Writing a Business Plan
Posted on 2014-03-02 by admin

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Writing a business plan can be intimidating especially for someone with no business or accounting background. Hopefully with this article, it can help a budding entrepreneur prepare a Business plan. A business plan will not guarantee success but it would help the entrepreneur start on the right foot and avoid unnecessary surprises. As my mentor used to say “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. ”

Before sitting down to write the plan, the entrepreneur must first do some research. Assess the environment using the SWOT format or Strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. Do an environment scanning. Look at some factors that would affect the business you are planning to set-up. Such as trends, industry, laws, taxation, interest rates, inflation rates, prices, demographics of target market and nearby population, “competitors” prices & marketing strategies etc. A one page, bullet points will do. Use this data to identify the opportunities and eventually help you identify the business.

A simple business plan outline consist of:

  1. Cover Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Description of the Business
  5. Description of the Product or Service
  6. Market Analysis
  7. Organization & Mgt.
  8. Financial Data
  9. Summary/Conclusion
  10. Appendices

Executive Summary

  • Write this last. This should contain the highlights.
  • It is a Statement of Purpose that describes briefly and clearly the reason for writing the business plan.

Description of the business

  • Who are the owners?
  • Vision and Mission
  • Company history, location, facilities etc

Description of the Product or Service

  • Describe the product or service you are offering.
  • Competitive Comparison.
  • Focus on customer needs and benefits

Market Analysis

  • Describe the market
  • Customer’s needs, location, how to reach them
  • How to deliver the product
  • Describe the competition
  • Define the Marketing Strategy. “What do you do for your target market?”
    • Product
    • Pricing
    • Promotion
    • Place – location, Distribution
    • People – target customer and personnel

Organization and Management

  • Organizational Structure
  • Management Team

Financial Data

  • Projected Profit and Loss
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Breakeven Analysis
  • Return of Investment
  • Description of the projections

Note:  identify all costs pertinent to the business – utilities, transportation, etc  Beware of hidden costs


www. articles. bplans. com/writing-a-business-plan/a-standard-business-plan-outline/29

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