The Three Actions Essential for Starting a Business Part II: Writing the Dream

Writing the Dream

Once you have legalized the dream, then it will be time to write it in the form of a business plan. This can be the most challenging task a entrepreneur has to perform. A business plan is the blueprint for how your organization will conduct operations, make a profit, finance the business, and who will be involved in the business. If you are planning on having investors or obtaining financing for your company, you will definitely need a business plan. Creating a business plan is not as difficult as you think. Many independent hustlers choose to hire someone to create a business plan for them. If you have the time, knowledge, and patience to create a business plan on your own, you can save yourself a significant amount of money. Business consultants will charge you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to create a business plan for your organization. I suggest you get on a serious hustle and create a business plan on your own. There are several sources for obtaining information on creating a business plan. I have seen computer software for creating business plans cost as much as $600. Don’t go out and spend that type of money to create a business plan, instead go to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Website at http://www.sba.gov and create your business plan for free. The SBA is a great source for finding funding for small businesses; it also offers a substantial amount of information on helping individuals start a business, including templates for business plans.

According to the SBA, a sound business plan should contain the following information:

1. Introduction

• Give a detailed description of the business and its goals

• Discuss ownership of the business and its legal structure

2. Marketing

• Discuss the products and services your company will offer

• Identify customer demand for your products and services

3. Financial Management

• Develop an expected return on investment and monthly cash flows for the first year

• Provide projected income statements and balance sheets for a two-year period

4. Operations

• Explain how the business will be managed day-to-day

• Discuss hiring and personnel procedures

5. Conclusion statement

• Summarize your business goals and objectives and express your

commitment to the success of your business

This is just a glimpse of the information that needs to go into a business plan. Again, go to the SBA Website for additional information that will help you create a business plan and much more. I find it amazing that more people do not take advantage of the services offered by the SBA. Make sure you are not one of the lost souls out there claiming they can’t see the forest because of all of the trees. Open your eyes and become aware of your surroundings. That is the only way you are going to succeed as an independent hustler. In today’s society, an individual’s attention span is short. Make your business plan short and to the point. I wouldn’t recommend a business plan over 7-10 pages for a small business. You might even be able to create one that is only 4-6 pages. The key is capturing the reader’s attention in the introduction or executive summary. That is the best place to sell your ideas in the business plan.

The time and effort spent creating a business plan are well worth it. If you create a business plan outlining and explaining your organization, you will have a better understanding about what you are trying to accomplish. A business plan makes you recognize and think about issues you didn't know existed. There is always knowledge to be gained when you create something on your own. Become an expert and write your own business plan.

Edgar Alan Cole, M.B.A.

Resources:

U.S. Small Business Association. (2010). Starting and managing a business. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from http://www.sba.gov.

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