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    What do you want from your Business Plan?

    "I want to find investors"    "I want to get my act together"   "I want to write my own plan"

New ventures are risky. Don't take a
leap in the dark - The Business Plan Expert can tell you how best to attract financial backers for your new business.

Teamwork and timing are crucial to your success.  The Business Plan Expert can tell you how get your show on the road in the fastest time.

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Click Here to Read Richard Milton's New Book
 
Find Your Funding: How to Write a Business Plan Investors will Want to Read

   

 

What is a business plan?

 

How to plan a business?

 

What is in a business plan?

 

 

   What is a business plan? 
   A business plan is a report that you,
   or your business adviser, draws up
   before launching your new business
   or new product.

   It takes a hard look at every aspect 
   of your planned venture to make sure
   that you are being as realistic 
   as possible in your projections and that
   you have covered every foreseeable
   issue that you may have to deal with.

   Your business plan is your overall
   strategic plan for the next 12 to 24
   months and also contains important
   components such as your cash flow
   forecasts and your marketing plan.

 

   Why do you need a business plan?
  
Your plan serves a number of 
   important purposes.  First it is your own
   roadmap in deciding and implementing
   details of products, or services,
   personnel, costs, marketing, and
   everything else connected with your new
   venture.

   Second, your business plan is a key
   document if you are seeking financial
   backing from a bank, or investment
   from venture capitalists.

   Third, your business plan is your
   benchmark or yardstick for measuring
   how well your new company is
   performing during its formative stages.

 

   When do you need your Business
   Plan?
  
It's fine to start sketching out your ideas
   and getting them down on paper from
   the start - even if it's only the back of a
   restaurant napkin.

   And by all means discuss your ideas
   with your friends and family. But it's a
   big mistake to show anyone who might
   be interested in backing you financially
   your plans until they have been
   professionally prepared.  There are two
   reasons for this advice.  The first is that
   it is not reasonable to expect other
   people to be able to visualise a finished
   conception from your rough sketches. 
   They are more likely to judge your
   scheme on what they see rather than
   what you really envisage.

   The second reason is that, above all, a
   financial backer will be looking for
   evidence of professionalism on your
   part.  

   That doesn't mean you have to be
   an expert in everything, but it does
   mean you have to know when to use the
   services of professionals.

 

   

   Can you write your own plan?
  
Certainly. You know what it is you  
   are trying to achieve and you know
   (or should know) how you are
   going to achieve it.  Who better to
   tell the world what your new
   venture is going to look like. See
   my new book Find Your Funding
    - How to Write a Business Plan
    Investors will want to Read.

   There are advantages in getting a
    professional to write your plan.

   An outsider's viewpoint
  
The first is that you are getting an
   outsider's critical eye before your
   first crucial meeting with the banks
   or potential backers. An
   experienced business plan writer
   will know what those backers will
   be looking for and will be able to
   suggest ways in which you can
   address any weaknesses before
   you go public.

   As well as a business plan, you will
   be getting a reality check on its
   feasibility from someone who can
   be objective. Your friends and
   family will think your ideas are
   brilliant.  A business planner is
   someone who isn't afraid to tell you
   the truth, the whole truth and
   nothing but the truth about your
   baby - while there is still time to
   remedy weaknesses.

   You will also be getting someone
   with experience to cast a critical
   eye over the important figures. 
   How realistic are your sales
   forecasts?  And your costs?  And
   what about your cash flow forecast?

   The reason most new businesses
   fail (and most do fail) is that they
   run out of cash - cash to buy raw
   material and cash to pay the
   wages, and the rent. They run out of
   cash because they overestimate
   their revenue and they
   underestimate their costs.  

   In many cases, the owners of the
   new venture have not conducted
   any serious market research, so
   they have no real idea of demand
   for their product or service.

   And in almost all cases, the new
   business owners have not made
   proper provision for marketing their
   product or service, beyond a
   website, a blog and a Facebook
   page. 

   The marketing part of the business
   plan is in some ways the most
   important, because in the critical
   early stages immediately following
   the launch the marketing
   campaigns are likely to be the only
   tools directly affecting the
   generation of  revenue.

 

   

   What goes in the business plan?
  
First, you'll need to roll up your
   sleeves, make an extra large pot of
   coffee and clear your diary for a week
   or two.

   You need to give an overview of your
   company and its product or services,
   saying what need it fulfils.

   Next you'll need to quantify demand for
   your product or service, size the
   market and give an analysis of
   competitors already in the marketplace.

   You'll need to write in detail about what
   makes your company and your product
   unique or different from all the other
   products available on the market.

   Your report needs a very
   comprehensive section on sales and
   marketing.  Backers are going to want
   to know where sales are coming from
   and how you are going to get and
   manage those sales.

   If your business plan suggests that,
   because you have built a better
   mousetrap the world will beat a path to
   your door, then I'm afraid you'll be
   sorely disappointed.  The world doesn't
   even know your mousetrap exists and
   couldn't care less even if it also
   answers the phone, does the dishes
   and grants three wishes one of which is
   for unlimited money.  Your marketing
   plan must say in detail exactly who you
   are going to sell your product to, and
   how you are going to sell it to them.

   Your report needs a section on the
   management team, giving your
   business credentials, track records, and
   stressing the strengths that members of
   the team bring to your new venture.

   Most important of all, your business
   plan must set out your sales
   projections, your projected costs and
   show when you will get into profit.  Your
   backers will be interested in one thing -
   return on investment, and your plan
   must spell that out for them.

   In summary, to generate your business
   plan, you'll need to research your
   market place and your competition.
   Work out how you are going to reach
   your target market. Write up the
   capabilities of your management team.
   Spell out your marketing plans in detail.
   And provide a spreadsheet that shows
   your revenue, your costs, your
   projected cash flow and your projected
   profits.

   Then you'll need to line up some
   suitable potential backers, get
   appointments to see them, and pitch
   your idea to them.   Once you've got
   the financial backing you need - good
   luck - your headaches
   are just beginning!


See all of Richard Milton's books here     

The Business Plans Expert
www.businessplansexpert.com
Last updated 11 October 2016