The Sequential Framework for compiling a business plan What is a Business Plan?
The primary value of a business plan is to create a written outline that evaluates all aspects of the economic viability of a business venture including a description and analysis of business prospects.
A business plan is an essential step for any prudent entrepreneur to take, regardless of the size of the business.
Business plans can vary enormously. Be aware now that most start-up entrepreneurs are reluctant to write down their business plan. It is therefore strongly recommended that you complete each segment of the plan as you progress through this course. We make it easy for you by providing sample plans for both product and service businesses and also an attractive blank form that you can download onto MS Word and customize yourself.
Why Prepare a Business Plan?
Your business plan is going to be useful in a number of ways. Here are some of the reasons not to skip this valuable tool.
• First and foremost, it will define and focus your objective using appropriate information and analysis.
• You can use it as a selling tool in dealing with important relationships including your lenders, investors and banks.
• You can use the plan to solicit opinions and advice from people, including those in your intended field of business, who will freely give you invaluable advice. Too often, entrepreneurs forge ahead (“My Way!”) without the benefit of input from experts who could save them a great deal of wear and tear. “My Way” is a great song, but in practice can result in unnecessary hardships.
• Your business plan can uncover omissions and/or weaknesses in your planning process.
Six Steps to a Great Business Plan
1. Write out your basic business concept.
2. Gather all the data you can on the feasibility and the specifics of your business concept.
3. Focus and refine your concept based on the data you have compiled.
4. Outline the specifics of your business. Using a “What, where, why, how” approach might be useful.
5. Put your plan into a compelling form so that it will not only give you insights and focus but, at the same time, will become a valuable tool in dealing with business relationships that will be very important to you.