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Business Plan Examples

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Four Ways to Improve Your Business Plan

If your brilliant idea for a new business isn’t getting attention from investors, it’s a sure sign that your business plan needs some tweaking. Remember that the decision to invest in or pass on your idea depends largely on how you present it. For new entrepreneurs who need funding to get started, writing a great business plan is a crucial part of securing money from professional investors. Even if you are still in the process of writing your business plan and haven’t yet approached investors, following a few simple tips can help you create the type of plan investors look for.

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1. Cut out unnecessary information.
If your business plan includes too much information, readers can easily miss the most important details. It’s hard to say exactly how long your business plan should be because only you know that. The length can vary from one type of business to another. The key to figuring out if your plan is too long is asking yourself whether all points in your business plan are necessary to give investors a clear understanding of your vision. Remove any irrelevant details and points that are speculative rather than factual. Investors want to see up-to-date numbers and statistics that can be backed up by current market research.

2. Format your plan correctly.
How you present the information in your plan can have a big effect on how investors respond to your ideas. If you wrote or are working on your business plan from scratch, it’s a good idea to compare it with sample business plan templates to make sure that you aren’t leaving out any important sections. Your plan should be formatted in a way that makes it very easy to find information quickly. For better readability, it’s a good idea to include graphics like financial graphs. They can break up the text and make the document more appealing.

3. Focus on both short-term goals and the big picture.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing too much on the future and not enough on how they plan to get there. Investors want to hear ideas that can turn into big businesses in the future, but they need to know that you have what it takes to build a successful business from scratch. Make sure that your plan takes them from the first days of opening your business to how you see it in the future.

==> Download your business plan template now!

4. Include detailed strategies that explain how you plan to deal with competitors.
Vague marketing ideas that don’t directly refer to competitors in your area can really hurt your chances of securing funding. When it comes to dealing with competition, your plan needs to include a clear and effective marketing strategy that will put your business ahead of similar local businesses. Do some research on businesses that are the most likely to be your main competitors. Explain how you will deal with them by presenting custom marketing strategies that are based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Peter

Create a Compelling Operations Section for Your Business Plan

The operations section of your business plan needs careful thought and analysis. Break it up into paragraphs with subheadings to make it easier for your potential investors to read and understand. Explain how your company delivers its services or produces the goods you sell.

Premises
Provide information on the premises your business occupies, and where you manufacture your products. Describe the physical layout and include the size of the property, the facilities and information about whether you own or rent the building. Investors will need to know what the long-term viability of the business is, and whether you have enough space to expand operations if necessary. Include details of onsite storage facilities for raw materials or finished goods, and information about bylaws that affect your business operations.

==> Download your business plan template now!

Hours of Operation
This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s very relevant to potential shareholders to understand whether you currently operate a single manufacturing shift or more. In addition, in the age of global business relationships it’s important to explain whether your services are available 24/7 to accommodate different time zones, if this applies. If you only operate during business hours, do you have backup and support teams available after hours, and is there the opportunity to increase production if demand requires it?

Equipment
Manufacturing productivity depends to a large extent on the lifespan and condition of equipment and machinery. Give details of the equipment you have with which to make your products, and include information on the age and state of repair of each major item as well as whether the machines are owned or leased. Savvy investors will want to know this to gauge the value of the company and the production capability.

Quality Controls
Quality can make or break a business. It’s no good being the only producer of widgets in the marketplace if your widgets are poor quality and customers refuse to buy them, or if you have so many returns that you lose money. Investors will need detailed information about your quality control processes, the levels of manufacturing rejects you typically experience, and what the losses are as a result.

Purchasing and Procurement
Purchasing of raw materials and other items is one of the biggest risk factors in any business. Unless buying is managed strictly it can result in huge losses for the owners and investors, so potential shareholders are likely to want details of your procurement policies. List your major suppliers and describe the criteria and processes you use to buy from them, such as requesting tenders or bids, conditions of your agreements and the methods you use to select suppliers.

Inventory Control
Stockholding can tie up more than half of a company’s assets and be a very expensive activity, particularly if it is not well-managed. Potential shareholders will want to know where you keep your surplus stocks, what the typical shelf-life is, and how you manage obsolescence. Give details of how you manage the risk of loss relating to fire, theft and natural disasters, and what the value is of your average inventory at any given time.

This should provide the educated investor with enough information to form a comprehensive picture of your operation in his or her mind.

Marketing Research and Strategy
As every business person knows, without market research you have no well-defined target market. The market research section of your business plan needs to clearly set out details of who your audience is, the industry in which you operate, your competitors, a thorough analysis of your risk and a projection of the market share you are aiming for.

Target Market
Begin by describing what your ideal customer looks like. Include his or her demographic profile, details of the geographical location, annual income, likes and dislikes. Identify the typical size of the customer’s family, the ages of the children, and the wants and needs of the family members. For example, if your product is baby clothes, you aren’t likely to be targeting baby boomers. Although many baby boomers are now grandparents and may well buy clothing for their grandchildren, they may be your secondary target market, but not the primary market.

Market Segment
Once you have explained who your target market is, identify the market segment that you believe is the best customer for your product. If your baby clothes are mainly warm designer outerwear, while your primary target market is young parents with babies, the market segment may be those young parents with babies who live in cold regions and earn more than $100,000 a year. Include statistics showing the size of your market segment in numbers or the annual spending of the segment in dollars. Your potential investors will need to know that you have done your homework regarding the target market segment.

Industry Overview
Explain the current state of the industry in which you operate, how many players there are in your targeted area, and what percentage of the market each company enjoys. Provide details of how you plan to get established in the market and what your market penetration strategy is. How do you expect to make your mark against the existing companies? Include a SWOT analysis in which you show your company’s strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats to your company in the industry.

Competitor Analysis
List the companies that you will be competing against, whether directly or indirectly. This could include other suppliers of designer baby clothing (direct) or it could include a popular local seamstress who makes similar items to order (indirect). Identify what differentiates your product from the others, and how you measure up to them in terms of quality, pricing, distribution and service.

==> Download your business plan template now!

At the end of this section, readers of your business plan should understand where your product is in relation to your competition, and whether your company has a chance of gaining a share of the market or opening a new market for the product.

Peter

How To Create A Business Plan For Success

A business plan is an essential document that serves as a blueprint as you run your start-up or existing business. It is used to outline your plans for operating the business. The business plan describes your business goals and strategies, and provides details on how you’re going to finance the business and the marketing methods you will use. Essentially, your business plan includes detailed information about your company’s goals and how you will meet them. A sound business plan is essential to the success of your business.

Often, a business plan is required when seeking funding for a business. Lending institutions and investors want to see a well-written business plan that outlines your plans for your company – they want to know what you hope to accomplish and the specific strategies you intend to implement to achieve your goals. They will review your business plan to determine whether or not they will lend you the money you requested. Based on information you provide, they can determine if your business is likely to become profitable or if it will fail. A solid business plan will impress lenders and convince them to approve your loan request.

==> Click here to learn how to write great business plan!

When writing a business plan there are certain elements you need to include. Here are the steps to creating a good business plan.

Executive Summary
This is a summary of all the information you will provide in greater detail in the following pages. This section provides an overview of the content and goals of your business plan, discussing all the highlights. The executive summary is key if you are seeking funding as it will lure potential investors into your business.

Company Overview
Describe your company, its business model, mission, and strategy. Also discuss why and when your company was formed, and its location and ownership.

Products or Service
Here’s where you provide information about your offering, whether it’s products or services, or both. If you sell products and you are the manufacturer, discuss how and where it’s manufactured. If you are just the distributor or retailer say so. If you provide services, discuss what those services.

Marketing
In this section, outline your marketing strategy, including details of your market analysis, advertising, sales, customer service, and public relations. You can use this space to discuss your vision of why your business will be successful.

Financial
In the financial section, include your balance sheet, cash flow statements for the next three years, and your projected profit and loss statements.

Management
If creating the business plan for lenders or investors, you want to highlight the experience of your company managers and executives and explain how that will help you meet company goals. For investors, it’s important to include any impressive credentials and high accomplishments of the members of your team. If they have received MBA from a prestigious university, include that information. If they have helped build a highly successful business, also provide that information.

==> Click here to learn how to write great business plan!

After you’re done writing your business plan, carefully proofread it and correct any typos and grammatical mistakes. If you feel you lack the skill to create a good business plan, there are many resources online that can help you create an impressive business plan. There are business plan templates designed specifically for crafting effective business plans in no time. You may want to look into using those to help you create business plans that work.

Peter

The Elements the Comprise a Great Business Plan

You should always compile the 10 sections of a business not only with proper due diligence but also in a manner that creates an opportunity to completely hook an investor. Ultimately, every section of the business plan has a unique purpose.

Learn how to write great business plan in 8 hours or less!

Executive Summary: This is the business plan’s main hook. The section will clearly detail your product, the scope and needs of your market, and the unique qualifications your company possesses to fill said needs. Solid executive summaries will be good enough they convince even the busiest investor to take time out to read the entire plan.
Company Analysis: This would be your chance to place all your business’ accomplishments at the forefront. A clear timeline of milestones shows that your business or management team succeed in its past performances and also maintains an “unfair advantage” an example of which would be proprietary technology.

Industry Analysis: This provides the clear proof you know the entire industry inside and out and that comprises the many other overlapping industries in which your business can be found. The analysis will also include full industry data from reputable sources and also info on niche trends. Just be sure to be specific.

Customer Analysis: Your customer relationships are presented in a clear map. On this map you must demonstrate that you understand you customer better than any other company around. You will demonstrate a working knowledge of niche markets, demographics, psychological profiles, and many other critically helpful bits of customer info. Continue Reading…

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