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Create a Business Plan: The basics

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A good business plan captures the financial aims and the strategic operation of your business.

How to create a business plan

If you want to create a good business plan it should include the following:

(1)            Written overview of your business aims

(2)            It’s product and/or service

(3)            The management team – Summary

(4)            An executive summary briefly detailing your business proposal

(5)            Your financial forecasts plus appendices including the CV’s of important members of management

(6)            Technical product information, and market research data that will be expected

In the main body of your business plan you should strive to cover several topics in great detail. Give the history of how your business was established, you should also include business goals and growth calculations plus a steady regular trading level.

Business Aims

In simple terms you’ll need to explain what your business aims to do and how it will make money. Make particular effort to highlight your features that will put your rivals to shame. Market and competitor information is key; explain the market that you are trying to target, competitors and what separates your business from your rivals. You should have also carried out market research on your potential customer base to ensure the service or product that you will offer is actually required.

how to create a business plan

Financial Forecasting

Try to think about your marketing and sales strategy, include detailed information on how your particular service will be priced, the marketing plans, advertising and channels to market. Important information to include is details of the management of your company, this should include any relevant experience that they have in the area of the business. Your business office location, expected employee numbers and special equipment that will be required also must be included. Based on your financial forecasts, state the financing that you will need to keep the company going. Don’t forget to include to detail any investment which has been funded by either outside investors or the company founder. Explain the crucial risks to your business with mitigating action that you could take if needed.

Forecasts

Your business plan should also include a cash flow forecast, sales forecast plus profit and loss accounts for up to 5 years in advance. Drawing up a projected balance sheet would be beneficial. Be careful not to be too optimistic with your predicted numbers, it’s actually better to use lower figures for your projections. You should involve a qualified accountant to help with your predicted forecasts, they will be much more experienced in this field.

 

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