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    5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2008 12:29 AM by Scappa

    How to write a successful Business Plan

    Scappa Adventurer
      How to write a successful Business Plan


      In order to write a successful business plan, you first need to understand what a business plan is, and what its purpose is.


      A business plan is an official, conventional written testimonial of a business goal, or of an array of business objectives. A business plan clearly states the reasons why the business targets contained in it are assumed to be realistic and achievable, and also point out particulars of the strategy and logistics to be implemented in order to attain those goals.


      A solid business plan should focus strongly on financial goals since this document will normally be used to obtain funding for the venture from investors. A business plan should consider the consumer orientation to products or services, and pay close attention to the consumption habits and perception of the targeted customer.


      The business plan should be noticeably directed to a step-by-step process with a defined critical path that identifies the necessary critical success strides to reach the financial goals contained in it in a sheltered and timely manner.


      In sum, a well thought-out and rational business plan is your best tool to obtain funding, to implement your business, to develop your business, and to nurture it to a triumphant and lucrative end.


      There are many ways to write a solid business plan, and many ways to directed to impact your goals, but here I give you some important elements that should be considered in the creation of your best Business Plan Ever!


      • Front Page - Start with a great looking first page that states the name of the business, the date created, the contact information, and a Confidentiality Notice to protect you business plan in some measure from falling in dishonest hands.
      • Have a Table of Contents
      • Executive Summary - This section should contain an abstract of your company's present status and future direction. Keep it to 1-3 pages.
      • Vision/Mission Statement - Include your company's vision and mission statements comprising your line of products and/or services. Give details on what kind of company do you intend to become, and what is your perception of your company's image.
      • Background of your product or service - Describe the concept, opportunity, or niche that your product or service has in the marketplace you intent to exploit. Explain how people manage today to do without your product, or service.
      • Background of your company - Explain the legal form of choice for your Company (Sole Proprietorship, General or Limited Partnership, Corporation, Subchapter S-Corporation, LLC Corporation, etc., and list the future primary business location, as well as the possible sites of any satellite locations.
      • Objectives - Near term and long term projections of revenue expected in terms of Annual growth.
      • Capital Requirements - According to the opportunities and requirements described in your business plan, and on what you feel are sound business assumptions, your -initial / first year / total- capital requirements are for US$ xxxxxx, by (specific date).
      • Management Team - Persuasive and compelling company backgrounds pertinent to your management team's functions and experience, are advantageous references to make evident a solid background, and give surety of a higher probability of future success.
      • Product or Service Strategy - Furnish your exact concept of the portrayal and desirability of your product or service.
      • Research & Development - The capacity to come up with new product development or new product design is more than often a decisive factor in the survival of a company. Show that you understand this concept and you have it in mind.
      • Production and Delivery - Describe how your products or services will be manufactured and delivered in an acceptable and satisfactory manner to your client.
      • Market Analysis - Give a concise précis of your knowledge of the existing marketplace, and show that you have worked to estimate your participation on a projected marketplace.
      • Customers Profile - Your customers are crucial to you and the business. Depict who are your potential customers, and how will you reach them. Explain how you will educate the customer to buy from you.
      • Competition - Show that you know your competition. Explain how your potential or existing customers would compare your product with those of competitors. Point out the advantages or improvements your product or service has over existing products or services.
      • Risk - Write a short description of your top 2 or 3 business bigger business risks. 3 or 4 lines will suffice, but be realistic.
      • Marketing Plan - This is important. Include your strategies for Sales Strategy, Distribution Channels, Advertising and Promotion, and Public Relations. A company's marketing strategy is to aggressively enhance, promote, and support your product's unique features, benefits, presence, and desired market position.

      • Financial Plan - There are three primary financial statements you need to compose here: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the mighty cash flow statement. Also, have a financial forecast as to an annual projection of income and expenses of your company on how cash will be acquired to cover future expenses
      • Exit / Payback Strategy - Develop means of escaping an unfavorable situation your business might run into. Investors would like to see how exactly they will recoup their precious money if the company goes belly up. They do not care a bit about you. They just care about their money. No sympathy here. Define how much time you will require before you can pay back the loan, or investors can convert their equity; in other words, when an exit will be possible for you to get rid of the loan, or the investors.
      • Conclusion - Add any personalized concluding remarks that you feel would augment the initial impression given by your Business Plan or its Executive Summary. Offer observations you think or feel that would weight-out on the positive outcome of your business plan.

      There you have it. I am not an expert in business plans by any means, but I had written a few solid, mean, blatant, and results- achieving business plans that gave me great results.


      Use this guide to mold your business plan to your product or service. Add stuff, delete stuff, and change stuff. It is for you to use.


      I hope this helps you, Oh Great Entrepreneurs of the Planet! (Wink!)


        • Re: How to write a successful Business Plan
          LUCKIEST Guide
          How to write a successful Business Plan

          Great guide, Rodrigo and thanks.

          Let me change your words and add: A Business Plan is important. It forces you to think through every aspect of your business. The plan also serves as an assessment tool for you. As you work your way through the points of the plan, you will have to reaffirm the viability of your ideas. As you grow, the Business Plan will help keep track of the details and make sure the business is progressing os you intended.

          • Re: How to write a successful Business Plan
            DivasStars Newbie
            Thank for the information. My partner and I are looking to become successful in our many business ventures. I would like to know, besides the business plan, what other things do we have to know to become very successful?
              • Re: How to write a successful Business Plan
                LUCKIEST Guide
                How to write a successful Business Plan

                Welcome. Visit SCORE in person or online. SCORE is FREE

                SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating
                entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide.

                Good luck, LUCKIEST
                • Re: How to write a successful Business Plan
                  Scappa Adventurer
                  Greetings DivasStars


                  The business plan is just a simple tool to help with your business. To be successful in business however, it requires a lot more than a well written pamphlet. You mentioned that you and your partner have "many business ventures". Every business venture requires a different formula for success. The first and more important one is to be able to dedicate as much time as it is necessary to properly attend to your business needs. I am not saying that you can not do several things at the same time; I am just saying that every thing you do, in order to take them to a successful level, you can not short them on time.


                  I will give you my beliefs and practices on what I think it takes to be successful. I do practice this. This is just a token. There are many other items I will leave out because if I do write them down, this mail will turn into a thick book quickly.


                  Among the most critical and irreplaceable virtues to achieve success, as I truly believe are MOTIVATION, KNOWLEDGE, PERSEVERANCE, and

                  Motivation and Passion

                  If you are unenthusiastic or a not self-confident individual, you will exude an aura of defeat that can be smelled a mile away. Nobody likes to be around losers. Losers drag themselves into the black hole of downfall.



                  Every entrepreneur has his own internal voice that compels them to be realistic, but above all, motivated and passionate about what they do. Passion attracts passion, and when you talk about your business with an innate passion and motivation, people who listen to you will get enthusiastic about your business.



                  Strive constantly to find motivation about something in your business, and turn it into passion. Take enormous pride in knowing that people out there are NOT doing what you are doing because they do not have enough PASSION and MOTIVATION. This is how you make a difference for your business, and for you to be successful.





                  You MUST know your business in-and-out. Be able to explain clearly your business (with passion and motivation) the same in a long meeting, or in an elevator speech. If you have 30 seconds to explain your business, people will remember things you will tell them and they did not know before, and they will remember your overwhelming passion.


                  Listen to others in your business. They might teach you something. Accept criticism but do not take crap from anyone. You are the master of your business, you engender it, and you are the one nurturing it. Be able to discuss and analyze anything around your business, even those things you hate and detest. Finally, study continuously your business, new trends, competition, and innovation.


                  Always stick with what you know better. Some people jump into business they do not know anything about, to find themselves crushed or ruined shortly after. If you do not know the business, you can not control it. The business will control you.


                  Don't ever, ever give up! Success doesn't come overnight or easy. It is along and complicated process. It doesn't have to be painful or difficult, and this is up to you. If some, or most of your goals aren't getting accomplished they way you planed, don't fret. Review your goals and procedures, update them, change them, erase them, do whatever it takes to get them moving again, and just keep trying until you succeed. No one successful person lacks perseverance. One great coach (Art Williams) once said: "All you can do is all you can do, but if you do all you can do; all you can do is enough". Don't ever, ever give up!





                  The famous physicist and genius of our times, Albert Einstein "Imagination is more valuable than knowledge". I can not agree more with that! You can always "buy" or acquire knowledge, not imagination. Imagination is the base of all dreams and accomplishments, to include success. Most of my inventions are born from imagination. Dream and imagine like when you were a child. Free up you mind! Look for solutions or developments for your business were others will never go. What if they think that I am crazy? Well, if you are successful it is OK! If you are not, then you are one of them. The Wright brothers "imagine" themselves flying. Everyone thought and said that they were crazy. Thanks to them, we are navigating the galaxies today.



                  Use your imagination. I know you have it. You are in business, aren't you? Well, that took imagination.!



                  One more thing. I was an 8(a) Company and I used SCORE. SCORE is NOT a saint of my devotion. Maybe I was unlucky with the characters I got in contact with. I just waste my time miserably. This is my experience with it. Go ahead and try it and foster your own opinion.



                  I hope this helped. Sorry I do not have more time for this right now, but in the future I might be able to tell you more. My best wishes of success and bonanza in all your endeavors.