Tag Archives: business plan

Simple Business Plans Format

25 Jun

Starting a new business or aiming for an expansion entails a good deal of planning. It involves valuable resources that should not be wasted should the venture fail. Good business planning aids any business owner as it helps to maximize resources as it prevents mistakes. Any prospective business owner will gain from a thorough business plan as well as the owner who plans to expand soon.

The simple business plans format below should guide you through the process of planning your business. It also serves as a checklist to ensure you cover everything in the business aspect for successful planning and implementation.

  1. 1.       Executive Summary

Every business plan starts with an executive summary. While this section is the last thing you write, it is the first thing that any investor, lender or partner will read. The executive summary highlights the very important points in your overall business plan in about one or two pages, so make every word count.

  1. 2.       Market Analysis

Your market analysis consists of the information you have gathered about your specific industry, your target market and the competition in the market. This portion indicates the strengths and weaknesses of your business and your strategy to overcome the barriers.

  1. 3.       Company Description

If you are a start-up company, this section should indicate your company’s background as well as your goals for starting this type of business. Existing businesses should include their mission statement as well as some of the company’s achievements in the industry.

  1. 4.       Organization and Management

A business’ organization and management structure is crucial to its success. The business plan should include your management strategy according to the type of ownership. A complete and sufficient organizational structure should address necessary positions and departments that need competent management. When your goal is to acquire additional funding, you must present that the business will be handled by people who are capable of managing it.

  1. 5.       Marketing and Sales Management

Your product or service is the most important element in your business. It is the source of income in the business and thus, a good marketing and sales plan is essential. You must develop a strategy for your product or service to reach your target market. Distribution channels, advertising and handling sales should be included in your overall market strategy.

  1. 6.       Service or Product Line

In your business plan, your product or service takes center stage. Specific and important details about what you are selling are crucial in your plan. Discuss how your product can benefit the target market in addressing their needs. Your product description should also include the product’s life cycle, significant components and its competitive edge.

  1. 7.       Funding Request

Whether you need funding or not, this aspect will cover the amount you require to start or expand the business. A detailed funding request should help you determine how much you need to proceed with your plans.

  1. 8.       Financial Projections

After thorough analysis of the market and your product as well as set clear goals, you will be able to prepare financial projections. Significant historical data should be considered, particularly for existing businesses. Start-ups can make financial projections according to practical market analysis. In your business plan, it is essential to make projected financial statements, such as income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements and financial ratios for up to five years.

  1. 9.       Appendix

This section is optional and could be used when including important documents, such as permits, leases and other useful documents.

By using this simple business plans format, you can prepare an effective business plan to suit any type of business.

Choosing a Business Plan Consultant

25 Jun

Writing a business plan can be hard for most people, particularly when this is the first time. A business plan is crucial for a business to access funds or to develop a strategy to guide the business owner in handling the business. When prepared poorly, a business plan will not communicate clearly the company’s objectives, which are essential when formulating business strategies and attracting prospective investors or lenders. While some can effectively prepare a good business plan on their own, most business owners will be better off by hiring the service of a business plan consultant.

Qualities of a Good Business Plan Consultant

A business plan consultant must possess an expertise in preparing business plans. The internet has a wealth of information and consultant services, but it is better to find a person or a company who can deliver. As mentioned, a business plan done poorly will make things harder for the business to succeed or even access funding. Make sure that you are hiring a reputable consultant who has a good experience in preparing business plans in your industry. During your initial interview with the consultant, find out more about their experiences in preparing business plans that are similar to your situation.

Besides a good reputation, find a business plan consultant who has the ability to treat the project objectively. A business plan should provide realistic and practical analysis and projections in order to determine the soundness of the business. The business plan consultant must be able to prepare a business plan that will prove to be feasible and not tailored just to acquire funding.

While professional business plan consultants can be very serious about planning a business, it is also a good trait to be able to foster good work relationship with their clients. Business planning is not the sole responsibility of the consultant. Rather, the client and the consultant must work together to prepare an effective business plan. By combining the business owner’s knowledge in the industry and the consultant’s expertise in preparing a business plan, the endeavour would be a definite success.

Lastly, hiring a business plan consultant can be very expensive. Find out first how much most consultants charge for their services and determine if you will be able to afford it. Because preparing a business plan entails a huge amount of time and effort, most consultants will charge extra, depending on the size of the business and the projected amount involved. Set a reasonable budget that you can afford and discuss it with the consultant during the initial interview. This way, you will be able to make agreements that will be beneficial for the both of you.

Business planning can be tough job, but you can prepare your own plans if you are determined to learn how to prepare one. However, if you can afford it and the size of the project justifies hiring a consultant, then go ahead. Your business is at stake here, so make sure to give it the best support it needs for it to succeed. Remember, though, that finding the right business plan consultant is crucial in this endeavor.