In our last post about entrepreneurship, we covered what the very first steps to having your own business are. Now that those have been figured out, it’s time to write a business plan. But what is it for? In order to get financial backing, a storefront, sponsors, investors, or anything else, you have to convince someone to do it. The idea must be presented in such a way that a bank, company, or person is intrigued and wants to give you what you need. In order to do this, you have to make them believe that you’re capable and the idea is solid. Here is the basic layout of a good business plan.
This should follow the title page and tell the reader exactly what you want to do. The key is to be to the point and up front with your idea so they aren’t confused. You don’t want them to dismiss the plan before they get past the first page.
Begin this with a short description of the industry you want to go into as a whole. If it’s a book store, discuss what book stores offer, what the current market looks like, what the future market looks like, and any new developments that may benefit or take away from your business.
This step involves a lot of work on your part. It requires an in depth market analysis so you are familiar with it completely. The point is to pinpoint the target market so company can gain the most profit. For instance, if you’re opening a boutique for women, you don’t want to try to sell to teenage boys.
The purpose of this section is to look at the other people in the industry, their strengths and weaknesses, strategies to create an advantage over them, barriers to prevent more competition, and any other weaknesses that can be used.
Design and Development Plan:
In this part you’ll discuss the product, if you have one. Provide the reader with a description of the product (or service), chart its development process, marketing, and a development budget.
Operations and Management Plan:
Here you’ll discuss how the business will run on a day to day basis. This includes what the management team will do, what each division is responsible for, and expense requirements necessary to keep the business running.
This is the very last part of the business plan for an entrepreneur. It will go over expenses and how much the business can expect to make after everything is paid for.
With this basic outline, you can draft the beginnings of a business plan. For more specific information, check out the U.S Small Business Association page on the topic. To find out what you can do to make it stand out, and other helpful tips on entrepreneurship, check back here!
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