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7 Elements Of A Business Plan

The Importance of a Business Plan

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Why Buy a Business Plan?

It is the blueprint of your business and will provide you with the tools to analyze your operation and implement changes that will increase your sales and, ultimately, your profitability. A business plan is a requirement if you are planning to seek financing.

The following pages provide a suggested outline of the material to be included in your business plan. Your final plan may vary according to your specific needs or individual requirements of your lender or investor. Cover Sheet Serves as the title page of your business plan.

Name, address, and phone number of the company. Month and year your plan was prepared. Copy number of the plan. Table of Contents Quick reference to major topics covered in your plan. The executive summary is the abstract of your business plan. It summarizes the content and purpose of your finished plan, covering all of the key points. This is a key section if you are seeking funding.

Your Company introductory overview - who, what, where it is and why it is unique. Market Opportunity opportunities your company is positioned to take advantage of. Management who they are and strengths each one brings to the company. Competitors direct and indirect ; list their strengths and weaknesses. Financial Projections summary of Income Statement Projections for next 3 years. Write the executive summary after you have completed your business plan. It is a summary.

This section should include a "summary description of your business" statement followed by information on the "administrative" end of your company. Summary Description of the Business. In a paragraph or two give a broad overview of the nature of your business, telling when and why the company was formed.

Then complete the summary by briefly addressing:. SWOT Analysis strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that your company will face, both internal and external. Tell briefly about your manufacturing process. Include information on suppliers and availability of materials. Describe the products you sell. Include information about your sources and handling of inventory and fulfillment. If you provide a service: Describe your services List future products or services you plan to provide.

Address Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents. Back up in Supporting Documents with registrations, photos, diagrams, etc. Describe your projected or current location. Project costs associated with the location. Include legal agreements, utilities forecasts, etc.

Describe your legal structure and why it is advantageous for your company. List the people who are or will be running the business. Describe their responsibilities and abilities. Include resumes in Supporting Documents. How many employees will you have in what positions?

What are the necessary qualifications? How many hours will they work and at what wage? Project future needs for adding employees. What system will you set up for daily accounting?

Who will you use for a tax accountant? Who will be responsible for periodic financial statement analysis? Who will you retain for an attorney? What kinds of insurance will you carry? What will it cost and who will you use for a carrier? Address security in terms of inventory control and theft of information online and off.

What is a marketing plan? The Marketing Plan defines all of the components of your marketing strategy. You will address the details of your market analysis, sales, advertising, and public relations campaigns. The Plan should also integrate traditional offline programs with new media online strategies. Overview and Goals of Your Marketing Strategy. Target Market identify with demographics, psychographics, and niche market specifics.

Competition describe major competitors assessing their strengths and weaknesses. Market Trends identify industry trends and customer trends.

Market Research describe methods of research, database analysis, and results summary. Packaging quality considerations and packaging. Pricing price strategy and competitive position. Sales Strategies direct sales, direct mail, email, affiliate, reciprocal, and viral marketing.

Public Relations online presence, events, press releases, interviews. Networking memberships and leadership positions. Description of Customer Service Activities. Expected Outcomes of Achieving Excellence.

Implementation of Marketing Strategy. Out-Sourced Functions advertising, public relations, marketing firms, ad networks, etc. The quantitative part of your business plan. This section of the business plan is the quantitative interpretation of everything you stated in the organizational and marketing plans. Do not do this part of your plan until you have finished those two sections.

Financial documents are the records used to show past, current, and projected finances. The following are the major documents you will want to include in your Business Plan.

The work is much easier if they are done in the order presented because they build on each other, utilizing information from the ones previously developed.

Summary of Financial Needs needed only if you are seeking financing. Why you are applying for financing. How Much capital you need. Loan Fund Dispersal Statement needed only if you are seeking financing. Tell How you intend to disperse the loan funds. Back Up your statement with supporting data. This document projects what your Business Plan means in terms of dollars.

It shows cash inflow and outflow over a period of time and is used for internal planning. It is of prime interest to the lender and shows how you intend to repay your loan. Cash flow statements show both how much and when cash must flow in and out of your business. Projection of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth of your company at end of next fiscal year.

It can be expressed in: This analysis can be done either mathematically or graphically. How will you raise money with your business and make profits a reality? You answer this question with your sales strategy.

This section is all about explaining your price strategy and describing the relationship between your price point and everything else at the company.

This includes your social media efforts and how you use press releases and other appearances to help raise your brand awareness and encourage people to buy or sign up for your products or services. Your sales strategy section should include information on your web development efforts and your search engine optimization plan. Coffee House needs to make sure they utilize word of mouth and geolocation strategies for their marketing. Social media is a good start, including making Facebook Live videos of them demonstrating products and how to grind beans.

They can encourage customers to check in when visiting, as well as offer special coupons and promotions that activate when they come to the house to encourage sales. Make sure you are being as realistic as possible. Include information for a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario. You should also put together a timeline so your potential funders have an idea of what to expect.

Some of the things Coffee House, Inc. How long these items take depend on state and local regulations. No matter your business, get an idea of what steps you need to take to make it happen and how long they typically take. Add it all into your timeline.

Finally, the last section of your business plan should include financial projections. Make sure you summarize any successes up to this point. This is especially important if you hope to secure funds for expansion of your existing business. Your forward-looking projections should be based on information about your revenue growth and market trends.

Even though it can be time-consuming to create a business plan, your efforts will be rewarded. The process is valuable for helping you identify potential problems, as well as help you plan ahead. Choosing how to fund your small business is an important aspect of your overall business plan. Depending on your decision, it can also affect your business and its ability to….

This article currently has 26 ratings with an average of 4. Learn financial KPIs, how to create a business plan, whether to choose debt vs.

Writing your business plan is not easy. Read our guide to make sure you write the best business plan possible and set yourself up for Home Articles Guides Tools Videos.

The Importance of a Business Plan A few years ago, a software company surveyed its users to determine how helpful a business plan was to success.

The results were reviewed by the University of Oregon for validation, and seem to point to the improved outcomes for those with business plans: Those who created plans were more likely to secure a loan or investment capital. The seven components you must have in your business plan include: Executive Summary Business Description Market Analysis Organization Management Sales Strategies Funding Requirements Financial Projections All of these elements can help you as you build your business, in addition to showing lenders and potential backers that you have a clear idea of what you are doing.

Executive Summary The executive summary is basically the elevator pitch for your business. Business Description This is your chance to describe your company and what it does.

Some of the other questions you can answer in the business description section of your plan include: What is the business model? What are your customer base, revenue sources and products?

Do you have special business relationships that offer you an advantage? Where are you located? Who are the principals? What is the legal structure? What are some of the market opportunities? What is your projected growth? Market Analysis This is your chance to look at your competition and the state of the market as a whole. Organization and Management Use this section of your business plan to show off your team superstars.

Sales Strategies How will you raise money with your business and make profits a reality? Financial Projections Finally, the last section of your business plan should include financial projections. Subscribe to our newsletter. Thanks for signing up!

Check your inbox for a confirmation email. Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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Oct 03,  · You can click each of the above links to jump directly to that business plan section. See an example of a completed business plan here, and learn even more about writing a business plan here. Simple business plan /5().

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Every wholesale, retail, and/or service business can benefit from the preparation of a carefully written business plan. There are two main purposes for writing that plan. There is an additional benefit if you do business internationally. Your business plan will serve as your guide during the lifetime of your operation.

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Writing Your Business Plan. How To Write A Business Plan; The Ingredients of a Marketing Plan; Updating Your Business Plan ; Enhancing Your Business Plan ; Business Plan Tools. Business Plan Software ; Books and How-to Manuals ; Business Plan Templates ; Sample Business Plans; Market Strategies. Market strategies are the . Oct 23,  · First, you want your business plan to be read (and no one is going to read a page or even page business plan). Second, your business plan should be a tool you use to run and grow your business, something you continue to /5().

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