Date: 2017-04-11 20:18
Present the big picture. What are the central purposes and activities of the planned business? What are its SWOTs? What are its major (long term) objectives, key strategies and prime goals ? See 8. Strategic Overview within the Business Plan Guide for more info.
Introduce the proposed management team, structure etc. Indicate administrative arrangements and specify overhead costs. See 65. Management & Administration within the Business Plan Guide for more info.
This section deals with preparatory issues, structure & content, and length & time scale for the preparation of a detailed plan.
As the prelude to developing a strategic plan, it is desirable to clearly identify the current status, objectives and strategies of an existing business or the latest thinking in respect of a new venture. Correctly defined, these can be used as the basis for a critical examination to probe existing or perceived strengths , weaknesses , threats and opportunities. This then leads to strategy development covering the following issues which are discussed in more detail immediately below:
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Condense your plan into a compelling business pitch to sell investors. Check out Tim Berry's five-part series on pitching, starting with Part 6: Personalize Your Pitch.
Once the plan's structure has been defined, it can be used as a checklist and basis for a work program and timetable to complete the plan. This work program will often entail extensive research and thought prior to the commencement of writing. For example, formal market research may be needed before sales volumes and prices can be determined. Another example: professional advice may be required to assess capital expenditures in relation to the acquisition of premises and so on.
Write a business plan that’s right for your business. As tempting as it is, don’t just cut and paste from a sample plan. Any banker or investor will be able to tell from miles away that you copied someone else’s plan. Not only will you be less likely to get funding if you copy a business plan, you’ll be greatly reducing your chances of success because you didn’t write a plan that’s right for your specific business, its specific location, target market, and your unique product or service. Thinking through how you are going to launch your business is a critical step in starting a business that you shouldn’t let go.
A formal business plan is just as important for an established business, irrespective of its size, as it is for a startup. It serves four critical functions as follows:
For more guidance on these matters, check the white paper offering Insights into Business Planning , the Checklist for Preparing a Business Plan , Free-Plan ( free 655-page Business Plan Guide and Template in Word format) and the comprehensive Business Plan Guide.