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Business Plan for an Established Business

Essay by review  •  November 15, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  4,018 Words (17 Pages)  •  2,060 Views

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This business plan consists of a narrative and several financial spreadsheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains more than 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the sections in any order you like, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. Skip any questions that do not apply to your business. When you are finished writing your first draft, you will have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you will want to edit them into a flowing narrative.

The real value of doing a business plan is not having the finished product in hand; rather, the value lies in the process of research and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, to study and research when you are not sure of the facts, and to look at your ideas critically. It takes time, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.

The business plan narrative is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances. Before you begin, review the section titled Refining the Plan, found at the end of the business plan. It suggests emphasizing certain areas, depending upon your type of business (manufacturing, retail, service, etc.). It also has tips for fine-tuning your plan to make an effective presentation to investors or bankers. If this is why you are writing your plan, pay particular attention to your writing style. You will be judged by the quality and appearance of your work as well as your ideas.

It typically takes several weeks to complete a good plan. Most of that time is spent in research and rethinking your ideas and assumptions. But then, that is the value of the process. So make time to do the job properly. Those who do never regret the effort. And finally, be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and on the assumptions underlying your financial data.

Business Plan

OWNERS

Business Name

Street Address

Address 2

City, ST ZIP Code

phone

fax

e-mail

I. Table of Contents

I. Table of Contents 3

II. General Company Description 4

III. Products and Services 4

IV. Marketing Plan 4

Notes on Preparation: 4

The Marketing Plan: 4

Sales Forecast 4

V. Operational Plan 4

Production 4

Location 4

Legal Environment 4

Personnel 4

Inventory 4

Suppliers 4

Credit Policies 4

VI. Management and Organization 4

Professional and Advisory Support 4

VII. Personal Financial Statement 4

VIII. Financial History and Analysis 4

Debt Schedule 4

IX. Financial Plan 4

12-Month Profit and Loss Projection 4

Four-Year Profit Projection (Optional) 4

Projected Cash Flow 4

Projected Balance Sheet 4

Breakeven Analysis 4

X. Appendices 4

XI. Refining the Plan 4

For Raising Capital 4

Refine Your Plan for the Type of Business 4

Executive Summary

Write this section last!

We suggest that you make it two pages or less.

Include everything that you would cover in a five-minute interview.

Explain the fundamentals of the business: What is your product, who are your customers, who are the owners, and what do you think the future holds for your business and your industry?

Make it enthusiastic, professional, complete, and concise.

If you are applying for a loan, state clearly how much you want, precisely how you are going to use it, and how the money will make your business more profitable, thereby ensuring repayment.

II. General Company Description

Mission statement: Many companies have a brief mission statement, usually 30 words or fewer, explaining their reason for being and their guiding principles. If you have a mission statement, this is a good place to put it in the plan, followed by company goals and objectives and business philosophy.

What business are you in? What do you do?

What is your target market? (Explain briefly here, because you will do a more thorough explanation in the Marketing Plan section.)

Describe your industry. Is it a growth industry? What changes do you foresee in your industry, and how is your company poised to take advantage of them?

Now give a detailed description of the business:

Form of ownership: Sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or limited liability corporation (LLC)?

Company history: Years in business, previous owners, successes, failures, lessons learned, reputation in community, sales and profit history, number of employees, and events that affected success. Discuss significant past problems and how you solved and survived them.

Most important strengths and core competencies: What factors will make the company succeed? What are your major competitive strengths? What strengths do you personally bring to the business?

Significant challenges the company faces now and in the near future: If you are asking for funding, go on to explain how the new capital will help you meet these challenges.

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