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Operate and Grow Business - Business Plan
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Operate and Grow Business - Business Plan


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  • 1. Effectively Operate and Grow Your Business The Business Plan
  • 2. The Business Plan
    • Business Plan – Why?
      • A plan raises your odds of success. The process forces you to take an objective, critical, unemotional look at your project.
      • The plan communicates your ideas to others and provides the basis for your financial proposal.
      • The finished plan becomes your operating tool and benchmark of progress. (Are you working the plan and is it working?)
    • Business Plan - What?
    • The business plan is a written document that describes your business and your plan for running it…. This becomes your management blueprint, with frequent updating, throughout your business life.
  • 3. How is the Business Plan Used?
      • The plan answers questions such as:
        • Why do I want to be in business?
        • What business am I in?
        • Who are my customers?
        • What is the market condition?
        • How will I manage this business?
        • What are my financial needs?
      • These are key strategic issues
  • 4. BP Format and Composition
      • Executive Summary
      • Description of Products and Services
      • The Market
      • Marketing Strategy
      • Competition
      • Organization and Operations
      • The Management Team
      • Personnel
      • Financial Information
      • Timetables & Benchmarks
      • Supporting Documentation
  • 5. Executive Summary
    • An overview of your business
      • Business Description
      • Market Niche
      • Management Expertise
      • Sales and Profit Forecast – 3 to 5 years
      • Request for financing
      • Use of funds and repayment
  • 6. Business Description
    • Product or Services
    • “ Niche?”
    • Customer Benefits
    • Management Organization Strengths and Weaknesses
  • 7. Elements of the Marketing Plan
    • Target Market
    • Competition
    • Promotion / Advertising Set budget, evaluate use of various media, measure
    • Market Research
  • 8. Marketing Strategy
    • Target Customers
    • Who are they, where are they, what are they buying, from whom?
    • Marketing Mix, the Four Ps: Price, Product, Place, Promotion
    • Competitive Analysis
    • Market Research: Market Trends Sales / Profitability Economic Interests Population Shifts
  • 9. Competitive Analysis
    • Who are your major competitors?
    • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
    • What are their marketing strategies?
    • What are the major trends affecting the competitive environment?
    • Industry, Economic, Social
  • 10. Public Relations
    • Network!
    • Community Involvement
    • Volunteer Involvement
    • Event Sponsorships
    • Send out press releases about newsworthy events
    • (be creative about what’s newsworthy)
    • Give a seminar or presentation to relevant business groups
    • Submit articles to local media and to trade publications
  • 11. Low-Cost Promotion
    • Use every outgoing piece of paper, and every electronic document as business promotion (include company slogan, web address etc., email signature)
    • Offer a newsletter on your website to collect email addresses and stay in touch with customers and prospects
    • Use social media to advantage
    • Measure success of the various approaches, where feasible
  • 12. Management Team
      • Experience and Quality
      • Personal history of the principals
      • Work experience
      • Management experience
      • Responsibilities
  • 13. Personnel
      • Current personnel needs
      • Future needs
      • Skill requirements
      • Job descriptions
      • Available labor pool
      • Salaries and benefit s
  • 14. Financial Information
      • Financial Requirements How much do you need? How will you get it?
      • Sources of Capital
      • Income Statement
      • Break-even analysis
      • Balance Sheet
      • Cash Flow
  • 15. Supporting Documentation
      • Resumes
      • Credit Information
      • Quotes or estimates
      • Letters of intent from prospective customers
      • Personal references
      • Leases or buy/sell agreements
      • Legal documents relevant to the business
  • 16. Work the Plan
    • To beat the odds…
    • Select the right business [the one you know and have a passion for]
    • Know [research, learn] the market, customers and competition
    • Choose a viable market niche [avoid me-too and price cutting businesses]
    • Define your marketing strategy
    • Run a “back-of-the-envelope” break even assessment early in the game
    • DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN (A good business plan helps set you apart from the crowd)
    • Develop credible [realistic and substantiated] financial projections and a financial model
    • Define the right legal business structure
    • Adequately capitalize the company [equity and debt financing]
    • Keep records and establish and accounting system from day 1
    • Hire develop & TRAIN good employees
    • Manage risk [insurance]
    • Effectively use cyberspace and conventional advertising
    • Attract and retain customers
    • Manage cash flow, manage cash flow, manage cash flow…daily!
  • 17. Learn to Make Adjustments
    • SCORE Counseling
        • Counselors abide by a code of ethics and honor confidentiality.
      • FAST
        • Receive advice directly from an experienced executive.
        • Variety of Expertise available
      • FREE
        • Offered free-of-charge, as a public service.
        • No limit on number of sessions
        • Available to all U.S. citizens & green card holders
      • At downtown or satellite offices. Field counseling at your business' site.
      • SCORE advice helps businesses succeed.
      • An application for personal counseling be found on the web @
  • 18. Step 8: Work the Plan and learn to make Adjustments
    • Seek counseling, use mentors or sounding boards [leave pride at the door]
    • Stay up-to-date, research, learn from your customers and competitors, continuously improve, develop an edge…
    • Work on your business rather than just in your business
  • 19. Develop an Elevator Pitch
    • Elevator Pitch Objective:
    • Someone who does not know your product would understand in the time it takes to ride an elevator up to the second floor (30-45 seconds)
      • State your business concept
      • What is it you do for customers?
      • How does the customer benefit?
      • Who is in your target market?
      • How can prospects be identified?