Business Plan Writing - Simple Business Plan Strategy
Business Plans - Quick & Dirty List
Writing a business plan is not a simple task, but if you follow these general and simple guidelines you can accomplish your goals fairly simply. Just remember that it will require some investment of time on your part, more details are better and that you are capable of the task!
The body of your business plan is best divided into these few categories:
1) Your Business description
2) The marketing you plan to use or bring with you into your company.
3) What money do you have and what do you need for the first 5 years - broken down by year 1 through 5
4) Who is managing your business - Head people, must be listed by name and credentials - only staff can be assigned a number - example-5 hostess staff operating in varied time slots from 8 am until 2 am.
5)A well planned exit strategy to pay back the loan you are seeking or the investor/s (partner/s) you are making your presentation to.
Get Books To Help You!
Business Plan Breakdowns
Use the following list of documentation so you get the most benefit from your business plan:
1 - Business Description - Don't use 500 words to say what you can say in 150 words. Be brief, but be clear. Include your marketing ideas for your business and its growth. Know who your competition is, their success and where you can take over a portion of the business in your niche, as well as how you intend to do that. What are your operating procedures, who are your personnel, and what types or kinds of insurance do you have or will you need to carry - ?
2 - Break out your money requirements for the first five years this way:
Year 1 - Break costs out by day for the first quarter and by the month for the first 3 years - total your column at end of year.
Year 1-3 break it out by month and quarter, with a total column at end of year
Year 4-5 quarterly and yearly breakout totals for this.
3 - Your financial data consists of these elements:
- Tax returns for 3 years of any principal company members/workers.
- Loan applications - Most banks carry these and you can use theirs if your investor is a personal one.
- Your list of supplies and equipment - get an office supply catalog if you don't know where to start and include costs associated to these items (toner and paper for a copier . . .)
- These financials: Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, Pro-forma cash flow. If you don't know what these are or understand how to get them then seek the advice of a professional, or go online and learn how create them and use the simplest form you can understand so that you can explain if asked any questions, or go to the library or go to the small business administration for help. Do not guess - More detail is better!
- Your list of assumptions - what are your objectives based on? additional staff being hired based on a 20% growth projection?
Next . . What's Left to do?
4 - What is left?
Gather up this additional information and paperwork and include it also:
- Any leases you have agreed to or are interested in acquiring or your business
- Any licenses you are required to possess-or permits
- Resumes for any and all principal officers of the company and a list of your Board of Directors-name and addresses
- Letters from anyone interested in doing business with you - Letters of Intent - when you go into business for yourself.
Use copies of everything so that your original documents do not risk becoming altered or damaged or lost.
It's Not Over Until You're Finished!
Your presentation agenda should include an cover page, table of contents, executive summary, supporting documents, and financial projections. There is no magic bullet for creating a business plan. You'll have to take the time to prepare one. A business plan with thorough research will always get a more detailed review than one with incomplete data, unfinished research or details missing.