Before you start your own business one of the first things you need to do is draw up your business plan. This is your blueprint for success. Your business plan states the purpose of your business. It never ceases to amaze me that so few businesses have any type of written business plan. Because without one, you have very little, if any, chance of success.
The day-to-day details and problems of running a business will often take your mind away from the prime thrust of your business. This can and should in most cases be eliminated by regularly reviewing your business plan.
Here is what your business plan should include:
* It should describe your business name, locaton, product or service, market, and competition.
* It should state your business goals. This is where you really learn exactly why you are in business.
* It should analyze the market, identify industry trends, and specifically define your target market.
* It should describe your product line and compare your products and/or services with those of your competition.
* It should state your marketing strategy for both creative materials and the type of media you're going to use.
* It should specify your pricing policy, methods of selling, distributing, and servicing.
Your business plan also deals with many financial matters, such as how much capital is required, how it will be repaid and how funds will be used. It also shows your earning projections and return to investors. Finally, it describes your management plan and includes resumes of your key personel, an operating plan, and a schedule of upcoming work for the next one to three years.
Key business ratios should also be a part of your business plan. And those financial projections I mentioned above should cover five years. Your first year should be monthly and each of the remaining four years should be quarterly. This means detailing the profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow charts, and capital expenditure estimates.
Your business plan serves a dual purpose. It proves to lending institutions and potential investors that a loan to you would be good business. And it helps you and your management staff keep your eyes on your original target. But only if you review it periodically each year. Your business plan is a valuable part of your business. Use it to stay on track because it is your blueprint for success.
All contents Copyright 2004 Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.
Joe can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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