As far as writing good business plan is concerned, it must have some vital ingredients. I will just post a few of them here and hope that people coming to this thread will finish the work
(1) It must incorporate exit strategy.
(2) It must bring out the possible problems to be encountered by the business and profer proposed solution
(3) It must have some elements of motivating challenges in it
Now is your turn, go ahead and add your own ingredient(s)that will make the food ready.
Here's a summary of my business plan from about 15 years ago.
a. Executive Summary
b. Company Summary (being a small business the summary was about my experience, training, education and info about company business form, licenses, etc)
c. Products and Services
d. Market Analysis - shows where my products and services fit
e. Operations and Strategy - strengths and weaknesses of my products and services and how I was going to market the product (marketing plan)
f. Financial plan which included break-even analysis, profit and loss based on sales projections, cash flow (which is really important)
Yes, I think you need to add the Mission and Visison statements
I think that's about typical.. I usually add on a marketing plan as well, just to make sure that all bases are covered.
It's good to have an overall view of the business and where it's going, but I think a marketing plan goes a little more in depth on how any particular business is going to get there.
I include everything; a companies logo, branding, merchandising, etc., as well as alternate marketing strategies and what the competitors strategies appear to be. It's all well and good if the business exists, but if people don't know about the business, it'll typically fail within six months.
Those elements that make your business unique compared to those in the same field...especially if you're trying to sell the idea to a VC
bizbob, great comprehensive overview of a business plan's contents.
I'd say the most important is market analysis and financial plan. Make sure you use real data to back up both of those.
Market analysis emphasis
-show how big your target market is
-your differential with main competitors
Financial plan emphasis
-financial projection using real industry benchmarks
-be realistic and honest
-use discount rate to show risk of your business. discount rate for standard public companies is 10% - low risk. restaurants are around 17% discount rate - very high risk.
I think the main thing to think about is to tailor it to your audience? Is it an internal doc for reference or a proposal for a bank manager/ venture capitalist/ Each with different requirements.
Secondly important to think of it as an ongoing process to ensure it is kept up to date: the market is always changing; new competitiors will envitably enter your domain.
Yeah, an exit is great, but a detour or an alternate route is also good. I mean you can exit or give up, but you can also try something different and it make work even better!
I think the main ingredient to it is logic.
Your plan must simply answer two questions:
- what are you planning to do,
- why would it work the way you're thinking.
Everything else fits around these.
wonderful contribution from you all great hubbers. keep them coming
Your business plan is quite possibly the most important document you will write with respect to a start-up business, it defines your business model, reflects your company ethos.
The other hubbers have already put the basics down. I have actually written a few detailed hubs on business plans you should check them out. I won't put the link here because I think it's in violation of the forum T&C's.
All of the above are helpful inclusions. For me the gem is in EasySpeak comments. Determining industry standards that apply to your planned endeavor is the key to realistic estimates
Hmm.. ingredients for a business..ok, here is what i personally think, yes, of course number would be capital, then, a product or service that can make a difference in the current market, and then, work staff which includes, employees or programs that you might use. you also need this very much: hard work and dedication! having a business does not mean that you can go and relax, instead you have to work harder even more than when you were just a regular employee. a vision is also needed both long term and short term, these are the ones that you use as guides or your map to your destination. POSITIVITY attract positive energy! business is hard and you should try to be an optimist so you can have a better chance of success. good marketing plan and strategy because you need customers! and people's relation skills (wink) there you go! oh, you can also add those statistic studies and other stuff.
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