Business Plan Tips for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and the Business Plan
Business plans are not really that mysterious, they are basically a logical argument. Within the pages of your plan, you will inform readers about what you do, for who and how you plan to grow into a huge financial success story. Consider the following when you first sit down to construct your business plan.

Your Capabilities
You have a fantastic idea, one that will grow into a massive profit generating business! It is easy for you to see what resources are needed, what product or service is hot right now, who wants it, how you will get it to them and most importantly how you will cash out the idea through a buyout or IPO.

Recognizing what you need to do is awesome, but now you must assess your skills and capabilities. Can you actually produce this product? If not, do you know where to go to get it produced? What about your management team, who can you get? What is their record of accomplishment and would an investor be impressed? How about the market, is there one and is it growing? Do you understand barriers to entry, how to overcome existing barriers and then set up new ones to protect your company?

Make a list of what you have versus what you need. Can you get what you need that you do not already have? If so, you are ready to move forward and capable of succeeding.

Cheat Sheet!
Writing a business plan can be a big project and no one knows everything there is to know about writing one. Start with a basic template so you can create at least the base framework, then build upon it with your idea, information and knowledge. A template should cover the basics: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Operations Plan, Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, Management Team and Appendix. Your template should also offer subheadings.

Feedback and Reviews
Take your draft to people whose opinion you find valuable. It is a good idea to limit access to your business plan to only those you trust implicitly. Stolen business ideas is not a common occurrence but it can happen. The idea is not the biggest deal anyway but your ability to put that idea into action. Mentors, friends, family members and colleagues can highlight the weak areas of your business plan, before it is in front of venture capitalists.

Make a Schedule

Business plans can take some time to write, many hours in fact. If you will set up a schedule, you can complete it more quickly. Many entrepreneurs have drafted and revised their business plan within a seven-day period simply by scheduling their time. Set aside a couple of blocks of time per day, say four hours each to work on your business plan. If you cannot afford that much time each day, do what you can but stick with your schedule.

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