Business Plan Basics – Part 1

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Online or offline, when you want to start a business you need a business plan. Writing a business plan helps when pursuing investment capital, but it also helps you set some clear goals. A business plan is a living document, so you can first create it as an outline and develop it later, as your business grows.

Executive Summary:

This is the most important section of your business plan. If you look for investors, make sure to write this part properly. The executive summary describes the company, the products and services and what unique opportunities you are offering. Remember: the executive summary creates the first impression of both you and your business. This is a business plan in miniature, no preface, no introduction.

Do not write a very long executive summary. Keep it at 3 pages at the very most. Focus on the opportunity and benefits and use concrete facts to explain your business concept. Don’t forget to include central details of your investment: how much money you need, what return you offer your investors.

Here is what your executive summary should demonstrate: a clear business concept and plan for success, a competent team, a specific market, significant advantages, a realistic summary of the financial projections and a great opportunity for the investors.

Mission and Vision Statements:

This part of the business plan you are going to use both online and offline, so it is good to write it carefully.

The mission and vision statements set the tone for your business. Your clients, potential business partners and investors learn from these statements what your company stands for and what you intend to achieve. Use powerful and meaningful words.

Make the difference:

The Vision defines your dream, a far-achievable objective: an ideal. Don’t fake it! If you don’t believe it, don’t write it!

The Mission defines what you intend to accomplish: challenging, but achievable. Don’t lie and don’t pretend to be something you are not!

Company Description:

This is the part of your plan that outlines your business information and concept. Explain who you are and what you do, where and when the company was formed, include a company history, current status and future goals. You are going to use the company description online as well, at the “about us” category. Your online clients are as demanding as the offline ones. They are curious and want to learn about your company.

Products and Services:

Now you have the chance to clearly describe your products and services while identifying their main features and benefits.

When describing products it might be useful to include pictures that help the reader get a better understanding of the size, shape, colour, etc. Don’t forget to include the technological details, patent protection and cost.

Services are not so easy to explain. Try to underline the key benefits they bring and what makes your service unique. Benefits are more important than features, so focus on them.

These are general aspects of a business and including them in a business plan will also help defining what public information you will include on your website. But a business plan should also include some “internal” aspects: industry analysis, market analysis and target market, marketing and sales, competitive analysis and so on.


Source by Michael Russell

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