Writing a Business Plan is an important road map for entrepreneurs. Business success is as unpredictable as the waves in the sea. However, if you have a plan, you will be able to prepare yourself for the ups and downs of running a business.
1. Business plans are for both sole proprietorships as well as for partnerships and corporations. You need a plan of action to help you communicate to others who will join you to know what the purpose of the business is.
Your business plan will also serve as a tool in which you will convince lenders that your business idea is a feasible and marketable one.
2. Business plans can help save you the trouble of pursuing a futile venture because they are designed to help you analyze your business idea.
In order to complete your business plan you will be conducting quite a bit of research.
The type of research you will be participating in during the planning stages of starting a business include examining annual reports of other companies that sell similar products or services, conducting surveys on various consumer groups, and establishing test markets.
3. Writing a business plan will also help you consider the costs of running a business as well.
This will help you determine whether or not you could acquire enough capital for start-up and whether or not you could afford to run your business year after year. Not only that, but if you find out if you are short funds writing a plan for raising those funds could be of great benefit to you.
4. Another aspect of writing a business plan is to establish company goals and to define the purpose of your company.
In addition, you will have to decide what type of company you are. For instance, you may plan to start a new chain pet store, or market a brand new bicycle with features that other bikes do not have.
It is important to remember that if you have a business plan, your company’s management and production goals will have a greater chance of being carried out.
If you are writing a plan for an already existing business that you would like to expand you can also add charts, graphs, and tables representing various figures.
Some statistics you would want to include in business plans would be revenue that you have made for the first year, or more if you have been in business longer. You will also want to include figures related to profits and losses, and percentage of revenue increase from year to year.
5. Drawing up a detailed business plan has other benefits as well.
For example, you will attract investors who may show interest in your products or services. Presenting a well-thought-out plan can increase the chance that potential investors will be willing to say, “yes” to your idea, whether it is an existing or new idea.
You can purchase books at bookstores, visit employment agencies, or visit business-planning websites to find sample business plans.
These templates can be easily downloaded sometimes for free and you can save it into a word processing document file format for easy editing and personalizing.
The length of a completed business plan depends upon the nature of the company and how much detail is required for lenders and fellow corporate partners to understand the purpose of your business.
Usually it has a format of the introduction first, name of owner or owners of the company, and basic personal and business contact information. Then, the mission statement of a company would go on the next page, and then statistics regarding previous year’s growth, unless it is a new business.
If you are starting up a new business for the first time you may be able to include statistics from sales from another company, if you are allowed access to that information.Any evidence that you can provide that your idea is a lucrative one the better.
If you cannot find written documentation of the success of a product or service, you may include in your business plan the results of any test marketing that your company may have done.
After you indicate in your plan for your business some evidence of potential or existing profit, the next step would be to include the earlier mentioned profit and loss projections.
Also, this would be the place you would indicate the goals of your business. Your business plan does not have to follow this exact order, but this is one of the preferred formats of the experts.
Writing a business plan could be difficult when you do it for the first time. If you would like consultants or market research experts to help you create your business plan you can hire one to do that work for you.
Professional business plan software is also available for you to use as well. Whether you aspire to become a fortune 500 company or you just want to increase your monthly income by 500 dollars creating a business plan is extremely important.
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Do you have questions about writing your business plan? Please post your thoughts in the comments below.