont have. Include biohraphies of all your intended management.

  • Your business profile: Define and describe your intended business and exactly how you plan to go about it. Try to stay focused on the specialized market you intend to serve.

  • Economic Assessment: provide a complete assessment of the economic environment in which your business will become a part. Explain now your business will be appropriate for the regulatory agencies and demographic studies and traffic flow data normally available frim local planning departments.
  • Cash Flow assessment: include a one-year cash flow that will incorporate your capital requirements. Include your assessment of what could go wrong and how you would plan to handle problems.

  • Include your market plan and expansion plan.
consultant@bigknowle.com

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