No business can effectively operate nor attract the funds needed to survive prosper and grow without a good business plan. A good business plan is management tool that shows where your business is going, and just how you plan to get there, and is a necessity for attracting lenders, investors, partners and key personnel. Business plan outlines vary but they all must cover certain key areas, such as:


* Executive Summary

* Business Description

* Marketing Plan

* Financial Plan

* Management Team

* Appendix


Moreover, there are many kinds of business plan software on the market that can help you write your business plan, but you must still input the data needed to write your business plan into the software. The output of the software can never be any better than the data you put into it and you must manually put that in yourself. Here are four steps to help you write a good business plan:


1. Put all of your business plan data and information into several good old fashioned file folders and label each folder so that you know what is in it. This data and information will include such materials as marketing methods you will use, market research, management team bio’s, financial statements, profit projects and other similar items.


2. Get a good business plan outline or use the outline in the software you will be using to help draft your plan. And write a 250 to 500 word summary for each section of your business plan using the materials that you have in your business plan data and information file folders.


3. Expand upon your brief summary descriptions for each section of your business plan to write your actual plan, or let the business plan software do this for you. Be sure to give extra attention to the marketing section of your business plan because this section gets the more attention than any other part of your business plan from lenders and investors, since this tells how your profits will be obtained.


4. Keep your business plan to between eight to 12 pages, because when it comes to business plans more it not better, and anything longer than that quite simply won’t get read, then put a list of other information you have available in your appendix to be requested if wanted. You want your business plan to be a clear concise document that is easy to read and understand, because a confused mind will usually say no to what is being proposed.


A good business plan will help you to effectively and profitably operate your business, and is a clear road map that shows where you business is going, how you plan to get there, the people you will need to get there, and the profits your business will produce when you get there. And it will help you to get the money you need from lenders and investors to get where you want to go with your business. So do not underestimate the power of a good well written business plan, and by all means prepare you one getting started today. 

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