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Why Bother With a Business Plan?

Aug 26, 2008
Business plans are a necessity if you are trying to get finance for a new business. Most investors or loan companies will not look at you twice unless you show them a detailed business plan.

Many people don't bother with a plan as they feel it is not necessary. But you mainly need a business plan for yourself. The actual process of creating a business plan will do you wonders for the long term success of you business. As you work through your plan you will come across a list of questions which will highlight areas of your business which you may have overlooked or which need more research. Even if you're not asked for a business plan it is well worth doing one and referring back to in the weeks and months to come. A business plan is the building blocks of your business, so don't miss anything out or your business will come tumbling down.

So what makes a good one?

A good business plan should be a long term strategy for you business. It should include everything that you will need to do to run your business, including what the actual activity will be, what resources you are going to need. You need to detail your employees, money, time, equipment or stock. How you are going to get your target audience. What you are going to do if it is a seasonal business.

Your business plan should include

* your business idea - what you do, sell etc

* who your target audience is

* your projected revenue and expenses for a year

* list of your major competitors and how they are different to you

* marketing plans and what results do you expect from them

* how much you expect to sell and when

* resources (e.g. money, employees, premises, equipment)

With your business idea you need to explain clearly why you are different from your competitors, what you are offering that is different and why your target audience should use you. Include how much your products or services will be and explain any market research which was undertaken. If you haven't done any market research you should stop writing your plan and so some.

In the marketing section you need to explain who needs your product, where the purchasers will be based, your competition and why you are better or different. Also if is worth mentioning any emerging or growing trends in the market including impending changes and what the effects will be to your business from these changes.

If you have a team of people as part of your resources you should explain what each persons job role will be, what their strengths and weaknesses are and if there are any gaps how you will fill them.

The financial projects are very important and you should try to ensure they are as accurate as physically possible. Ensure you explain what your likely profit and expenses will be including any assumptions.

The more research and planning you do the better chance your business has of succeeding. So get researching and get planning and you will soon be reaping the rewards.
About the Author
Carolyn is the webmaster for Angel Startups experts in offering professional business plans.
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