Guidelines for an effective business plan

Be sure to give them all the information they need to arrive at a fully informed conclusion. The process of preparing it will force you to focus on the issues that are essential for the success of your business.

Positioning — How you intend to have customers and potential customers view your products or services compared to those of competitors is critical.

Marketing Strategies No matter how good your products or services are, someone has to buy them. Title Page The title page should include the name and address of the business, the owners of the business, contact information person, phone number and email address.

For each section, include a one-sentence description of what is included. The summary should give the reader insights into: The plan can be shared with potential key employees and it can serve as a key document when you sell your business. Using a binder will enable you to easily make changes.

You should also include information on the legal structure of your business with details on ownership, the principal employees and your directors, if you have a Board of Directors.

Competitive Analysis You as well as the reader of your business plan must understand where your business fits in your industry. Not only should you identify your competitors, you should identify their strengths and weaknesses and how your business can take advantage of their weaknesses and compete against their strengths.

Detailing why competitors are successful or unsuccessful demonstrates that you understand your market and provides insights into how to copy their successes and avoid their failures. Be sure to describe how your products or services compare to those of your competitors.

Include descriptions of your advertising and public relations efforts as well as information on any direct mail or sales promotions you may use. Business Description Describe your business in a way so the reader will understand how your business fits into its industry and fits into the market place.

This includes an overview of the industry and major competitors. This section will include a great deal of information and the results of your research and your thinking.

The description your pricing strategy must not only include the financial aspects making sure your prices cover your costsbut also include how you are using your pricing to compete.

Often it comes down to a quantifiable differentiation by the unique nature, quality or pricing of your product or service.

Promotion — How do you inform potential customers about your products or services? You should also include your logo, if you have one. In other cases, it may be through a level of service offered to customers.

Executive Summary A succinct summary of the plan should run no more than one page and less than a page if possible. Then, you must have a convincing argument for why your products or services are superior to those of your competitors.

What your business does What your competitive advantage is The financial dynamics of your business Any capital requirements, if it is being used to help secure financing A short history of the business, including major developments and the key employees While this sounds like a lot to summarize in less than a page, here is one sentence that covers the first, second and part of the sixth items above.

Pricing — Setting your prices can be one of the most important factors in determining the ultimate success of your business. Industry trends should be supported with references to authoritative sources such as government publications or industry analysis from professional research firms.

Any unique competitive advantages should be spelled out in detail. You may also want to include the date it was originally prepared and note the date of any changes. Include your intention to use short-term and long-term pricing strategies to accomplish your goals—gain share, maximize current profits or maximize the long-term value of your business.

You can always print the current plan for formal presentations. To prepare your plan, you may want to initially organize it in a three-ring binder with each of the numbered items as separate sections. Include details on any distribution agreement you may have in place.

Your business plan should be a "living document" that is reviewed often and modified as needed.

The Market — Include information on your market in terms of overall size, any geographic constraints, pricing constraints, growth trends of the market and how your estimates on what share of that market you can secure.

Generally, you must convert the features of your products or services into perceived benefits for the customer. This is a good place to include copies of brochures, advertisements and company literature you may use.

Distribution — How are your products or services sold and who does the selling to the ultimate user? It will be needed for obtaining financing and it can serve as a guide for the policies, strategies and tactics needed for running your business.

The business description should include information on your products or services. The reader of the plan will ultimately make decisions financing, employment, purchasing based on their perception of the potential for the success of your business.Writing Your Business Plan.

How To Write A Business Plan; The Ingredients of a Marketing Plan; Updating Your Business Plan ; Enhancing Your Business Plan ; Business Plan Tools. Business Plan Software ; Books and How-to Manuals ; Business Plan Templates ; Sample Business Plans; Market Strategies.

Market strategies are the result of a meticulous market analysis. Guidelines for Department Reorganizations The timeframe and implementation plan for changing business processes, organizational roles, and the organization structure, if needed.

Business Plan Guidelines

Build an effective team (also see Chapter 14, Team Building in the Guide to Managing. Preparing Effective Business Plans 1 Preparing Effective Business Plans An Entrepreneurial Approach Bruce R.

Barringer ISBN: Why write a plan? Explains every aspect of a new business Experts recommend it Guidelines for a Business Plan Follow basic structure. Jan 20,  · How to Write a Business Plan.

Four Parts: Doing Your Homework Structuring Your Business Writing the Business Plan Sample Business Plans Community Q&A. Creating a business plan will help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals%(22).

- if it is helpful, see the business plan as a collection of sub-plans, one for each business discipline (e.g.: finance, human resources management, marketing, operations managements, etc) 1. Executive Summary It is a summary of the entire plan and should include.

A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.

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Guidelines for an effective business plan
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