Tips for Developing a Business Plan

This is a guest post by Mark Rodgers

The best business launches with a sound plan that provides all of the instructions for reaching the place of success. It starts by explain the purpose of the business. The business plan provides a map that gives guidance for the direction the business will take. It also lays out all of the necessary elements for elaborating on the business to potential investors or lenders.

Developing a business plan does not have to painful or overly tedious. It should be done with as much information as possible. The more that can be explained and set forth in the business plan then the easier it will be to put the elements in place for making the business a success.

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1. Create an image for the business. Write down all the words or phrases that come to mind when thinking about the business. Use these questions to start the process:

  • What comes to mind when thinking of the business?
  • What type of person will be the ideal customer?
  • What location makes the best place for the business?

2. Begin to narrow the image into something more focused. Put the phrases and words into stacks that represent different categories. Place each stack in the order of importance. What stands out as the most important aspect of the new business?

3. Make that focused element the driving force behind the business. Knowing the “why” of a business sets the tone for everything that comes after that why. It is that one element that creates the foundation. It may be referred to as the mission statement for the company. Explain the why of the company in just two to three sentences.

4. Create a vision statement as well. This sets the direction of the company. The vision statement represents the future of the company. It is where things will be in the next five years, ten years and twenty years. The vision statement becomes the map that will give the company the guidance to take it in the right direction.

5. Develop goals and objectives for the business. Goals are long term plans and objectives are measurable steps that are taken to reach the goals.

6. Research the market. Create a list that shows the amount of competition and also the customer base. These will help provide direction for marketing and advertising.

7. Search out a location. The information about competition and customer base will help determine the ideal location. Look for the right real estate for launching the business. Plan for a beginning location and also for expansion locations.

8. Develop a budget. Make a list of all expenses. Estimate an amount for those items that cannot be priced specifically in the beginning. Set a per employee amount. Total up the costs of doing business. Move over to the income category. Make a list of all potential income avenues and estimated amounts. Determine the breakeven point for sales.

9. Make an exit plan. Every business plan should include a plan for getting out. Some businesses may not be successful enough to continue the risks. Other times, it may be that the business has reached its maximum point. No matter what the reason behind the exit, having a plan in place will make any transition smoother.

A good business plan makes explain the business and running the business a simple task. The plan takes the complex idea and focuses the idea into sentences that reveals the potential. Creating a sound business plan provides direction for the future, stability for the present, and potential financial backing to make the venture complete.

Mark Rodgers has been in business development for 4 years. He blogs on a variety of topics such as ERP Intergration for businesses and ways to apply a qr generator.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the information. I think it will be very useful.

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