Business Plan : 1 Creating a Road map
Creating a good business plan is a good place to start when opening up a new business. Though many successful companies have been started without the benefit of a formal business plan, it can be an essential factor in the birth and growth of your company. A good business plan will help you obtain financing, arrange strategic alliances, attract key employees, and boost your confidence. It sells your company to the world and gives you direction as the world answers back.
In these series of articles about putting together a business plan we will give you the definitions and outline on how to put together a great business plan. It is our goal I these articles to provide you with most of the information that you will need to attract the correct investors or make the right decision with your own time and money. You will need to do some homework on you own, don’t worry it is fun.
From the table of contents to the financial tables, a business plan covers a lot of ground. How can you make your executive summary stand out? How much detail is appropriate when outlining your marketing strategy? What is the best way to present the financial projections? Here are our best resources to help you create each part of your business plan.
A successful business plan is a living road-map to your future, not just a document that will sit in your desk drawer. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route your company intends to take to grow revenues. The vintage clothing industry is no exception. Not only do you need to create a mission statement to synchronize your company’s activities with a clear corporate vision, but you need to show yourself as well as you investors that you have plan of action towards profitability. It is important to create a good business plan that focuses on the following topics pertaining to your store.
Is Your Business Idea Feasible?
Making a critical evaluation of your business concept at an early stage will allow you to discover, address, and correct any fatal flaws before investing time in preparing your business plan.
Telling Your Story
No matter what type of business you plan to start, when your story is complete it will be an important part of the risk management process and a key to effectively understanding your business and its critical success factors.
Developing Effective Vision and Mission Statements
Vision and mission provide direction for a new or small firm, without which it is difficult to develop a cohesive plan.
Simplified Start-up Plan
Before you do anything else, you need a simple business plan. Here’s a checklist to get you going.
Mastering the Basics
Creating Your Business Plan
In a nutshell, here are the areas you’ll need to address in a business plan to offer prospective lenders and investors a complete view of your business, as well as provide you with a tool you can use to start and run your company.
The Basics of Business Plans: Sell, Sell, Sell
When viewed as a selling document, your business plan takes on a new meaning. Here, David E. Gumpert, author of How to Really Create a Successful Business Plan, provides four compelling reasons for writing a business plan.
The Bulletproof Business Plan
Build a plan that stands up to even the worst economy with these tips.
The Finer Points of a Business Plan
Gumpert gives a brief overview of what information every business plan should contain.
Filling in Your Plan: What to Say Where Once you understand the skeletal outline of your business plan, you need to know what to say in each section. Gumpert fills in the details.
Cover All the Bases in Your Business Description
Describing your business in the plan may sound deceptively simple. In reality, a nuanced company explanation is needed and will serve as a strong foundation for your entire plan.
Executive Summary as a Guiding Light
It’s not an abstract, preface, or introduction, but the executive summary is one of the most critical parts of any business plan. Gumpert argues that an effective executive summary should be the entire plan in miniature.
All Summary, No Substance Through this annotated example, learn what not to write in your executive summary.
How Do I Research My Industry?
Where can you find specific data that applies to your industry and its market? Here are a few places to start.
Hitting the Market To be successful, you have to know your potential customers inside out. One entrepreneur reflects on the essentials of market research.
Segment the Target Market in Your Business Plan
It’s a big market out there, so how can you break it down for your business plan? Learn the simple principles of segmenting your market and drilling down to a more precise view of your target audience.
Write a Marketing Analysis That Will Simply Dazzle
After you’ve crunched the data and analyzed the market, you need a succinct and clear approach to best communicate that information in your plan. This article will help you decide what to include in your marketing section and offers a step-by-step format for doing so.
Competitive Research on a Shoestring
You can learn a lot by researching online and targeting the right people.
Get a Local Look at Your Competition
You can gather endless information regarding potential competition by immersing yourself into the Internet. However, the best strategy is to stay local and get a firsthand look at them.
Making It All Add Up
Even if you find finances intimidating or tedious, they’re critical. The financial section of a business plan is not the time to add creative flourishes; instead, this author advises, stick to a conventional approach.
Predicting the future is hard. But when you’re making financial projections, that’s exactly what you need to do. You can avoid some of the most common mistakes by following this list of dos and don’ts.
Personnel and Business Plans: Making the Most of Your Management Team
It’s not just what you’re doing in your business, but who will be doing it. In the management section of your plan, you’ll need to describe your organizational structure and put your team in the best possible light.
Tackling Technology in Your Business Plan
A business plan needs to not only explain what you’ll be doing; it also needs to explain how you expect to do it, including the technology you’ll use.