The importance of having a business plan cannot be underestimated. Very few businesses survive without a business plan.
These questions might help you get started writing:
1. What is it that your business provides and what needs does it fill in the market?
2. Who are your potential customers and why will they purchase from you instead?
3. How do you plan to reach your potential customers?
4. Do you have the financial resources to put up your business? If not, where do you plan to get it?
As soon as you have a workable idea for a business, immediately begin to put together your business plan. You should do an extensive market research for your product or service. It is very important that you are able to determine a) how soon your product will pay for itself and b) what your prospective clients really need.
The market’s dominant rule for a business to be successful is that the product or service it sells must be driven by market demand.
In developing and formulating a plan, you have to anticipate and project the different ways your company will make money. An objective examination and assessment of your product or service marketability is an absolute requirement. The planning stage is the best time to determine flaws and shortcomings of your business scheme rather than during the operational stage, by then it is already too late. Correcting the flaws of your business while at the planning stage saves you money in the end.
Defining Your Business Plan
Essentially this contain a description of your business, an executive summary, the primary target market, the opportunity, the management team, financial projections, and so on.
It should be easy to read, clear, concise and to the point. It should also contain the specific milestones for progress so that the success of the company is measurable against well-defined objectives. Prospective investors use the business plan as a tool to gauge management’s ability to actually implement the plan.
Future direction of your business. If you clearly identify where your business will be five years from now, you can effectively formulate a plan that to support your business goal. Your expertise, needs, knowledge, leadership abilities, resources, level of risk, and the nature of your business are necessary and important factors you must consider when identifying your personal business goals. Clearly state your business goal in your plan.
The goal. Will the business plan be used to secure funding or as a guide to operating the business or both? If you are trying to secure funding, concentrate on the financial requirements of the business: state the amount of money required, how it will be spent; be sure to include a repayment schedule as well. If the plan is going to be an internal, functional guide, include the how-to’s of accomplishing specific goals and milestones with emphasis on the business process. The goals of a functional plan are to measure operational progress, analysis of planning projections, predict capital requirements, evaluate addition or elimination of products or services, and assess operational procedures.
Home-based businesses are gaining acceptance as a viable business opportunity and not as a simple hobby anymore. This means even a home-based business needs a plan to guide its growth and future development. Depending on your business, you may put greater emphasis on particular areas of your plan like meetings with clients (service provider), logistics plans and techniques (goods provider).
Writing the Plan
There is no standard formula for the structure of a plan; however, it is generally divided into four sections: Description of the Business; Marketing; Finance; and Management.
A business plan also includes an executive summary, financial projections and other supporting documents but these are considered as attachments.
Including as much information as you can by describing each aspect of your business in detail makes it easier for you to run the business, and for prospective partners and investors to understand the viability of venture.
Source by Mike Goldman