Business Plan Outline
NAME OF BUSINESS______________
ADDRESS __________________________ ADDRESS _________________________
PHONE _____________________________ PHONE ___________________________
BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE / SUMMARY
(Please use supplemental sheets as needed)
A. Proposed Product (s) or Services (s)
Product (s) Type: _________________________________________________
B. Type Of Business
_____ Sole Proprietorship
_____ Partnership (Type) : _________________________________________
_____ Corporation (Type) : _________________________________________
D. Description of Product (s) or Services (s)
1. Describe your market area (city, county, state, etc.)
2. Assess the demand for your product or service:
B. Pricing Philosophy and Policies
1. Describe your pricing:
A. Personnel (Describe staffing) - How many employees will you have?
B. Insurance- Do you have business owners insurance? If so, what limits do you carry?
C. Legal, and other consultants- Do you have a lawyer or other consultants? If so, please list:
A. Who will do your bookkeeping?
B. Do you have derogatory credit? If so, please give a brief explanation.
Projected Income Statement - At
Balance Sheet - A
Projected Start-Up Expenses - A
Personal Financial Statement -
Cash flow Projections
Writing A Business Plan
A business pan is more than important- it's a crucial foundation to your business success. While most people ignore this time-consuming task, the businesses that survives are those with well thought out business plans. Why? because your because your business plan will help you raise money for your company and successfully plan your business strategy. In addition, it will serve as a permanent reminder of your goals and expectations.
What To Include
How To Develop A Business Plan
If you were driving from South Florida to Los Angeles, you'd be sure to carry a road map. For an entrepreneur thinking about a new venture, a business plan provides a similar guide for success. " A lot of entrepreneurs want to run a company by the seat of their pants," says Jeanne Becker, president of Becker Consulting Services in Coral Gables. " Having a written plan helps you think our all the possibilities and improves your chances."
A carefully structured business plan outlines the resources needed to launch a new business and how you intend to succeed. It should include the following:
A summary, the purpose of the plan and a preview of the specifics within the plan.
Product or service description, including the features of the product or service, the results of test marketing and a comparison to your competition.
Marketing and sales strategies that allow you to reach your market, including pricing, advertising and promoting your product or service.
Operating strategies, such as how the business will be run. This section will include complete background of all key personnel, and a description of how the business will operate.
Financial projections for the next three years, including the money required to start, cash flow and income estimates and monthly and quarterly balance sheets.
"Generally, it takes 50 to 100 hours of your time to do a plan," says Marvin Nesbit, director of the Small Business Development Center at Florida International University. "But the owner should be very involved in the planning process. He will be far more inclined to use the plan if he actually develops it." Although experts say every entrepreneur should prepare a business plan, local business analysts estimate that only 10 to 20 percent actually take the time to do so. "Lack of a business plan is one of the top five reasons a small business will fail," says Martin Zients, business analyst at the Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale. Most of the time, a business plan is used to raise money, secure a loan or open a line of credit. Occasionally, it may be shown to a government agency as part of a zoning proposal or other request.
An entrepreneur who wants to put together a business plan has several options:
Write it himself. This involves the entrepreneur to the greatest extent possible, with lowest out-of-pocket expense. The disadvantage: lack of a second opinion.
Use a book or software program. For under $100.00, an entrepreneur can purchase a manual or computer program that will guide her through the process of writing a business plan. "A manual can provide an excellent guide to preparing a plan," Nesbit says. "There's not a great deal of difference in the books."
However, software programs vary widely, so an entrepreneur should shop around, Zients says. "Some programs are nothing more than fill-in-the blanks. Others force you to do some creative thinking and writing. A few programs have complex financial sections that are incomprehensible to a small business person."
Hire a consultant. An entrepreneur could work with an accountant to develop the financial projections, a marketing expert to assist with the sales strategy, or a consultant who will write the business plan. Consulting fees may range from nothing when counseling is provided by a government-supported Small Business Center to $1,500 or more when a private consultant is used. Becker says a consultant can play a valuable role as an objective third party. "Sometimes a business idea just doesn't make sense. It's far better to know that while you're still in the planning stage."
Has the consultant prepared any business plans that succeeded in generating money?
Does the consultant have experience in your business or has she ever been an entrepreneur?
Does the consultant work from a pre-formatted business plan-which may not meet your specific needs- or does the consultant start from scratch each time?
What are the fees?
Who will supply the information- the entrepreneur or consultant?
If you use a consultant, be sure the person has a background in small business. "In theory, preparing a business plan for IBM or Motorola is the same as one for a ma and-pa business," Zients says. "But the finished product is very different. A consultant needs to think in terms of small business people." Although preparing a business plan can be an important factor in the success of a new venture, the plan itself offers no guarantees. "Implementation is far more important," Nesbit says. "You can have a beautiful plan, but if you don't execute it well, it won't do you any good."
Business Plan Questions
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