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Welcome back! My apologies for missing last week as I was out with a back injury and failed to schedule last week's post. (We'll discuss automation in your business during a later blog post, because it will help make things easier.) Let's get right to it. Business plans are used as a road map to reference when navigating between the stages in your business. When seeking financing from financial institutions and investors, a business plan with a solid financial study is required. A simple search of , "How to write a business plan?" will product hundreds if not thousands of listings for companies that produce templates or write plans for you. My suggestion is to write the plan yourself and do your own research. This way the plan is more personal and you're just as invested with the plan as with the rest of your business. Each plan needs to have:
Executive Summary- This I recommend writing last as it will be include key points from each section of the plan and should be no more than four pages.
Business Overview- This section includes a description about your business to include legal and business structure, type of business, how you'll operate in business in terms of if brick and mortar or online, and location.
Operational Plan- Explains how to the business will function, business responsibilities and who would carry them out.
Market Analysis- One of the most important sections of your business plan. Here you'll define your target market and how you plan to cater to them and the community. Statistics, charts, and graphs are necessary. WIll include a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat) Analysis.
Products & Services- Include brief description of each product or service you plan to offer or manufacture.
Marketing & Sales- Describe how and why your clients will purchase your products and how you plan to reach your target audience through marketing and advertising.
Competitive Analysis- Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your direct and indirect competition and how you will set yourself apart from them.
Management Team- Your management team could make or break your business. Detail each member of your team, their strengths and brief description of their related background.
Financial Plan- Detail a realistic view into your start up costs, where you plan to be financially over the next five years, how the funds will be used, if there is a need for additional financial support and how much, and list recurring expenses.
Projections- This will include at least three years of projected income and balance statements.
After writing your business plan, be sure to include any additional supporting documentation. Remember business plans could be any where from a few to fifty or so pages. Be patient, take your time and trust the process as you will reference this plan throughout the life of your business. Stomped? Search for a business plan template specific for your industry for inspiration but definitely do not copy it. Use your own words, experiences and put your best work out. Meet me here next week as we discuss my favorite topic; Marketing.
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