Writing a business plan becomes a major stumbling block for many new entrepreneurs. They read all the articles, books, blogs, and other drivel about importance, formats, contents, “do this–don’t do that” stuff, and then stress out about writing a formal business plan.
If you are someone worried about writing a formal document…consider this:
“I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
The point I want to make here is that for the great majority of the 6+ million new businesses that will startup this year…a planning “document” is not necessary and is a waste of resources. At the same time, however, “planning” is absolutely necessary for every single one of them.
Having said that, I am well aware that if you are expecting to start a high-tech company to knock off Google or Facebook, you will need lots of venture capital, and VCs require a very formal and expansive business plan, as well as a top-notch presentation (should you get that far).
Understand the Concept of a Business Plan
Undoubtedly, putting together and implementing a proper business plan is one of the most important aspects of starting a new business. By doing this, you will be able to easily set targets and goals, formulate and implement ideals, verify realistic and functioning approaches to the business, and push towards the long-term success of your particular writing a business pland.
This essential tool works to attract the startup funding for your business. The document needs to be dynamic, jumping off the page at potential investors.The document also needs to be reviewed and monitored regularly to measure the overall performance of the business.
This guide will explain various aspects of what your business plan should include and how you should formulate one for yourself. Various strategies laid out in this guide will be vital to the proper formulation and implementation of a business plan. This is aimed directly at startup businesses in need of fundraising, but the message is valid to all businesses.
Benefits of a Well Formulated
Are you at a point with your business where you just don’t know what to do next?
Do you have a business plan?
How about a growth business plan?
Have you looked at a lot of different ways to grow your business and nothing seems to work?
The right growth business plan could be your answer. If a growth business plan is done the right way it may open up some opportunities you have never thought about before. A growth business plan can be developed many different ways but I would like to discuss a growth business plan to business that you may have never thought about.
Here is the way I would encourage you to set up a growth business plan:
• Do some dreaming about what you would like your lifestyle to be
• By dreaming decide on an average income you would like to have over the next few years
• Decide how many years out you would like your plan to cover
• Decide how much
All e-commerce merchants are prone to Credit card Chargebacks. Such Chargebacks result from situations in which shoppers make purchases or pay for services using a credit card only to come disputing the charges from the credit card issuer later.
Such instances can be so devastating especially if you take no steps in dealing with the ever-increasing Chargebacks.
- Prioritize customer service
Nearly all merchants are setting up Shopping cart platforms. And to thrive amid such competition, you need to stand out. That’s why it’s essential to improve on customer service.
Gone are the days when automated voicemail systems or a long list of FAQs could solve all problems for clients on your e-commerce site. Visitors need a quick, direct and comprehensive response from a live person. Also note that the more support you give to a shopper, the lesser the mistakes which may later lead to Chargebacks.
- Restructure your shipping operations
Fast and efficient shipping is imperative for all merchants especially if you are an infomercial, network, multilevel or a direct marketer.
Such companies are known for attractive ads which often push customers into impulse-driven purchases. That’s why you need to streamline your shipment process. Make it fast and efficient.
If you are in the process of starting a business or considering expanding an existing business, most advisors, and books written on the subject, say you must have a Business Plan. You may be doubtful given that it means you need to take precious time out of your busy schedule to put your plans on paper.
But do you really need a Business Plan?
A survey carried out on 400 UK entrepreneurs by SimplyBusiness revealed that 54% of business owners don’t have a Business Plan. Shocked? I was. Based on my experience when dealing with both start ups and seasoned business owners I thought the figure was on the low side! Only 54%?? Come on. I can count on one hand the number of business owners who have a Business Plan.
So, is a Business Plan as essential as we’re led to believe? Can you build a business without one?
What’s the Answer?
The simple answer to these two questions is… yes.
Yes, a Business Plan is essential; and yes, you could still build a successful business without
For many first-time entrepreneurs, writing a small business plan has enabled them to effectively manage the business time. Entrepreneurs running small businesses are usually overwhelmed by the processes since they have total responsibility for the running of the business. Therefore, a mechanism to organize the tasks will increase productivity and allow you as the entrepreneur to stay cool and collected.
Writing a small business plan is not exactly the ‘time-management mechanism’, but it will ensure that the components of the business are run systematically. These components include, among others, business operation plan, management plans. As a concept of its own, time management is considered a myth. The idea behind time management is the concept of effective planning. Therefore, to manage the business time, you need to plan how the business will be run. The easiest way then, is by writing a plan for a small business.
As a rule, the plan should reflect on the main focus of the business. A good business plan can be obtained by contracting a variety of business plan writing services. The business writing services usually provide a guideline for the plan and will ensure
To be successful in business, you need to conduct research and write your business plan. Attempting to start a business without a (well-composed) business plan through feasibility study is like a stranger going to an unfamiliar terrain without prior direction. Or better still, it is like a ship without a rudder (which controls its direction). It is in the light of this that the publication of this text entitled “Seven Step Business Plan”, written by Ms. Sheila Holm, a respected business-management expert is a welcome addition to business management literature.
Holm says before preparing this text, she had cycled and recycled clients to every bookstore to work through every business-planning book option. She adds that the clients purchased many books but still wanted more help. Holm discloses that to make it easy and affordable for more business owners to receive help, she started conducting a series of seminars to help owners and their management teams develop their business plans within a seven-step format based upon their dreams and goals.
Holm says the outline of the seminars developed rapidly into a seven-step, one-page form for quick and easy review while updating
Planning is a vital ingredient in the success of any business. Developing a business plan is not just a requirement, but a basic necessity for building one’s business nowadays. It is an honest truth that every business needs a plan, starting from large corporations to entrepreneurs. Developing a business plan will help one build a framework that would push his business to his actual destination. The business plan helps one develop work guidelines, map out strategies, understand one’s target market, measure performance, monitor progress, make future plans and raise additional capital either for expansion or to boost operations.
Quite often, the thought on the mind of most business owners or investors is failure. The only way to overcome this failure is to address the common reasons why businesses fail up front. Presently, the world is facing though economic challenges, global economic meltdown, high cost of commodities, high rate of foreclosure and difficulties in obtaining credit from banks, stiff competition, complicated tax laws and high operational costs, etc.. All these challenges faced by businesses today, even make it more challenging for start-up businesses to survive. In today’s world, both small and large-scale businesses have
I recently attended a national entrepreneurship conference along with a number of other college instructors and well-known entrepreneurs. I found it interesting that two concurrent sessions offered conflicting points of view on business plans. One session featured a panel of successful entrepreneurs questioning the real world relevance of business plans. The other session focused on teaching students to quickly and correctly develop business plans.
I was intrigued by the panel discussion so that’s the session I attended. None of the entrepreneurs on the panel had ever written a business plan-at least to launch a business-yet they were all extremely successful. The revelation that they did not use written plans is not surprising, most entrepreneurs don’t. One reason given by the panel for forgoing a formal business plan is the natural tendency for entrepreneurs to cling to a business plan they wrote due to the investment in time and effort. The reality, they said, is that things change so much in the real world of business that the assumptions underpinning a business plan must often be altered or even abandoned to allow the business the flexibility necessary to survive. In addition, the entrepreneurs were
A business plan is a crucial piece of documentation that will give your clients and potential investors a clear indication of what you are planning to achieve with your business, and how you intend to reach this level of success. In the event that some aspects of your business are unknown due to your current start up status, it is important to ensure that only clear and confident aspects of your business plan are included in your write up. However, when it comes to writing your first business plan, the most important thing to remember is to stick to the ‘basics’.
Basics for Getting Started:
The main purpose of a plan is to clearly and concisely display your vision for your business. The clearer your initial plan, the easier it will be to convey your vision to the reader. You should then provide an overview of the resources you have assembled in order to help you in achieving this goal. The fundamentals of your plan should also include details regarding your experience and skills and how these will help you in making your plan work. It is also extremely advantageous to link in
Lots of people want to start their own business. One of the first things that stops these would-be entrepreneurs from realizing their ambitions is the seemingly daunting task of writing a business plan. Writing a business plan, though, is a rather easy task if you understand your business, so let’s take a look at what a business plan entails.
Before we jump into drafting our business plan, we should think about why we are writing a business plan in the first place. Most business plans are used to secure financing for a business – whether it be a start-up or an existing company looking for additional capital. This financing could come from a bank, an equity or venture capital fund, friends, family or just about any other potential investor you could think of.
Another reason to write a business plan is to organize yourself, make sure you have thought through all the components of your business and make sure that it makes sense. A great idea for a product or service may not amount to a great business unless you can turn a profit through effective marketing, management of expenses,
The purpose of this article, is to discuss why some businesses fail, and the relationship of these failures to poor or limited business planning being implemented. We are firm believers that absolutely every business should have a plan. Ideally, if you are going to produce a plan, this should avoid several major mistakes to ensure that it is not a poor quality business plan. Here we will discuss ten common mistakes which can easily be avoided, when writing a business plan.
1) The plan is poorly constructed and written and may contain errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. A business plan, is a reflection of your businesses and a poorly executed plan can present a poor impression. You must conduct extensive reviews of the document, to make sure that there are no errors.
2) The presentation of the plan is not consistent and lacks a clear structure. The presentation of your overview is as mentioned a reflection of your business, and the following items will convey a negative image to the reader: inconsistent margins, missing page numbers, incomplete charts and tables without headings, or a missing table of contents.
A business plan acts as a road map or compass; without it you will get lost in your business.
The biggest mistake is simply putting it off.
A plan contains a description of your business, an evaluation of your main competitors and several financial calculations.
But why are so many people so afraid or intimidated to write these plans of actions?
Many new business owners are so over-enthusiastic about their business concept, that they are desperately eager to begin and do not have the patience to look at the economic realities involved in their business.
Filling out the many financial forms in your plan can be an overwhelming process for any new business owner. Many are so intimidated by the financial calculations that they want to skip this process. If you recognize either of these tendencies in yourself, it is even more important that you prepare your financial calculations carefully and pay attention to what they tell you. Do not try to get out of it by telling yourself that your financial estimates will be wildly off base and yield useless
Do you want your business to succeed? Of course you do. Every business looking to succeed would be wise to take a little time to create a business plan. This important document will help you in any stage of business from start up to expansion to financing a new product or idea. Writing a business plan can help your business to increase its chances of success which is especially helpful during these difficult financial times.
Writing a business plan will be a lot of work. However, you will find that the process is not that difficult once you get started. One of the most difficult parts of writing a business plan is just getting started. Of course, having some tips and guidelines to follow can be especially useful. Here are some ideas to help you as you write your business plan.
What Do I Need To Include?
Your business plan needs to demonstrate that you know what you are doing and that you understand your business. Generally this knowledge and information is broken into distinct sections. This helps you to keep your business plan organized and easy
Kicking & Screaming
Most business owners and department managers know they “should” have a plan. Yet in all my 25 years of helping business owners and managers grow their businesses, just four of my clients possessed a written plan, and only one was actually using it. Why do so many business owners skip this crucial step? Some common explanations I’ve heard go something like:
- “I don’t need funding, so I don’t need a business plan.”
- “My plan is going to change anyway, so why should I waste my time creating it?”
- “It will take too much time.”
- “I started to and found it overwhelming.”
- “I didn’t start a business to do the types of things I did when I worked for someone else.”
- “I don’t want a big company. I don’t want employees.” (I just created a J.O.B. for myself.)
- “I don’t know which planning program to use; there are so many out there.”
- “It’s expensive to plan and I need to spend my money on other things.”
- “I don’t need to plan; I just want to work in my business.”
Does any of that sound familiar? For the most part, “winging it” from day to day works-until it doesn’t. Many business owners
Similar to any other business, a catering business also works on a business plan and having one ready before you begin a catering business will make sure that you start well and go in the right direction as planned. As with any business, a catering business will also have goals and tools to measure progress as a part of the catering plan. In short, having a solid plan will make sure that you remain focused on your objectives.
A business plan, not only to keep track of your business but also helps when you look for help from outside, especially financing. If you are looking for investors in your business, the first thing that an investor would like to see is a very solid plan – be it your future business partners or financial institutions (banks).
Writing a plan for your business is not as easy as it sounds, it does need a fair amount of research and a good bit of thinking. In fact, you can get a sample business plan from a well-run catering company and use it to write your own by inducting your own parameters. The
Writing a business plan can be a daunting activity if it is the first time you’ve tackled such a detailed, thorough project. Too often, entrepreneurs rely upon templates or a sample business plan as an example for their own proposal, and in the process lose the creativity and energy that they have about their idea. There are many options for writing a persuasive and effective business plan without spending a lot of money on a writing coach, proposal writer, or additional resources.
Chances are, you’re already relied on the internet to gain guidance about projects you’ve never done before, or looked up instructions for a complicated process. There’s a lot of information online about writing a business plan and you can easily find a sample plan, but not all of that information is quality, or worth your time. So how do you effectively search for web resources that will actually help you instead of wasting your time? Much like any kind of internet research, the tip is to begin by using only credible resources. In addition to searching for “writing a business plan”, or “sample business plan”, type
All businesses, of whatever size or stage in its development, need to have formal business plans in place, prepared by the management and not their accountants, and fortunately there are many now many free business plan templates available on the web to help you in business planning.
Why Prepare A Business Plan?
There are four main reasons why you should prepare a business plan. These are not mutually exclusive, and as the business changes and grows the business plan should be regularly revisited and reviewed since these issues will apply equally well to an established business as to a start up.
The first is to plan in the widest sense. In preparing a business plan you are preparing first and foremost a plan and the process is one of thinking through what you are going to do in the business, how you are going to do it, what are the separate projects that will have to be completed to reach the end goal and when by, what resources you will need to have in place and when, what the risks are and how these are to be managed, and so on.
The second is
The preparation of your vending machine business plan will be the most important thing that you do prior to launching your new venture.
A business plan will be a crucial resource that will help guide your business in the right direction. A business plan sets out what has to happen in order for you to reach your goals, outlines how you will do it and sets out alternative plans in case things change further down the line. It forces you to do the research that is necessary in order to find out if there really is a market for the vending machines and locations that you have in mind.
It may be necessary to have a plan written in a formal, professional style if your aim is to use it to convince bankers or investors to support your idea. However, even if you don’t have anything to prove to anyone, your business plan will help to confirm the viability of your ideas in your own mind.
Keep a copy of your plan on your PC as well as in a file or binder in case of emergency.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..”
Ah yes…..the annual business planning cycle is upon us.
The time of the year to huddle all of your business colleagues in a room to hash out the key initiatives for the upcoming year. The time to throw everything up on the wall and try to get everything done in the first quarter. “This will be the year that all plans will be met” is the battle cry! Every vision, idea and strategy gets bantered about – shouts of “there are no bad ideas!” fill the air. The room is electric with visionaries exchanging ideas on how their idea solves all issues, yet year after year, it seems that plans never actually come to fruition.
Why is that? The intent was there; the energy was present; and ideas were flowing. That’s the easy part – coming up with the ideas. The success of your planning doesn’t rest on the ideas, but rather, implementing those ideas. It’s true, companies need to foster innovation in their business planning, but more importantly, they need to create a business environment that enables team
If you’re sitting in your office reading this: stand up, go to your bookshelf, and get down your current business plan… not on your bookshelf? Oh, that’s OK, try the filing cabinet… not there either? Can’t remember? Maybe it’s in one of those musty old boxes you packed up years ago with all the “non-essential” stuff?
OK, let’s try this. Remember when you bought that brand new photocopier? Wasn’t it great getting everything out of the box and grabbing the manual so you could put it all together and learn how it works?…and what about that great new feature (which you hardly ever use) that allows you to scan a document, then save it as a PDF and retrieve it later for editing and re-printing. Can’t remember how to do it? No problem – I’ll bet you know where the manual is! Carefully filed away for just such a time as this, when you need to refer back to it to keep things running smoothly, right?
So, how come you can find the photocopier manual that guides you through the process of running the photocopier smoothly, but you can’t find the business plan that helps you