Business Plans - Your road to success

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If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Map your road to success.... get great insight on what constitutes and effective business plan. Learn how to develop a strategic business plan that is guaranteed …

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Map your road to success.... get great insight on what constitutes and effective business plan. Learn how to develop a strategic business plan that is guaranteed to get the attention of potential investors, business partners and other stakeholders. http://www.business-plan.co.za

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  • 1. ==== ====Great insight on strategic business plan development and entrepreneurship. Access business plantemplates, business plan examples, business plan videos and much more.www.business-plan.co.za==== ====Experts say that a strong business plan is one sure step in the direction of success. So, what is abusiness plan in the first place? It is defined as a document that outlines the functional andfinancial objectives of a business. It also contains details of the budget involved and the goals tobe achieved.Everything on earth is tending to become compact. Gone are those days when a sea beach wasdescribed in a thousand words. Today, a similar description is possible with a powerful visual anda string of strong adjectives in only a few words. A mobile phone today is slightly bigger than yourthumb. Similarly, a business plan is no longer a document of a hundred pages. Nobody wants toknow your business. They want to know your views, your goals, your objectives and your plan ofaction.How Well Can A Business Plan Be Implemented?oSimplicity of a business plan - is it understood by one and all? Are its views and objectives clear?oSpecificity of a business plan - are the contents measurable? Are all the activities dated (initiationto completion)? Are all the actions distributed among personnel clearly?oReal nature of a business plan - are the objectives and targets real? Are the goals set within aspecified time achievable?oTotality of a business plan - is the plan complete? Does it have all the necessary elements tooutline your business goals?A business plan has multiple uses. It can be used to start a new business enterprise, take a loanor to find good investors. There are many other reasons for which you need a business plan. Youshould first find out why you need a business plan.Why Do You Need A Business Plan?oOutline objectives and set goals to achieve themoPrepare regular business review outlinesoStart a new business enterpriseoDecide on a value on a business for sale and legal issues
  • 2. oOutline agreements between business partnersIf business plans are conceived for different purposes, there must be different business plans fordifferent kinds of ventures. Business plans are also known as growth plans, internal plans,investment plans and so on and so forth.If your business plan is for internal study and revision, there is no need of background details ofyour organization because you are already aware of them. You need to add that only if yourbusiness plans are meant for banks and other institutions.What Are The Different Types Of Business Plans?-The most basic of business plans are the start-up plans that clearly outline the steps for a newbusiness venture. They include details of service provided or product offered, market value of thesame, implementation strategies, market and financial analysis. The basic structure consists of asummary of the company, ending with details of financial transactions and expectations for the firstyear.-An operational business plan contains details of dates, deadlines and milestones. It is oftenreferred to as an internal business plan.-A strategic business plan aims at higher levels of target and does not deal much with dates anddeadlines. This business plan is more of future and growth oriented and focuses less on facts ofthe company.-A growth or expansion business plan focuses more on one or more subset of the business. Thereare variations of this kind of business plan. If it is meant for a new investment, it will obviouslyinclude the background of the company.-A feasibility business plan is your entire business in bulleted form. It includes the summary, themission and the vision of the company, the USP of the business enterprise, expected financialoutcomes etc. The main purpose of this business plan is to test whether this business is worth aventure at all.The Seven Points Of Business PlansBusiness plans usually cover the following 7 points. Of course, they will vary in detail, dependingon the purpose of the business plan.-Mission Statement - your business plan must explain clearly why you want to start a particularkind of business in the first place. It doesnt have to be long, but it needs to convey the messageclearly.-Business Description - this is the place where you talk about your business. What is it that youare trying to sell or provide? What is the USP of your business?-Goals in view - here, you describe both your short term and long term goals. Short term goals
  • 3. may include your plan to acquire office space, provide a proper business name, apply for abusiness license etc. Long term goals include answers to where you see your business ten yearsdown the line, opening new stores etc.-Prospective Customers - who is your target audience? Why will they need your service orproduct? How well do you understand their needs?-Competition Analysis - this helps you rank your business venture in the market. Who are yourcompetitors? If their focus area is too competitive, try for a niche market that is comparatively lesscompetitive.-Financial Considerations - be realistic and optimistic about your finances. Make sure to spendonly that much with which you are sure to receive returns. Or else, go in for a small business loantill your business can take care of its own expenses.-Marketing - sell your ideas before you sell your products. Advertise your products everywhere youcan think of. Dont miss out on both offline and online publicity. If you get a chance, exhibit yourproduct or service at local communities and organizations.Dos And Donts Of Business PlansYour business plan should:a)Set concrete goals and deadlinesb)Distribute work among people and departments and set deadlines to achieve the goalsc)Maintain a steady ratio of implementation to strategy to 10:1d)Provide a platform for regular review and discussionYour business plan should not:a)Display your knowledge about your field of expertiseb)Be too lengthy - people lose interest easilyNot all businessmen and women are good planners. It has often been seen that a business failsbecause of the lack of a good business plan. That is one of the cardinal mistakes for anentrepreneur.Business Plan MistakesExperts have identified some common mistakes regarding business plans. They are:-No business plan - many business ventures begin without any plan. Plans are written out in arush only if the clients or banks or investors ask for the same. It is often seen as unnecessarybecause the business is more important. Imagine the condition of a house without a plan. You will
  • 4. get lost midway in heaps of concrete and steel. Similarly, you will get lost in ideas and desire toimplement them.-Cash is more important than profits - business is not the same as profits. Cash is the main player.Only if you have cash to spend in the beginning, will you get profits at the end of the day.-Ideas dont sell - your business sells because of hard work, perseverance, cash and a lot ofcommon sense. Your idea does not have to brand new. Old wine is better than new ones. Why?People trust age and experience.-Fear factor - a business plan is as necessary and as routine as making a travel plan. You dontneed to be Einstein to chalk out a business plan. You just need to think straight and pen yourthoughts.-Specificity wins - focus on tangible results, instead of trying to be the best. Results matter andthey tell you everything.-Fit all business plans - your business plan should work for bankers and investors as well asinternal review and corrections. Dont make individual business plans for individual purposes.Rather, concentrate on your business.-Everything cannot be important - you can have only a few priorities. 20 priorities are vague andthey clearly show lack of strategy and of goals.A business plan is the first step of starting a business. It is neither easy nor difficult. What is abusiness plan about? How do you implement a business plan? What do you include in a businessplan? What are the must haves and have nots of business plans?Whether it is travel, study, cooking or any other activity involving a process, planning is usually thefirst step. The same holds true for business. Business plans are probably more important than thebusiness itself. For example, the plan for a house is more important than the house itself, though itis the house that people remember and not the plan. But the house wouldnt stand without theplan, would it?Swati Banerjee is the owner of Writing Ink, a web content management firm based out of India,that services clients from across the globe. Please take a minute to visit http://www.writing-ink.comto experience how the bright young minds here make magic with words!Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Swati_Banerjee
  • 5. ==== ====Great insight on strategic business plan development and entrepreneurship. Access business plantemplates, business plan examples, business plan videos and much more.www.business-plan.co.za==== ====