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Guidelines in Writing a Business Plan

Updated on November 13, 2009

 

Guidelines in Writing a Business Plan

In writing a business plan, you should consider the following:

1.             Am I interested enough to pursue the business?

2.             What would I like the business to become a year from now?

3.             Am I ready to face changes if they happen? How will I prepare for these changes?

4.             How can I attain my goals?

5.             Do I have a timetable to follow?

6.             Where am I going to hire people?

Basic Steps in Writing a Business Plan

1.   State your objectives.

This helps you clarify what your business will be, what it aims to accomplish, and when to start.

2.   Describe your business.

This includes the business name, date, place of registration, the form of organization, names of the owners, partners or major investors. If the business plan is for an existing one to make a new phase or make a new loan, include a brief history of the organization with pertinent dates and description of the present business.

3.   Assess the internal and external environment in the way it will affect the
business.

Identify the factors in the environment that will boost the chances of success for the business, and the factors that may threaten the success. Assess the strengths and weaknesses like lack of technical skills, sources of materials and location.

4.   Describe your product, service and trade.

Give in detail your products, services and the goals you are to offer. Note the competitive advantages of your product over the others and the names of the products that will be competing against your goods and services.

5.   Study the market.

Describe your potential buyers or market including their age bracket, gender, income level, education, and others.

6.   Identify your competitors.

Regard your competitors as a challenge and not as a threat. Describe your competitors, their size, profitability and their operating method.

7.   Consider your pricing method.

Factors such as cost of production, distribution, as well as the degree of ac­ceptance by the market should be taken into consideration. Look at the pricing structure of your competitors.

8.    Determine the method of distribution.

The channels of distribution, promotion or any special gimmicks or advertisement, the form of media you will use, and their thinking about the product are the things you have to look into.

9.    Determine job personnel and their specifications.

Specify all the jobs to be done, the types of individuals and their qualifications. Also, consider their wages, salaries and benefits, in accordance with the law.

10.   Identify the material needs and sources of supply.

Make a table to lessen "guesstimates" and mistakes.

 

11.   Identify the processes involved in making your products or services, the
equipment, and the method of trading activities.

Enumerate the steps in making your product or the step-by-step explanation of the services you offer. Assign positions to each job and the number of people needed. Set reasonable salaries.

12.   Prepare a sales forecast.

A sales forecast is very important to anyone aspiring to venture into business. A monthly based forecast during the first year of operation and a yearly one on the second year of operation are sufficient.

13.   Prepare your budget.

Prepare your budget on a monthly basis on the first year and quarterly during the second and third year. Everything must be budgeted when you venture into a business - the labor, cost of supplies, overhead expenses, general and administrative expenses like accounting advisory and legal matters.

14.   Analyze your forecast and decide whether to go on with the plan.

Make revisions, or abandon it if the business will not be profitable or feasible.

15.   Set your plan to work.

If you think everything is okay, then you can go over your plan. Start operating.

 

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