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Do I Really Need a Business Plan?

1. A business plan is vital to helping you get finance

❶Lenders will typically look to the company's Capital, Capacity, Collateral, Conditions, and Character or what is known as the 5C's of lending when underwriting a loan.

2. A business plan can help you prioritise




If you have employees, the planning process can be a good opportunity to seek their feedback on possible ideas and improvements. Your employees will value this opportunity to contribute to the business. Taking the time out of your business to plan will give you a sense of control about the future of your business and pay off in the long run!

Business planning can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but many successful businesses look at it as an opportunity. The planning process helps you learn about the different forces and factors that may affect your success. If you're already in business, it helps you to step back and look at what's working and what you can improve on. Instead of worrying about the future, a business plan helps to give you a sense of control over your business and your livelihood. A business plan is not a document you create once and store in your bottom drawer.

It's a living guide that you should develop as your business grows and changes. Successful businesses review and update their business plan when circumstances change.

If you have a team in your business, holding brainstorming sessions is a good way to benefit from their knowledge - it ensures you're all on the same page and that you get their support. To write an effective business plan you'll need discipline, time and focus. Although the process can seem challenging, it's very rewarding and gives you a sense of control over your business. You don't have to start with a blank sheet of paper.

Investing time and focus in creating a business plan is one of the most valuable activities you can undertake.

Creating a well-structured business plan will give you direction and help your business become a success. A business plan provides a roadmap for your business's future and is essential to attracting funding. Free business templates, checklists, and toolkits to help you plan, start and grow your business. Marketing can help you reach your target audience, boost your customer base, and ultimately increase your bottom line. A database, which are designed to ensure that they will make money by investing in or lending to your business.

Lenders will typically look to the company's Capital, Capacity, Collateral, Conditions, and Character or what is known as the 5C's of lending when underwriting a loan. You'll need to have covered all these bases well before seeking funding. A business plan won't be useful until you're certain what your company exists for. 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. Decide how you will handle your employees' entitlements. 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. If it currently has no rival, how will you properly explain the purpose of and the consumer's need for the product? 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.

Title Page and Table of Contents Executive Summary , in which you summarize your vision for the company General Company Description , in which you provide an overview of your company and the service it provides to its market Products and Services , in which you describe, in detail, your unique product or service Marketing Plan , in which you describe how you'll bring your product to its consumers Operational Plan , in which you describe how the business will be operated on a day-to-day basis Management and Organization , in which you describe the structure of your organization and the philosophy that governs it Financial Plan , in which you illustrate your working model for finances and your need from investors.

Write the executive summary last. The executive summary is basically your big appeal to investors, or really anyone who reads your business plan, that should summarize and articulate what it is that's great about your business model and product. 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. You've done all of the hard work researching, deciding what your business is about, targeting it accurately and selling it.

It's time to put the business plan together and articulate all your thinking, research, and hard work into a comprehensive description of your structure and service.

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? By having clear, transparent and realistic financial information that shows you know what you're talking about and that you're not hiding anything. 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?

Yes, since you are running a business, you need a plan that keeps you focused on what's important to you. 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.

If you live near a university, you may be able to schedule an appointment with one of the college's professors. 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. Take the time to study the market through a successful company's eyes and consider what your company will offer that distinguishes your product or service from the rest.

Be certain about what gives your business the competitive edge. Make sure you cite your information. This way you will have support for any statistics you put into your business plan. Warnings Do not submit your draft business plan to potential investors! However, it is advisable to give the executive summary instead of the whole plan after it is completed. Sometimes, busy investors may not have the time to look at an entire plan, which can sometimes be up to 50 pages.

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Dec 13,  · If you have an existing business and are approaching a bank for capital to expand the business, they often will not require a business plan, but they may look more favorably on your application if you have one/5(7).

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Jan 20,  · To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business. Follow that with a section that describes what products and services your company will offer%(22).

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A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a . We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.

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Investing time and focus in creating a business plan is one of the most valuable activities you can undertake. Creating a well-structured business plan will give you direction and help your business become a success. A business plan provides a roadmap for your business's future and is essential to attracting funding. A great guide to writing a business plan is to look at the Form S-1 that a company must file when going public or use a service like LivePlans. Your document basically lays out all the information a potential investor needs to know before buying shares of a new company. Bankers and private investors will want to know the same information.