It always says “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
Business success comes as a result of planning. You must have a detailed, written plan that shows what the ultimate goal is, the cause of the goal, and each milestone that must be passed to achieve your goal.
A business plan is a written definition and operating plan to achieve your goal. You need a complete but successful tool to define your basic product, income goals and specific operating procedures. YOU MUST have a business plan to attract investors, get financing and hold on to your creditors’ trust, especially in times of cash flow shortages – in this case, the amount you have available compared to the expenses to be meth.
Apart from an overall directional policy of production, sales efforts and profit targets for your product – your basic “travel guide” to business success – the main purpose of your business plan will be the basis or foundation of any financial proposal you submit. Many entrepreneurs are under the wrong impression that a business plan is the same as a financial proposal or that a financial proposal is a business plan. This is just a misunderstanding of the use of these two separate and different tools for business success.
The business plan is a long-range “map” that guides your business to the goal you set for it. The plan includes details on what, why, where, how and when, your business – your company’s success planning.
Your financial proposal is a request for money based on your business plan – your business history and goals.
Understand the differences. They are closely connected, but they cannot be replaced.
Writing and putting together a “winning” business plan takes study, research and time, so try not to do it all in just one or two days.
The easiest way to start with a loose leaf notebook, lots of paper, pencils, pencil tips and multiple erasers. Once you’ve got your mind “in gear” and start thinking about your business plan, “10,000 thoughts and ideas per minute” will start to struggle through your mind … So it’s a good idea when you’re actually not working on your business plan to carry a pocket notebook and take note of these business ideas when they come to you – ideas for promotion, recruiting distributors and other thoughts on how to run and / or build your business.
Later, when you are actually working on your business plan, you can take this “idea notebook” to evaluate your ideas, rework them, refine them and integrate them into the overall “big picture” of your business plan.
The best business plans for even the smallest businesses run from 25 to 30 pages or more, so you’ll have to “title” each page and arrange the various aspects of your business plan into “chapters.” The format should basically run as follows:
Title Page Purpose Objective Table of Contents Business Description Market Analysis Competition Business Location Management Current Financial Items Explanation of Growth Plans Projections of Profit and Loss / Operating Explanation of Growth Financing Documentation Business Summary and Expectations for the Future List of Business and Personal References
This is a logical organization of the information that every business plan should cover. I will explain each of these chapter titles in more detail, but first I need to elaborate on the reasons for properly organizing your business plan.
When you have a set of “questions to answer” about your business, you force yourself to take an objective and critical look at your ideas. By putting it all on paper, you can change, delete and refine everything to work like a smooth-oiled machine. You can see weakness and strengthen them before they develop into big problems. Generally, you develop an operating guide for your business – a valuable tool that keeps your business on track and guides you in the profitable management of your business.
Because it is your idea and your business, it is very important that YOU do the planning. This is YOUR business plan so YOU develop it and put it all down on the paper just as you want it to read. Seek advice from other people; talk to, listen to and observe other people running similar businesses; hear the advice of your accountant and attorney – but basically, never forget that it must be YOUR BUSINESS PLAN!
Also, keep in mind that statistics show the biggest reasons why the company is not bad management and lack of planning – without a plan on which to operate, no one can control; and without a direction to target, no business can achieve any real success.
On the very first page that is the title page, place the name of your business – ABC ACTION – with your business address below. Now skip a few lines and write it in capital letters: PRINCIPAL OWNER – followed by your name if you are the principal owner. In your final report, you want to center this information on the page with the words “principal owner” offset to the left about five spaces.
Examples: ABC ACTION 1234 SW 5th Ave. Anywhere, USA 00000
PRINCIPAL OWNER: Your name
That’s all you have on this page except page number -1-
After your title page is the page for your statement purposes. This should be a simple statement about your primary business function, such as: We are a service company engaged in selling business success manuals and other information by email. Mail.
The page title should be in all capital letters at the top of the page, centered on your final draft – skip a few lines and write the purpose statement. This must be direct, clear and short – never more than (2) sentences in length.
Then skip a few lines, and from the left margin of the paper, write a sub-heading with all capital letters, such as: EXPLANATION OF PURPOSE.
From and within this sub-heading, you can briefly explain your mission statement, such as: Our research has found that most entrepreneurs “unfortunately” lack basic information that will enable them to succeed. This market is estimated at more than 100 million people, with at least half of these people actively “searching” for sources that provide the kind of information they want and need.
With our business, advertising and publishing experience, our goal is to capture at least half of this information seeking market with our publication. Money making magic! Our market research shows that we can achieve this goal and realize a profit of $ 1,000,000 per year. Years within the next 5 years …
The above example is generally the way you should write your “explanation of purpose”, and in subtle definition why you need an explanation. Keep in mind: Keep it short. Very few explanations for business purposes justify more than half a page long.
Next comes your table of contents. Don’t worry about this until you’re done with the whole plan and ready for final entry. However, it is a good idea to list the topic (chapter titles) that I have and then check for each one as you complete that part of your plan.
By having a list of the points you want to cover, you can also jump around and work on each phase of your business plan as an idea or interest in organizing that particular phase stimulates you. In other words, you do not need to have your thinking or planning match the chronological order of the “chapters” of your business plan – another reason for the loose leaf notebook.
When describing your business, it is best to begin where your statement purpose goes. Describe your product, the production process, who is in charge of what and most importantly, what makes your product or service unique – what gives it an advantage in your market. You can also briefly summarize your company’s beginnings, current position and potential for future success.
Then describe the buyers you are trying to reach – why they need and want or want to buy your product – and the results of any tests or research you may have done. Once you have defined your market, explain how you intend to reach that market – how you want these prospects for your product or service and make them buy. It may be a good idea to divide this chapter into sections such as … publicity and promotions, advertising plans, direct sales force, and reseller / distributor programs. Each section will then be an outline of your plans and policies.
Go into the next chapter on competition, identify who your competitors are – their weaknesses and strengths – explain how you intend to take advantage of those weaknesses and match or better the strengths. Talk to as many of your “indirect” competitors as possible – those operating in different cities and states.
One of the easiest ways to gather a lot of useful information about your competitors is by developing a series of questionnaires and submitting these questionnaires to each of them. Later, you may want to gather the answers to these questionnaires in some kind of directory or report on this type of business.
It is also recommended to contact unions and publications serving your proposed business type. For information on trade unions and specific trade publications, visit your public library and after explaining what you want to ask for the librarian’s help.
The chapter on management must be an elaboration of the people who run the business. The people who actually run the business, their jobs, titles, duties, responsibilities and background resume. It is important that you “paint” a strong picture of your top management people because the people who come to work for you or invest in your business will “invest in these people” as much as your product ideas. Individual toughness, mature judgment and innovative problem solving have “won” more people than all AAA credit ratings and astronomical sales figures.
People who get involved in any new venture want to know that the person in charge – the guy who runs the business, knows what he’s doing, doesn’t lose his fat when problems arise, and has what it takes to make a profit money for all of them> After showing the “person’s” muscle, continue to outline the other key positions in your business; who the people are, you have chosen to handle these jobs and sources, as well as the availability of all the help you may need.
If you’ve been in business of any kind, the next chapter is a snapshot of your financial status – a review of your operating costs and business income to date. Generally, this is a summary of your profit and loss statements for the six months plus copies of your business income tax records for each of the previous three years when the business has been a unit.
The chapter on explaining your plans for your business’s future growth is just that – an explanation of how you plan to keep your business growing – a detailed guide to what to do and how to increase your profits. These plans should show your goals for the coming year, two years and three years. Breaking down your goals into annual milestones will make your plan accepted as more realistic and more understandable as part of your ultimate success.
Following this explanation, you must specify the expected cost and income figures in your three-year plan. I will investigate a lot of research, no doubt a lot of deletion, but it is very important that you show these figures based on a thorough investigation. You may need to adjust some of your plans downward, but once you get those two chapters on paper, your entire business plan will fall into line and start to make sense. You have an accurate “map” of where you are going, how much it will cost, when you can expect to start making money, and how much.
Now that you know where to go, how much it will cost and how long it will take before you start to recover your investment, you are ready to talk about how and where to get the money to fund your trip . Unless you are independently wealthy, you will use this chapter to list options and alternatives. Make a list of friends you can turn to, and maybe induce to spend some money as silent partners. Make a list of the people you may be able to sell as shareholders in your company – in many cases, you can sell up to $ 300,000 worth of securities on a “private topic” basis without filing papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Contact a business or tax attorney in your area for more information. Make a list of family and friends who can help you with a direct loan to raise money for the development of your business.
Then search out and make a list of venture capital organizations. Visit the Small Business Administration office in your area – pick up the loan application papers they have – read them, study them and even fill them on a preliminary basis – and finally check the costs, decide which business publications would be best to advertise in if you should advertise a partner or investor and write an ad you would like to use if you decide to advertise for monetary assistance.
With a list of all the options available to your needs, all that’s left is arranging these settings in the order you’d like to use them when it’s time to ask for money. When researching these money sources, you save time by noting the “contact” trade, when you want money, and when possible, by developing a collaboration with these people.
If your documentation department, you must have a credit report on yourself. Use the yellow pages or check with your bank’s credit department for the nearest credit reporting office. When you get your credit report, look over it and take the necessary steps to remove any negative comments. Once these have been taken care of, ask for a revised copy of your report and include a copy of it in your business plan.
If you own patents or copyrights, include copies of them. Licenses for the use of another’s patent or copyright must also be included. If you own distribution, wholesale or exclusive sales rights to a product, please include copies of this documentation. You must also include copies of leases, special agreements or other legal papers that may be relevant to your business.
In conclusion, you need to write a brief, comprehensive overview of your business – when the company was started, the purpose of the company, what makes your business different, how you gain a profitable share of the market and your expected success over the next 5 years.
The last page of your business plan is a “courtesy page” with names, addresses and phone numbers of personal and business references – people who have known you for the past five years or more – and companies or companies you have had business or credit negotiations with of the last five years.
And that’s it – your complete business plan. Before sending it out for formal entry, read it once a day for a week or ten days. Make changes or corrections and then have them reviewed by a lawyer and then an accountant. It would also be a good idea to have it reviewed by a business consultant serving the business to which your business will be related. After these reviews and any last minute changes you want to make, I’m ready for formal entry.
Write and print the entire plan on plain white paper. Make sure you proofread it against the original. Check for any corrections and typos – then again – read it for clarity and the perfection you want.
Now you are ready to have it printed and published for whatever use you have planned – distribution among your partners or shareholders as a business plan to put together a winning financial proposal or as an operating guide for the company.
Take it to a quality printer in your area and print three copies. Don’t just photocopy..Have it printed!
Photocopying leaves a small film on paper and will detract from the overall professionalism of your business plan when presented to someone you are trying to impress. So after going to all this work to put together properly, you have to go all the way and get it duplicated properly.
Then stop at a stationery store, black shop or even a skilling store and pick up a regular, cheap binding theme cover for each copy of your business plan. Get the holes punched on the pages of your business report to fit those binders, then release each copy into a separate binder.
Now you can relax, take a break and feel good about yourself .. You have a complete and detailed business plan that you can run a successful business of your own. A plan that you can use as the basis for any financing proposal you may want to submit..And an accurate driving license to achieve real success …
You just complete one of the important steps to fulfill all your dreams of success.