Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Business Plan Is Essential To Your Success

There is a very good reason why a business plan is critical to success and that can be summarized in one word. Clarity, clarity, clarity. Having a very good business plan helps you to establish clarity about what it is you want to do and where you want to go with your business. The clearer you are about these things, the better position you are in to carry them out. Once you put pen to paper and write out everything about your business including future expansion, costs, revenues, number of employees, marketing and advertising , sales team, executives, then you began to see the life that your business can take on. Others will begin to see it as well. And if you are expecting to achieve some type of financing with your business plan others will definitely need to see your vision for your business.

The first thing you want to do regarding the preparation of your business plan is put together an executive summary. An executive summary gives a snapshot of you're your business plan. It basically gives someone an opportunity to see exactly what you business is all about without looking at the entire business plan. The summary will touch basis with the really critical categories within your plan.

Company Overview:

The phase of the business plan should include the company overview. This particular part explains exactly what your business does. After looking over this section anyone should be able to tell what the mission or vision of your company or organization is. They should be able to explain in detail to someone else why your company is needed, what they are trying to accomplish along with the objectives of the company. Finally they should be describe in detail exactly what you company is all about.

Products offering:

Everyone should know what your products and services are. You should list all the specific benefits as well as the features of your products and services. This will enable anyone to easily determine why it would be a good idea to utilize your products or services.

Niche Market & Market Analysis

In this section you want to identify exactly who your market is. In other words who are your trying to sell your product and services to. You have to get as specific and detailed as possible. Once you establish your niche market you help establish that clarity for yourself and anyone else reading your business plan. This helps you save money and time from marketing, and advertising to someone that is not your specific target market. It helps you to stay focused on your market and now you can focus all your energy, time, money and strategy going after your market only. This puts you in a position to know exactly where to look and what mediums to use in pursuing your target market. Having knowledge about your niche market is very important and if possible it should include items such as age, location, income, habits, hobby, profession, and location of job. If there are any other characteristics or attributes you can list then it would be a good idea to list those as well.

Be very knowledgeable about your competition as well. This helps you to really distinguish yourself by going above and beyond the call of duty and doing the things others are not doing. Remember its that little extra that leads to extraordinary.

Advertising and Marketing:

This particular portion of print allows you to clarify how you are going to make your potential customers aware of the fact that your products and services exist. What avenues will you utilize to get customers knocking on your door and asking or better yet buying your products and services, Will you use newspaper advertisement, radio, internet marketing, or business magazines. Perhaps you will give out a free product or service doing a grand opening. This is the time to review all of your available resources and tools and put together an action plan tailor made for your business.

Management and staffing;

This section allows you to put together a summary of everyone on your team. You should establish what their role is going to be within your company and also include information about their background. This should include management experience, degrees, professional experience, supervisory experience, professional speaking experience and other bits of useful knowledge you can come up with regarding your staff. So a full BIO would definitely be a good idea. The more background information you can come up with the better especially if you are looking to get funding for your business.

Sales - Revenues - Expenditures

You may want to include a section about future expansion which will definitely include a forecast for sales, revenues, and expenditures. Perhaps five years down the line you want to add 40 , 50 or even 100 new employees. Your plan needs to be detailed and explain how you plan on doing this.

To Your Great Success

Mel Richardson


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