How To Write A Business Plan
A business plan is a formal, written document that describes the purpose of the venture, its goals, and the ways to achieve them. In many cases, it will also describe how to start a business as well, the way that the enterprise will be organized, the types of financing or funding it requires, and the strengths of its strategy relative to competitors. While such a plan may evolve over time, it will serve as an important “road map” to help an entrepreneur stay focused as he or she attempts to bring the startup to life and make it thrive.
A business plan will enable you to accomplish many important tasks as one builds their company. Some of the things to use it for include:
- Focus Your Thinking. If you have a general idea for an organization, committing that idea to paper will help you flesh it out, mitigate any potential weaknesses, and make the overall plan stronger over time.
- Find Partners. If you need a partner or partners to bring your idea to life, a good plan can help to convince them to join your team.
- Excite Investors. A plan could make a big difference when you are trying to secure financing from prospective investors.
- Assure Lenders. If you intend to obtain a loan or line of credit from a bank or other lending institution, you will likely need to provide them with such a plan to assure them you are a good risk.
- Win Customers. Before you even begin making a product or providing a service, your business plan can help convince potential customers or clients to select what your company is offering.
- Secure Grants. There are several Federal, State, and municipal grants available for small organizations and startups. Many of them will require you to submit a plan in order to win the grant and secure funding.
- Share Common Purpose. If you have employees or plan to hire them in the future, your plan will help them understand your vision and goals, so your workforce and teammates can contribute to the company’s success.
- Complete the Program. Some particular study programs imply creating a business plan as a part of the coursework. Your final grade might be significantly influenced by the quality of this plan.
Your plan will likely remain a work in progress that evolves over time. As you show it to various people and organizations, their comments may affect your thinking and cause you to revise it. However, even if it changes considerably, having a good business plan to guide you will be invaluable to building a successful company.
Steps of Writing
Step 1: start with a mission.
The very first thing you need to do is to clarify your company’s purpose. The best way to do that is to write a clear mission statement that sums up what your venture is all about. The more precise your mission statement is, the better. For example, Internet giant Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Your mission statement will help you determine your goals, and help you flesh out the rest of your plan. It will also help keep you focused throughout all phases. Referring back to your mission statement can also keep your employees and you from wasting time and resources on activities that aren’t relevant to your company’s core purpose.
Step 2. Write a Summary
Once you determine your mission statement, build upon it further by writing an executive summary of your business. It will provide an overall snapshot of what it is about and what it intends to accomplish. Such summaries may provide information about how the venture will compete in its market niche and why it will be successful. This section should be succinct and to the point; one to three paragraphs should be enough to help provide an understanding of your idea and what you are setting out to accomplish.
Tip: When you are preparing to write your plan, expect to write it twice. First, you should have a formal written document done in Microsoft Word or some other word processing program. Next, you should have a PowerPoint or other presentation that complements it. You will use the latter to brief prospective clients, customers, partners, lenders and investors as you attempt to convince them to support or finance your organization or use its products or services.
Step 3. Provide Basic Company Information.
At this step, your business plan should provide some basic information about your company - details on when your company was founded, any qualifications or certifications it has, proprietary technology or processes, patents, special skills or other key information. You should also provide biographical and professional information about key members of your company team, so people have a better understanding of what your company is capable of.
Step 4. Conduct Analysis
In order to understand the market that you are about to enter, conduct a market analysis, and then summarize your findings in your plan. There are several different ways to do this:
- Survey Potential Customers. You can directly contact potential customers or clients, either by calling or emailing them , or sending out some sort of survey, to assess the market your organization will compete it.
- Obtain Secondary Research. Unless you are starting an obscure type of business, it should be easy to find existing market research you can use online.
- Groups. Your local alliance or chamber of commerce can be an excellent resource for conducting market research.
- Libraries. Public libraries can be useful for gathering information about a particular market.
- Government. Depending on your niche, chances are the Federal or local government will have some sort of invaluable information to assist with your market research. The USA.gov website is a great place to start.
Use these resources, and others, to get the best understanding of the market you plan to enter. Then, summarize your findings for inclusion in your plan. Doing so will demonstrate to others that you understand exactly what you’re getting your company into. It will also help you to further refine your overall strategy, so you can successfully compete in your market.
Tip: As you conduct your market research, you should try to identify potential clients or customers to reach out to later on, when your business plan is more fully developed.
Step 5. Write Description
Once you conduct your market research, you should prepare your product or service description. Write about exactly what you are going to provide for the market. You should describe why your particular product or service is going to be competitive in the market. If you developed your product or service prior to completing your market research, you should make any necessary adjustments after that research is complete.
Tip: If you are manufacturing a product, you should include a picture of it in your plan. When you present your plan to an audience, it is often a good idea to bring an actual sample of your products to them to see, hold, or use if the product is in a close to final form.
Step 6. Determine your Organization
You will need to determine the best way to run your company, and then include that information in your business plan. If your company is going to consist of only you and a handful of employees, this should be relatively easy. However, if your company is going to be larger, with multiple locations and activities going on, this section will require more thought. Drawing an organizational chart to ensure you are accomplishing all management activities is one of the best ways to think through how you’ll manage your company. Once you settle on a structure, you can present a finalized organizational chart to describe it in your plan.
Step 7. Funding and Finances
The finance and funding section is a critical part of your business plan. In order to begin anything, you will need to determine exactly how much money you will need to get your venture started. Ensure you capture all startup costs, including things like licensing and permits. You should also determine how much money you’ll need to operate for the first two to three years. Finally, you should use your previously completed market research to provide an estimate of the revenues you expect to earn.
Once you have all of this information, summarize it as precisely as possible in your plan. Lenders, investors, and potential partners will use this information to make decisions about whether or not to provide you funding.
A good business plan will help you strengthen your strategy and help you win over customers, lenders and investors. If you struggle with it, make sure to contact our team that can create a high-quality business plan for you.
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Business plans are documents used for planning out specific details about your business.Business plans have importance and purpose for the success of the business however.Here are a few of the importance and main purpose of why we need a business plan in order to start a business. Business plan will guide us as an entrepreneur in how to handle and manage our business and company. It very useful in clarify direction , future vision , attract financing , attract team members and last but not least is to manage company.Moreover , the information gathered regarding the project is used in the Business Plan to predict viability , forecast success and propose strategies for the project . Back to our main title, …show more content…
In this essay, the author
- Explains that business plans are documents used for planning out specific details about your business. business plans have importance and purpose for the success of the business however.
- Explains that the purpose of a business plan is to maintain our focus on the main plan. as we look to grow our business, we should refer to it.
- Explains the primary purpose of a business plan is to define what the business is or what it intends to be over time. clarifying the purpose and direction of your business allows for forward movement.
- Explains the purpose of the business plan is to allow the entreprenuer to view and evaluate the proposed businessventure in an objective critical and practical manner.
- Explains the importance of a well-written and thorough business plan when looking for outside financing.
- Explains that a business plan can be used to determine the viability of the proposed venture.
- Explains that business plans act as a sale tool to pull partners, protect supplier accounts, and attract executive level employees into the new venture.
- Explains how the business plan can help with the planning, distribution, and monitoring of business resources.
- Explains that the purpose of a business plan is to attract investors and partners. investors and potential partners will be particularly interested in our financial statements and projections.
Clarifying the purpose and direction of your business allows you to understand what needs to be done for forward movement. Clarifying can consist of a simple description of your business and its products or services,.Businesses evolve and adapt over time, and factoring future growth and direction into the business plan can be an effective way to plan for changes in the market, growing or slowing trends, and new innovations or directions to take as the company grows. Although clarifying direction in the business. The next purpose of the Business Plan is to allow the entreprenuer to view and evaluate the proposed businessventure in an objective critical and practical manner .The collpase of many business ventures can be attributed to the decisions and planning of thye entreprenuers who rely more on emotions and gut feeling rather than objective and rational considerations .With a Business Plan the entreprenuer has solid and well-grounded information to supplement the planning and decision making …show more content…
As we start our business, and even our business moves along, we will constantly need to concern ourselves with financing our business. Financing concerns begin with the start-up costs and then continue with business expansion and new product development. When we look for outside financing, one of the first things the investor will want to see is our business plan. Private investor, banks or any other lending institution will want to see how our plan on running our business, what our expense and revenue projections are whether or not our plans for the future are attainable with the business we have created. All of this can be answered by a well-written and thorough business plan. To annalyse and evaluate the viability of a proposed venture . A Business Plan can be used as a basic of determining the viability of a proposed business venture. The information gathering and analysis that is done as part of preparing the Business Plan can give an early indication , as to the viability of a project .Hence , the entreprenuer can make a better judgement before investing in the proposed vanture
- Opines that vision and mission are the first thing to take care of in any organizational endeavor. this indicates the direction of the company.
- Describes the basis of the idea for the business, who is responsible for it, and why it was created.
- Describes the short- and long-term goals of the company.
- Recommends a short biography for each member of the management. it should provide the names and backgrounds of every person at least.
- Explains that the exit strategy is a section that presents the alternative of the company.
- Recommends keeping in mind the people involved, the context of the business, and the possibilities of endeavor when considering the points enumerated above. this shall help in coming up with a great business plan.
- Explains that starting a business can be easy or difficult depending on how one will execute. a business plan is essential to make every goal and aim in the entrepreneurial world successful.
- Explains that a business plan is the first step in implementing any business. it lays down the aims as well as the details of the endeavor.
- Explains that the important elements of making the business plan will depend on the type of business being ventured on and what is intended by the entrepreneur.
- Opines that it is important to give special attention in presenting the products and services the company plans to offer, even at the planning stage.
- Explains that the business plan must also present the marketing strategy that shall be implemented. one must consider the proper promotional materials, whether it will utilize print, television, internet or the combination of all three.
- Explains that projections are like financial forecasts given for a target period. it may get technical as it includes spreadsheets, formulas and statements.
- Explains the importance of a good recipe, quality ingredients, and optimal baking conditions in order to bake the perfect cake.
- Explains that every business plan starts with a business process. management process governs system operation, and business process reengineering is the analysis and design of workflow and processes within an organization.
- Explains that businesses use standardization to help with commoditization, compatibility, interoperability, safety repeatability or quality. business also uses the transfer technique, which is used in advertising and propaganda.
- Explains that starting a business is full of risks, including legal, political, and financial risks. horizontal and vertical integration are beneficial especially for companies that plan on going global.
- Opines that time is valuable and a huge determinant of success, but many fail to realize the importance of time in business.
- Opines that to win business, one must be resourceful, proactive, and ready to fail. time management can make or break a company.
- Opines that a well-put together plan can make sure that the business will succeed and grow in the future.
- Explains brinckerhoff, p. c., "how to write your business plan". nonprofit world, 17, 10-11.
- Summarizes the eight steps of a successful business plan, including cover page, table of contents, plan summary, description of business, marketing, financial plan and an appendix.
- Opines that having a business plan is the best way for any manager to begin their business as the article implied.
- Analyzes how being organized can be both good and bad. being organized is good because it keeps you up to date and makes your business easier to run.
- Explains that organization is what keeps a business running smoothly, and that time management is one form of organization that they like to use.
- Explains dasgupta, b., "5 ways to keep your workplace organised jobs." the economic times.
- Explains that the economic times article talks about five different ways to keep your workplace organized.
- Explains that an organized workspace and schedule will save time, money and lead to more efficiency for the business.
- Analyzes how spender's article explains the role of leadership in a business, stating that leadership requires uniqueness and values.
- Opines that being unique is a great attribute for leaders to have. henry ford's model-t concept was not new, nor was he the first to create the car.
- Analyzes how the article talks about how members of the armed forces make great ceo’s and managers.
- Opines that a good motivational speaker makes employees feel like they have the ability to achieve anything.
- Explains that most managers are control freaks when it comes to their business. the article defines controls as specific parts of your company that keep from poor decision-making and careless behavior.
- Opines that having control as a manager is good because it gives employees the sense of what to do and keeps them on track and from making mistakes.
- Analyzes how bp's control boss developed better controls after the deepwater horizon disaster in the gulf of mexico.
- States that controlling the training of your employees is key to having good management principles. the training process is usually when employees are first introduced to your business.
- Explains that the company's mission includes providing services that will enhance the client’s mental relaxation and physical appearance.
- Aims to have at least 15% of the total sales in new york city market within the first three years.
- Describes the objectives of establishing outlets in other markets in the world with the first three years.
- Explains that paradise beauty centre will use online means in selling its products. the business will offer attractive after-sales services to its customers.
- Explains that business competition is the main challenge that affects continuous growth and development of a business. paradise beauty centre will produce high quality and attractive products to cope with the vibrant competition level in new york city.
- Explains that business leaders plan to engage in detailed researches in order to understand the market demand and establish the most appropriate place to locate the business.
- Explains that paradise beauty centre will ensure that it has followed all the required registration procedures and abide by the existing rules and regulations that govern beauty companies in new york city.
- Explains that a qualified chief executive officer will manage the business operations, one financial officer who will control all business financial needs, and human resource manager will engage in the responsibility of recruiting and disciplining business staffs.
- Explains that paradise beauty centre will hire information technology experts who will have the key role of managing all the it activities and establishing reliable websites to facilitate effective interaction with business customers.
- Explains that the paradise beauty centre will be located on allen street in new york city. the business will have outlets in charles street and broome street.
- Explains that the business owner intends to use modern technology to succeed in the market. effective management of business risks will help in dealing with some of the threats that can hinder business’s performance.
- Explains that assumptions play a substantive role in facilitating effective projection of business outcome. the paradise beauty centre plans to increase its sales while reducing its operation cost.
- Opines that the proposed business plan will be of substantive importance in facilitating the operation of the paradise beauty centre.
- Describes eric s. siegel, brian r. ford, jay m., and bornstein's "the ernst & young business plan guide new york, ny: john wiley and sons."
- Explains pinson's anatomy of a business plan: a step-by-step guide to building a business.
- Explains that starting a business requires detailed planning and intensive research. the paradise beauty centre will focus on the production and distribution of beauty products in united states of america.
- Explains that paradise beauty centre will capitalize in the production and distribution of beauty products in new york city.
- Describes paradise beauty centre's vision statement, a realistic marketing plan, effective communication channels, and network services.
- Explains that the establishment of paradise beauty centre is based on the perception that attractive physical attraction is vital for individual mental, psychological, and physical health.
- Explains that paradise beauty centre will focus on the production of high-quality beauty products and will engage in extensive market researches to develop products that meet the demands of customers.
- Explains that the beauty market is one of the most competitive sectors in the modern economy. the industry has attracted business executives from various social and cultural backgrounds.
- Explains that the beauty market is developing at an encouraging rate, but the number of entrepreneurs is advancing at a threatening rate. the paradise beauty centre targets customers from middle social class.
- Explains that the competition level in new york city is relatively high compared to other cities in america. paradise beauty centre will use online promotion services to access its target customers.
- Explains that the paradise beauty centre intends to produce unique and high quality beauty products to increase its sales and market position.
- Explains that an effective overall strategy should include all stages assumed from the production of the paradise beauty centre to the consumption the produced product.
- Explains that the paradise beauty centre intends to lay its strong business foundation within the first year. the business will generate limited profit due to its huge management and operation cost.
- Summarizes reshetnikov, wasser, duckman, and tsukor's medicinal value of the genus tremella pers.
- Opines that the video lecture from justin gold about his company, journey, and personal beliefs, which helped him achieve success in business, as an entrepreneur, was interesting.
- Opines that having passion is vital for a leader, since it produces energy among subordinates.
- Explains the value of a business plan, which allows the leader to reflect, evaluate, and analyze their business.
- Explains that mentoring is important for leaders because it allows them to receive coaching from someone who has travelled through similar experiences.
- Opines that john wooden's quote illustrates why a team is so important for leaders. they must take time to evaluate and understand their shortcomings so they may hire and surround themselves with individuals.
- Opines that a successful leader uses these opportunities to reflect, evaluate, analyze, and create changes to learn and grow from these mistakes.
- Explains that strategic thinking is vital for an organization to maintain a competitive advantage, growth and improvement. leaders must examine problems differently to determine the foundation of an issue.
- Explains that a leader of an organization must dedicate resources to look for opportunities to promote innovation. by approaching opportunities with nontraditional thinking, they will create innovative solutions to capitalize on all identified opportunities.
- Opines that starting with the end goal in mind is an integral part of leadership and taking control of the direction of your business.
- Opines that it is important for leaders to pursue a balance between work and outside activities because of the impact it has on an individual and leader.
- Opines that self-discipline is vital for a leader because it forces them to complete tasks that may not come easy or natural to them.
- Opines that passion is an integral part of a leader. it produces energy among the employees and subordinates.
- Explains that a business plan's value is found within the financial forecast and figures from previous years, and it allows the leader to reflect and analyze their business or concept.
- Explains that a leader must understand that no individual has the ability to do every job. however, the purpose of building teams is to take full advantage of individual strengths, which at the same time will make individual weaknesses irrelevant.
- Explains the value of a mentor or mentoring relationship within an organization bridges the gap between education and experience. mentoring allows leaders to be nurtured and coached by someone who has travelled through similar experiences.
- Opines that as a leader, it is vital that you are not paralyzed by analysis or in your attempt for perfection. a successful leader uses these opportunities to reflect and analyze and make changes to learn and grow from these mistakes.
- Explains that it is important for a leader for an organization focus on opportunities rather than problems. innovation is found with the analysis of opportunities.
- Opines that it is important for leaders to pursue a balance of work-life because it reduces stress and unhappiness.
- Opines that the video lecture from justin gold on his company, personal beliefs to develop success in business and as an entrepreneur was interesting and made them take a closer look at their leadership style, culture, and culture.
- Explains that unique babies' goal is to raise enough money to help contribute to purchasing equipment for local children diagnosed with asd and autism.
- Explains the five rules that one should follow to help them create the business name. the first rule is to keep it memorable and easy to spell.
- Explains leinhauser, jean, and the craft yarn council's "yarn standards."
- Opines that the ipad gives voice to kids with autism.
- Explains the idea behind unique babies, which is to create individualized, unique items for infants and young children.
- Explains how unique babies wants to raise money to help with the special educational needs of those with asperger's and autism.
- Explains that creating a great name is important, but having enough stock to make the business rocket is also important.
- Explains that starting a small business is an american dream since the early 1800's. however, it requires motivation, discipline, research, planning, and intelligence.
- Explains the importance of a well-organized business plan for attracting investment capital, securing loans, and luring strategic business partners.
- Explains the importance of choosing a business structure, which can have an impact on multiple aspects of the business, including taxes, liability, and ownership succession.
- Explains that the third step in starting a small business is naming it. the name itself functions as an advertising tool and customer lure.
- Explains that raising sufficient funds is an integral component of starting a successful business. having prior experience in the field makes this task easier and more accurate.
- Explains that the fifth step to a business' overall wellbeing with government is paying government taxes and how taxes operate.
- Explains that an employer must recognize that every employee is valuable and adds to the group and in turn must be treated in a manner that reflects this respect.
- Opines that starting a business can take months and sometimes years, but with the right ingredients success is always abundant.
- Cites hayslip's "the best advice around, from those who took it." wall street journal.
- Explains the irs' "starting a business" website, which is available at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0.
- Defines marketing as the planning, pricing, promoting, and placing of your product of service. general construction companies have an unusual marketing problem because they are hard to categorize.
- Explains that a well-thought-out business plan can be useful for begging business owners.
- Explains that planning is a key factor in the success of any business, and the failure to plan adequately is one of the fastest routes to business failure.
- Explains the importance of a logically arranged and reasonably complete business plan.
- Opines that location is a key to make money, and explains the importance of location, location and location.
- Explains that poor management is the number one killer of small businesses. organization and management planning consists of an operating structure with firm lines of authority, responsibility, and accountability clearly stated.
- Explains that strategic planning helps to implement new projects, new technology, consolidation of data centers, data warehouses, exponential data growth, cost of ownership, and resources available in an organization.
- Explains that strategic planning is the process of developing and maintaining strategic balance between organization's goals and resources in the changing market environment.
- Explains that an organization is an open system and that the main sources for its success are in the outside environment.
- Explains that strategic planning allows a company to adequately respond to the factors of uncertainty and risk which are characteristics of the outside environment.
- Explains that since the future is impossible to predict and extrapolation used in long-term planning does not work, it is necessary to apply scenario, situational methods which fit well in the concept of strategic planning.
- Opines that for an organization to be able to adequately respond to the changes of the environment, its system has to have ability to adapt.
- Explains that there are many strategic steps in planning, such as cause and effect purpose, priority, failure mode, effects analysis, charts, hypothesis testing, etc.
- Explains that strategic planning has been rated as a power tool by nearly all managers in all industries and company sizes.
- Argues that strategic planning is a combination of intuition and art of setting and achieving goals by executive management based on analyzing and planning skills
How to Write a Business Plan
(Updated on January 16, 2023)
W riting a business plan is an important step in the process of starting your own business. By writing a business plan, you can develop a clearer idea of how you intend to make your business successful. In addition, with the help of a well-written business plan, you can secure financing to help get your business started.
There are four sections that you must include in a business plan:
- a description of the business;
- how you intend to market your business;
- how you'll finance your business;
- how your business will be managed.
When describing the business that you intend to establish, you should provide detailed information regarding what your business will offer and what sets it apart from the competition. In order to accomplish this task, you'll also need to research businesses that you consider to be competitors. Your business plan should include detailed information about your competitors, as well as how your business compares.
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Your business plan report should also describe your marketing plans, such as whether or not you'll use direct mail campaigns, radio advertisement, Internet marketing, etc. Within this section of the business plan, you should discuss your target audience and why you believe that your marketing plan will effectively help you to reach this audience.
A thorough business plan must also include a description of the business's operating procedures. This will include the management layout and who will be responsible for which aspects of the business. This section may also describe the personnel that you'll need to effectively run the business, including how many employees are required and the various roles that will need to be fulfilled.
If you must still acquire financing to get your business off the ground, your business plan writing should include information regarding exactly how you intend to obtain the financing. This portion of the business plan should also detail the type of business insurance that you'll cover, including the categories of coverage that your business will carry.
Your financial information should also provide a detailed forecast of your projected profits and losses over the next few years. You should include a three-year summary, month-by-month expectations, and what you anticipate from your business after the first year.
Along with the written portion of the business plan, you should include a variety of different supporting documents. For example, you should include any tax returns for principles over the last three years, as well as any letters of intent that you have received from suppliers or other important business contacts. You should also include any legal documents, including copies of your licenses and lease agreements. Finally, if you're getting involved with a franchised business, you'll need to include a copy of the franchise contract and any documents that you have received from the franchiser.
Business Plan Writing
I t is likely that a student majoring in business will have to complete at least one business plan during the course of his/her degree. Many students will encounter a business plan for the first time in upper-level business classes, and despite the fact that they possess many of the skills needed to design such a plan, will be unsure of how to write a business plan. However, there are many existing models for how to write business plans that will help students successfully compose their own. These models vary depending on the business plan objective, so it's likely that a student's business professor will issue a particular model that he/she deems appropriate for the course.
A business plan is significantly different from other types of college work. Some students who are unsure of how to write a business plan tend to approach the project in the same way as they would a research or report. This should be avoided. Business plans are detailed documents that present a strategic approach to a business operation. They are therefore not papers such as a student may be used to writing, but rather practical guides that outline the operation of a business and reveal the business plan writer's knowledge of a variety of business skills and applications .
One of the most important things to consider when learning how to write business plans is the purpose of such plans. Business plans are composed by business owners to assist in the development of their business and by prospective business owners to attract investors to fund a start-up business. Therefore, a student's business plan should direct the plan to its intended (though fictional) audience: business partners and/or possible investors. The business plan should aim to inform and persuade this imagined audience.
As mentioned, most students need not worry about the organizational aspect of how to write business plans, as it's likely that a student's instructor will recommend a particular model. This model will likely be some variation of the following structure: (1) an executive summary, (2) an overview of the company, (3) a description of the company's services and/or products, (4) a market analysis, (5) details of the management structure of the business, and (6) a description of the business' projected finances.
An executive summary is in essence an outline of the business plan written out in sentences rather than in outline structure. This should be the first page of the document, and serves the same purpose as an abstract—it gives the reader a complete overview of the contents of the plan. The details of the plan will be presented in the remainder of the text.
After the executive summary, the business plan will likely present a description of the company. This includes explaining what type of business the company is, where it's or will be located, where the business fits in among other similar businesses, and why the business plan writer believes it will be profitable.
The plan will then provide a detailed description of the company's services and/or products and why those services and products are marketable. This shouldn't merely include the business plan writer's opinions, but should point to market research that indicates why the product or service will be successful. This section should also indicate the price and profit margin of the product or service.
The market analysis section of a business plan identifies who will buy the product or service and why they're likely to buy it. To do this effectively requires the business plan to point to case studies of similar businesses or business models. It may also require the inclusion of detailed information about the target consumers' purchasing habits and the business' competition.
Every business plan should include a description of how the business will operate. This should offer details of the management positions the company will have and the specific roles of each of those positions. The business plan should close by projecting the costs of implementing the plan and the profitability of the company once the plan has been implemented.
If students aren't confident in how to write a business plan, they should read professional business plans in order to become familiar with the conventions of the form. It is likely that a business library will be able to provide these to interested students.
Business Plan Example
A business plan example is a complete or partial business plan that's distributed as a model for individuals unfamiliar with business plan writing. Business plan examples are provided by writing reference sources, business how-to Web sites, business schools, business libraries, and business professors. Business plan examples can be an excellent reference point for individuals who are new to writing business plans; however, as business plan examples are, like most examples, very general, they're intended to display the basic model of business plan writing. Actual business plans will likely be far more detailed and specific as they will be directed toward a particular audience and designed for a particular business idea.
A business plan example is most useful for its indication of the structure and general content of a business plan. Though business plans will vary, they follow a general format comprised of several sections related to the operation of a business. This format will likely be some variation of the following structure: (1) an executive summary, (2) an overview of the company, (3) a description of the company's services and/or products, (4) a market analysis, (5) details of the management structure of the business, and (6) a description of the business' projected finances. The order of this structure will differ from example to example, with the exception that the executive summary will likely always come first, as it's an overview of the information included in the plan. Business plan writers can select a structure based on the example they find best suited to their particular aim. However, business students who are composing a business plan for a class should always use the example provided by their instructor, as it's likely that the instructor considers the particular example he/she provided to be the best model.
Two of the most important considerations when completing a business plan are audience and purpose—who is going to read the plan, and what the business plan writer hopes the outcome of the plan to be. Therefore, the best business plan examples are those that are geared toward the same audience or industry as those for which the business plan writer intends to write. An individual preparing a business plan for an independent cosmetics boutique looking for investors has a different audience and purpose than an individual preparing a business plan for a toy store franchise. These individuals would benefit more from a business plan example that has a similar audience or purpose to their own. This way, the business plan example will provide the writer with more and specific details and guidance.
Business Plan Content
A business plan is a detailed outline explaining an approach to a business' operation. Business plans are composed by existing business owners to assist in the development of their business and by prospective business owners to attract investors to fund a start-up business. Because they're an important document in the business world, it's likely that undergraduate and graduate students majoring in business will have to complete at least one business plan in the course of their studies.
It is important for business students to realize that a business plan is radically different from other types of college and graduate-level work. It isn't an assignment, in the standard sense of the term. It requires extensive research, planning, and revision in the same way that a paper would, but its purpose and appearance are very different. A business plan isn't completed to argue a position or demonstrate the writer's grasp of a specific business concept. It is, rather, a practical guide that outlines the operation of a business and reveals the business plan writer's knowledge of a variety of business skills and trends.
Business plans completed for a college or graduate course should follow the explicit format requirements issued by the instructor. This format will likely include some variation of the following structure: (1) an executive summary, (2) an overview of the company, (3) a description of the company's services and/or products, (4) a market analysis, (5) details of the management structure of the business, and (6) a description of the business' projected finances.
An executive summary is simply a summary of the business plan. It is essentially an outline of the entirety of the plan written out in sentences rather than in outline structure.
Following the executive summary, business plans frequently begin the detailed portion of the plan by presenting a description of the company. This includes explaining what type of business it's (retail, service-based, etc.), where it will be, where this business fits in among other similar businesses, and why the business plan writer believes it will be profitable.
Next, the plan will describe the company's services and/or products and why those services and products are marketable. This shouldn't merely include the business plan writer's opinions, but should point to research that suggests why the product or service will be successful. It should also outline a pricing structure.
The market analysis section of the business plan should also rely on research. This section identifies who will buy the product or service and why they're likely to buy it. To do this effectively requires the business plan to point to case studies of similar businesses or business models. It may also require detailed information about the target consumer's purchasing habits and the business' competition.
Every business plan should include a description of how the business will operate. This should offer details of the management positions the company will have and the specific roles of each of those positions.
Finally, the business plan should close by projecting the costs of implementing the plan and the profitability of the company once the plan has been implemented.
Business Plan Outline
W henever an individual or a partnership wants to open a business, it will have to complete a business plan. The business plan isn't only an essential document for ensuring the success of the business, but it's also the document that will be used in order to solicit support for the business from investors, partners, clients, and other entities. In order to complete an effective business plan, it's important to start with a business plan outline.
Many students will have to learn how to write business plan outlines during their academic careers —especially students in undergraduate and graduate business programs. A business plan is similar to many other types of academic documents that a student should know how to write. However, business plans must include plenty of research, projections, and background information.
There are many different business plan formats. Because there are so many formats, many people begin by finding a business plan outline that has the appropriate sections for their needs. When people start with a business plan outline, they simply need to fill in the sections of the outline, rather than starting the business plan writing from scratch.
Each different type of business may have unique business plan outline fields . For example, a business plan for a restaurant may require sections devoted to the menu, cost of food, cost to build out the kitchen area, depreciating food asset projections, and more. The business plan for a services company may not require as much financial information, especially financial information about depreciating assets.
In order to find the right business plan outline for a particular business, many individuals search online through business plan outline databases. Many databases provide separate outlines based on the category of business. Some outlines are more comprehensive than others. Additionally, some business plan outlines are focused on helping individuals raise capital for the business, and, therefore, have more fields for financial information and projections.
Whenever students have to work on their own business plan outlines, they need to keep in mind that a business plan outline not only requires an explanation of the business industry, experience of founders, financial situation and current situation, but it should also contain information about industry trends, financial projections, economic and environmental projections, and more. Therefore, unlike many other academic documents that students will need to write objectively and based solely on proven fact, learners will need to use some creative thought when writing business plan outlines so that they can predict probable (or possible) outcomes.
Free Sample Business Plans
A business plan is a practical guide that outlines the details of a proposed business or business operation. A free sample business plan is a business plan provided free of charge by an institution, organization, or individual. Free sample business plans are distributed to serve as models or guidelines for individuals unfamiliar with how to write such plans; free sample business plans are therefore not templates to be copied, but rather general guides to be used and modified as the business plan writer sees fit.
Free sample business plans are often distributed by business schools, online resources for developing business models, and instructors of business classes. A free sample business plan will often point out important structural, stylistic, and informational aspects of business plans so that students can learn how to incorporate these aspects into their own plans. For instance, the sample may point out the various sections of the plan and their organization. A business plan will typically be organized into some variation of the following structure: (1) an executive summary, (2) an overview of the company, (3) a description of the company's services and/or products, (4) a market analysis, (5) details of the management structure of the business, and (6) a description of the business' projected finances. The sample plan will likely go through the specific elements necessary for each of these sections and explain the importance of each section and the information the reader of the plan expects to gain from it. Free sample business plans may also make note of the way in which the writer of the plan incorporates research to bolster the validity of the plan, as well as the type of language and syntax the writer uses.
When using a free sample business plan as a model, learners should use the guidance of several different samples. All business plans will be different depending on the needs of each writer's business idea; it's therefore wise to determine how several different business plan writers executed their plans so that the student can see how those various plans modify the basic business plan structure to accommodate the needs of their specific intentions. Furthermore, it may be helpful for students and other new business plan writers to draw primarily from sample business plans that are for businesses similar to their own proposed ideas. This will help the student determine how to tailor the business plan to his/her particular audience and industry.
Small Business Plan
I t is a business "best practice" to have a business plan in place prior to opening a business. A business plan is a basic road map for the direction of a business. It not only describes how a business will operate and receive revenue, but it also provides information about the metrics that will be used to determine how successful a business is. Even small businesses require small business plans in order to run effectively.
A small business plan is easy to write. Each business owner gets to determine just how extensive his/her small business plan should be. For example, some business owners pay great attention to the details of their plans, especially if they're seeking funding for their businesses. In such a case, they may need to include marketing data, market data, profiles of the operators of the business, and more. Lenders want to know that small business owners have done their due diligence to determine that a business has a good chance of being successful.
Some business owners may have shorter and less thorough business plans, especially if their businesses are self-funded. These business plans may only include a few paragraphs about what the business is and how it's operated. Even these short small business plans will provide guidance for a business owner as he/she pursues the business development.
While all small business plans are different, one of the major components that should be included is a description of the business. If a business owner wants to open a clothing store, the business plan should include information about the clothing store, such as whether or not it's a franchise or a boutique.
All small business plans should also include information about how the business will get revenue. For example, will be primary revenue stream be clothing sales through the store or online? Will the store have annual sales or events to boost sales? Business owners need to take some time to think about these variables.
A small business plan isn't the same thing as a business proposal, though they're similar. A business proposal is a physical/visual document that proposes a certain business to partners or funders. A proposal, essentially, asks for help or partnership. However, a small business plan is a statement about what a business is and how it will operate. It isn't as conceptual as a business proposal.
Business Proposal Paper
H ere is a simple approach to help you cover all the bases when learning how to write a business proposal paper. For each section/requirement that you must address, make sure that you answer: who, what, where, how, when, and why. Repeat it until it rolls off your tongue and you have it memorized.
- Who: who will do the work, who will manage the work, who does the customer call if there's a problem, who is responsible for what
- What: what needs to be done/delivered, what will be required to do it, what can the customer expect, what it will cost
- Where: where will the work be done, where will it be delivered
- How: how will be work be done, how will it be deployed, how will it be managed, how will you achieve quality assurance and customer satisfaction, how will risks be mitigated, how long will it take, how will the work benefit the customer
- When: when will you start, when will key milestones be scheduled, when will the project be complete, when is payment due
- Why: why have you chosen the approaches and alternatives you have selected, why the customer should select you
This simple phrase ( who, what, where, how, when, and why ) can help you ensure that your business proposal research paper communicates everything needed to "answer the call." For each of the customer's requirements, go through the list and you'll probably have everything covered. You can use it for inspiration when writing, and you can use it like a checklist for reviewing a draft proposal.
How to Write an Executive Summary
L earning how to write an executive summary is no simple task. An executive summary is a short piece of writing that summarizes a business research paper. It allows an executive to determine, in a very short amount of time, things such as: whether the business research paper is worth reading in its entirety, what the basic points are, and what the conclusion is. While an executive summary does notin and of itselfhave enough information on which to base any definitive action, it gives the reader a good sense of the topic so that if there's a reason to read further, the document being summarized can be scanned for facts, statistics, and details relevant to whatever is being discussed or considered.
One common situation in which an executive summary essay is used is when you're completing a business plan to show to potential investors. Because the amount of time that investors have to look at your proposal is limited, they will expect an executive summary when you present your business plan so that they can prioritize your plan on their list of reading, and quickly determine whether or not the plan you have devised is something that they should devote further attention to. An executive summary is the most carefully written part of your business plan, and should be perfectly clear. Any kind of advanced details regarding the topic should be left to the business plan itself; an executive summary is simply a kind of outline to give a sense of the contents of the plan.
The executive summary should always be one page in length or shorter. It should be possible to read the executive summary in less than a minute and understand the overall business plan. To get started with your executive summary, introduce the industry at which your business is targeted, describe the niche in the market that your business plan is designed to cover, and/or identify the problem that your plan is designed to address or solve. It is important to give the reader a sense of the other solutions that have been offered for the same problems during your overview of the market. Explain how other companies have developed approaches and how the approach for your company will have an advantage over theirs. As in the business proposal itself, you should be able to demonstrate through your research and with solid reasoning how the report that you have devised is superior to others and the one that money should be invested into. Again, don't give examples or detailsthose are saved for the backup materials such as the plan itself and the appendices. Also, keep in mind the specific audience that you're writing the executive summary for. If the summary is being written for investors, you should give them a sense of the kind of return expected on their investment and what kind of time frame you're giving them for an exit. If the summary is for a plan that will have internal use, it should explain how company goals will be met by carrying out the plan. Keep things simple, and know your audience, and your executive summary will be able to meet its intended goal.
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How to Write a Business Plan – A Step By Step Guide
- May 4, 2020
- Blogs , Business Writing Guideline
Crafting a business plan can be a challenging task, especially if you have inadequate skills and experiences. In this guide, you will get lots of insights on how to it. In this article we discuss how to write a business plan.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a summary of a firm’s operational and financial objectives with an elaborate roadmap and budget, showing the goals that are to be achieved. This document is vital to the success of both startups and existing companies.
The Components of a Business Plan
A business plan is usually created to guide your enterprise or to help you raise money from investors. Before you craft this piece, it is vital to understand its components. The following is a highlight of some of its elements.
An executive summary is the first section that people will read in your business plan. It is an abstract with brief information regarding the content of the business plan. This section comes first in the document, but it is prepared last.
An executive summary is meant to inform the audience about your business and highlight what you are looking for from the clients. Sometimes, investors only need an executive summary to evaluate your business . Therefore, ensure that it briefly captures the crucial information in the entire document.
Abstract ought to be concise and should entail only the critical parts of your business. Usually, this section is written to occupy between 1-2 pages.
The following is a description of the elements of a winning executive summary.
One Sentence Business overview
A sentence overview should be written after your business name, and its purpose is to highlight the essence of your business. A business overview is your value proposition, and it describes what your organization does.
The problem is the needs of the market that you are about to address. Briefly highlight the issue you are solving to give a better perspective to your audience.
The solution refers to the product or service you are providing to the market. Therefore, demonstrate how you will solve the problem.
Indicate the details of the clients you are going to serve. For instance, mention the type of customers and their estimated number.
Indicate whether there are people providing solutions to the target market. Identify and provide an overview of the competition.
Company overview and team
Provide details regarding your team and explain why you think you are better placed to take the idea to the market. It is crucial to note that sometimes, investors consider the team more than the idea and, therefore, ensure that you have the right people on board.
In this section, note the key points of your financial plans. For instance, use charts to show your projected sales, expenses, and profits.
If you are crafting a business plan to get a loan from funders, indicate the amount of money you require to finance your business activities.
A milestone is one of the key aspects that investors will want to look into. Therefore, it is essential to mention what you have achieved and your targets.
If you are composing a business plan for internal business use, you may avoid the executive summary or reduce its scope. Therefore, include aspects like the management team , funding requirements, and milestones. In this case, the executive summary should be considered as an overview of the organization’s strategic direction.
In the opportunity section, highlight what you are offering to the market, or the problem you intend to solve. It is vital to indicate how your products or services fit into the existing market.
In this part, demonstrate how your solution to the problem is different from the existing competitors, and provide more details on how you plan to enhance your offering afterward.
Pinpoint the problem your potential customers are facing, and show why the current solutions haven’t managed to address them. In this section, it is vital to highlight the answers to your clients’ problems. The solutions refer to the products and services you intend to offer .
It is essential to highlight your potential future plans to show the investors where your business will be in the long term. However, avoid including too many long-range plans that you might fail to complete.
In the execution section, mention how you will convert your plan into a business. It is vital to highlight the marketing or operation strategies you are intending to use to achieve your objectives.
Also, indicate how you intend to reach your target markets, your selling strategies, and pricing plans. Note that a marketing plan will be useless if you don’t define your potential customers well.
Use this section to highlight the company’s corporate philosophies, such as mission, vision, company location, and core values. Also, indicate the organization’s team or show how you are planning to hire if you are starting a new venture. This section is very vital, especially to investors who may want to know the team behind the business.
Highlight a short bio of each team member, and show whether they have the right skills and experiences to turn an idea into a business.
The market analysis encompasses an in-depth evaluation of the industry, market, and competitors. The following is a description of the constituents of your market analysis .
Describe the industry’s past and future outlooks. Indicate the key industrial players.
Overview of the target market
Highlight key aspects of your target market. Provide an estimated figure on the number of clients and their geographical distribution.
Target market size and growth
Indicate the size of the target to let readers understand how big it is. Based on the current size of the market, provide its projected growth.
The potential of your market share
Indicate the magnitude of market share you are expected to gain in the targeted area.
Before you price your products, conduct research to come up with the best estimates of pricing them.
Indicate any barrier that may inhibit your market entry , such as government regulation or lack of human resources.
Research on competition
Investigate your competitors’ strength and weaknesses, their market shares, and any barrier they present.
Marketing and sales plan
Under this section, it is vital to highlight how you will market and sell your products. The following is a description of the components of a market and sales plan.
The way you present your product or service determines how the customer will get attracted to your offering. For instance, if the service you are providing guarantees quality , you will stand out against your competitors.
After positioning your offering, it is vital to indicate how you will inform customers about the product or service you are selling. Indicate any plan you have in marketing the products, your sales force, and the strategy of sale.
Note that without a financial forecast, your business plan is incomplete. In the financial plan, ensure you include the income statement , balance sheet, cash flow statement, and sales forecast.
An excellent financial plan must have monthly sales and revenue forecasts for the first year and annual projection for the next 3-5 years.
If you have been running a business for some time, you will use financial information from past performance . However, if you have no historical data, it is advisable to use financial projections. These projections might either be derived from past data or determined from the analysis of the competition in the industry.
Another essential aspect of your financial planning is funding needs. Indicate whether the source of your funds is equity or debt. Under funding, you need to include the following: the amount of funds, future funds, and the purpose of the fund.
It is crucial to use visual illustrations, such as graphs and pie-charts, to highlight the financial position of your business and its plans.
The appendix section is used to provide supporting documents that may be required by the consumers of your business plan. This part is essential in boosting the credibility of the information in the project. The commonly used documents include resumes, permits, licenses, and any other legal material.
Benefits of a Business Plan
The following is a description of the benefits of a business plan.
A business plan introduces your ideas to potential investors, hence wooing them to invest in your company.
With a business plan, entrepreneurs can focus on products or services that match the target market.
Through a business plan, you can prioritize on the right and most crucial things. Planning enhances an appropriate allocation of time and other resources in areas that need maximum attention.
Management of change
Excellent planning can enable you to review what is targeted versus the actual to determine whether you are making progress or not.
To enhance accountability
The essence of planning is to set expectations and find out whether results are being achieved as per the targets.
Cash flow management
Proper planning is crucial for the management of your cash flow. For instance, through it, you can identify slow-paying clients and take actions to enhance your liquidity.
To evaluate strategic alignment
With a business plan, you can determine whether the daily activities align with your business strategies .
To set goals
An excellent business plan sets achievable milestones. For example, opening a new branch and hiring a finance manager.
Business planning entails performance indicators that ought to be achieved within a particular period. Therefore, ensure that you set realistic targets that are likely to be delivered.
A realistic reminder on what to keep on track
Sometimes, it may difficult to remember to do some business tasks due to work pressures. However, with a business plan, you can be reminded of the essential things to prioritize on.
Rules of Business Planning
If you want to compose a solid business plan, the following tips can help you a lot.
Before you do any planning, it is vital to research and see whether the market can accommodate your idea. Identify the companies operating in your niche and find out how they are fairing in terms of sale performance.
Determine the actual readers of your business plan
It is vital to write a business plan with your audience in mind. Therefore, tailor it to specific people whom you want to read it. Most importantly, you need to focus on ideas that are relevant to a particular target group. For instance, suppliers might be interested in sales forecasts.
More importantly, craft your plan using a language that your audience is familiar with. Therefore, avoid using jargon that can make your readers find difficulties in understanding your document.
Don’t be intimidated
Note that a business plan is a preconceived idea you have about your business. Therefore, you don’t have to hold a degree to put this idea to paper. If you are not conversant with crafting such documents, you may start with a single-page business plan and then expand it later.
Summarize your ideas
A business plan must concise and should include only the key points. Ensure that the executive summary captures essential aspects of all the sections. Once you finish drafting the document, proofread it to correct typos and grammar mistakes.
Adopt a standardized business template
A standardized template will make your business plan look professional before the readers. For instance, if your goal is to attract investors for funding, polish the document to make it look perfect.
Seek out expert advice
Before you send your business plan to your intended audience, it is vital to seek a second opinion from professionals. Experts are essential people in your planning because they have experience; hence they can offer you advice on where to correct or perfect your document.
Who is Responsible for Writing a Business Plan?
A business plan can be written by an individual person or a group of people who owns a business. Note that, in most cases, it is written by the founders of the company. It is vital to bear in mind that this document is not only meant for internal use but externals users, such as customers and investors.
Examples of a Business Plan
Writing an excellent business plan is not a straightforward thing if you don’t know how to go about it. If you are facing such a challenge , it is vital to consult experts or check business plan samples online for your guidance.
Steps on How to Write a Business Plan
The following is a highlight of the steps involved in writing a business plan.
Creating of an executive summary
An executive is the first chapter of a business plan. With an executive summary, you can give a highlight of what you do, where you are, and where you expect to be in 3-5 years.
Provide your company overview
A company overview entails a summary of your business structure and what you do. In the company overview, highlight what your business does, the industry, and the legal structure of your enterprise.
The company overview must be a catchy pitch on what your business does, the nature of clients you serve, and how you intend to provide service to them.
Perform market analysis
Present an analysis of the market, industry, and competition. Note that a sound market analysis informs and convinces the investors that you have a clear perspective of market dynamics.
Define your business’s organization
Defining your business’s organization entails giving details regarding the structure and management of your business. For instance, explain your employees’ roles, their backgrounds, and their past experience.
Highlight your products and services
Give a brief description of the products and services you are offering and the needs they are fulfilling. Explain what makes your products superior to the competitors’.
Explain your marketing plans
After identifying the products or services you will offer, the next step is to explain how you will market them to the target market.
Give details of your financial plan and projections
Provide details regarding your current financial status and show where you will like to be in the future.
Add an appendix
An appendix is any vital document you attach to provide evidence or additional information to support what has already been provided in the paper. These documents include permits, resumes, and any business contract.
Final Thoughts on Writing a Business Plan
Knowing how to craft a business plan is vital for the strategic growth of your business. A solid business plan must have essential components, such as an executive summary, company overview, market analysis, financial analysis, and an appendix. If you are not conversant with composing a business plan , please contact expert writers for business writing help , such as Peachy Essay.
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A Template for a Business Plan
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Market demand, competition and strategy.
Financials and Forecasts
- Note 1 – Assuming that the business has chosen segments that already exist in the market – the market size would be readily available by adding the turnover of potential competitors with the same segment. Otherwise a simple multiplication of the proposed price of the product by the size of the market (number of customers in the market) would suffice in estimating a market size.
- Note 2 – If it is an existing market, the information as to the growth trends of the market would be available on the internet (it is important to use a reliable source such Financial Times or Bloomberg). The average rate growth rate can then be used to predict the market growth rate for the next 3 years for each segment. Assuming that the growth rate remains constant makes it easier.
- Note 3 – To determine the forecast market size in the next three years, the, the growth rate of the market size over the last three years could be examined to arrive at an average figure which can then be used to forecast the market size in the next three years.
- Note 4 – The competitive position of the company in the next three years on a scale of 0 -5 (5 being the highest) may be determined by figuring out how much market share the company can realistically acquire in each year. For example if the company is starting up the fourth mobile phone network in a country that already has three, it is unlikely that the company would have a 25% market share in three years, rather it may have between 8-10% following an intensive marketing campaign (Evans, 2010).
- Note 5 – as explained in note 4.
- Note 6 Likely revenue should be informed by the market size divided by the market share and then multiplied by the price per unit of the product. The revenue forecast in 3 years’ time should be determined by the growth rate of the market and the market share of the company.
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Entrepreneurship: Making a Business Plan Essay
A business plan is regarded as an entrepreneurs’ ‘road map’ to realize a successful business. It describes the current status, future needs, and expected outcomes of the venture. It includes multiple parts, starting from project overview and finishing with financial strategy and timetable. Despite being rather extensive in size, it holds various benefits and is essential for those who consider initiating a new business.
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A business plan aims to explain its marketing strategy, research & development, management issues, possible risks. The effective plan presents a comprehensive business development model with detailed descriptions of its main facets (Kuratko, 2016). The description of the business processes is merely a part of it. The plan’s central focus is realizing the proposed models and the firm’s transformation into a prosperous company.
A business plan is a document that performs the operational and managerial functions of the venture. Its main benefit is that it allows the entrepreneur to avoid some of the problems that can potentially arise during its implementation (Kuratko, 2016). There are other advantages of a business plan for the entrepreneur; for example, he gains an objective and clear understanding of his venture due to the amount of time and effort spent conducting research and analyzing the business critically. Besides, the entrepreneur conceives all assumptions about the venture’s success (Kuratko, 2016). And, finally, a business plan is a mechanism that helps communicate with investors and lenders and receive financial support.
Overall, a business plan is fundamental for creating and developing a business. Considering that starting a business resembles a lottery, preparing a business plan raises the odds. If planned carefully, it is advantageous for owners because it ensures critical analysis of their venture, reduces the risks, states assumptions, and serves as a communication tool for outside financing.
Kuratko, D. F. (2016). Entrepreneurship: Theory, process, and practice . Cengage Learning.
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