from INTUIT [#1 Financial Mgt SW for small business – Quick Books] 6/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
For some entrepreneurs, the word “Business Plan” may conjure up a feeling of dread. How are you supposed to know what is going to happen to your business when you haven’t even made a sale, much less invested in Financial Management SW? However, successful small business owners will attest to the power of putting strategy to paper in order to make your ideas a reality.
Planning for Success. Business planning may be arduous, but skipping this step can leave you un-informed about your firm’s place in the market. The type of information gathered during the planning process can help you foresee potential risks and develop strategies for dealing with them before they occur. Most business owners return to their Business Plan – even after their firm is up & running to help them re-focus and chart a path for the future. In addition, a Business Plan is a tool of communication. Partners, Banks & Investors will look to your plan for evidence that your company can succeed. Your Staff will look at it as a blueprint for the future, bringing together disparate elements such as development, marketing, sales & operations into one document.
What type of Business Plan? The amount of detail included in your Business Plan is largely dependent on its intended audience. 1) If you are a one-person start-up with limited capital needs, you may simply want to describe your business goals, the market conditions & a basic strategy for the future. 2) If you are seeking capital, in addition to the elements included above, be prepared to give your Financial Management SW – a workout. If you want to lure investors, provide information on how you will give them a return on their money[ROI], as well as how you plan to grow, using their funds. And a Bank will likely be interested in factors such as Risk Assessment, Profit & Loss statements, + current Loans.
PLANNING your BUSINESS PLAN
Before you start writing, do some preparation. Here are some of the main questions to focus on in the initial non-financial sections of your plan:
What is the Purpose behind your company? Creating a Mission Statement will help you focus on why your business exists in the first place. Some statements lean towards the inspirational, but others simply describe the product or service that is being offered.
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