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How to Develop a Business Plan from Scratch
To begin with, every business plan is either for a startup or an operating business. Furthermore, every business plan has a purpose or objective. Ask yourself: Why do I need a business plan and who is the intended audience?
1) Describe your Business
Provide a clear description of product (s)/service (s) and an understanding of origin of concept, current status, overall objectives and how the company's products satisfy need in the marketplace. Include past accomplishments, unique qualifications, and other meaningful company profile information.
2) Create a Comprehensive Outline
Once there is a general overview of the business it is vitally necessary to put together a comprehensive outline of the business plan. This outline will ensure that every area of the business plan that needs to be researched and developed is done so.
3) Begin with a Competitive Analysis
This section outlines direct and indirect competition, gives the basis for categorizing each, gives reader an understanding of competitive environment, and shows the attributes/features that the companies are competing on. Also provides clear and sustainable competitive advantages.
4) What Industry is the Company Involved In?
Having analyzed your competition, determine which industry the Company is involved in. Then give an overview of how the industry operates along with its size, performance and growth rate. Include all relevant industry trends and dynamics that support the company's strategy.
5) How Big is the Market?
Your market is best answered by asking yourself, who are your customers? Determine the market size and growth rate preferable over a five year period to prove the market's viability for a new entrant. Finally, determine the market drivers/trends that will enable your company to grow.
6) Create a Marketing Plan
First position the Company. Then provide a clear understanding of first adopters and major target market/customer segments. Why will customers find your Company's products and services to be valuable (beneficial)? Then develop a clear and compelling sales and promotion strategy, which includes definitive marketing channels and the tactics to create awareness of the product.
7) Develop an Operations Plan
Provide a clear initiative of how the company will execute on its vision, marketing plan, and customer service. It must show relevant operations challenges, company organizational structure, hiring needs, partner/supplier/distribution needs. This section also includes the ultra-important management team biographies showing the team's ability to execute on the plan. Furthermore, short term and long terms milestones must be included.
8) Craft your Financial Plan
Have a definitive capital raise defined and clearly explain how the funds will be used. Define your exit strategy (preferably with comparable companies and potential acquirers). Then provide a clear summary of the financials i.e. how you came to the numbers in your projections. Financials must show that marketing can support sales and that net margins are realistic.
9) Write your Executive Summary
This section should always come last as it will highlight all of the most relevant details in the business plan. It expresses the key market reason (s) for the company's existence, and why the company will succeed: strong management team, unique products and services, large and growing market, sustainable industry, strong value propositions, definitive competitive advantages, and realistic financial projections.
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OR, Let Us Develop Your Business Plan For You
Our professional business plan consultants can create your entire business plan for you. We will make sure your business plan is sound and ready for investors so you can continue to focus on running your business. Over the past decade, we have created business plans for hundreds of entrepreneurs like you.
For a FREE initial consultation, call 800-506-5728 or complete the form below.
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