Author Archives: Marketing Master

Top 5 Tips for Writing a Killer Business Plan

Starting a business plan is a detailed process that is both educational and revealing. With existing companies it is a chance to re-evaluate profit margins and focus on the prominent areas of the business while cutting out the departments that are losing money. For business plans for new companies it is an opportunity to really focus on, and understand the industry and evaluate whether your next big idea will be successful before you make a large investment.
Although up to 44% of new businesses survive 4 years or more the success of any new business is good planning, access to capital and good business management.
Here are the 5 best tips for creating a killer business plan that will undoubtedly impress:
1) Consider Your Audience
Business plans are developed for many different reasons. Is it for presenting to a panel for project approval? Will it be to submit for funding? Is it simply to restructure the business for profitability? Each of these avenues will require adjustments to the plan format and style you will need to use throughout the document. If you are attempting to obtain funding then you will have to have very detailed cost and ROI projections that are measurable and realistic. If you are making a presentation to a non-profit or a board of directors it is likely that you will need to include a directive on community impact or involvement and impact (either positive or negative) to the existing business. Remember your audience as you creates your document to ensure you focus on the important topics and leave no questions unanswered.
2) Quality Reference Material Is Key
It is important to integrate a diverse mix of reference material in your plan document. The web is great for the latest news but is not nearly as highly regarded as printed documents. Be sure to use a good mix of reputable internet reference along with well-known facts and industry statistics most often found in printed literature. Industry specific publications and industry magazines are an excellent way to get the latest news and trends in a reliable place. Always include references from industry publications as well to raise the standard your business plan and build credibility in your due diligence. Always make sure to cite your research or any quotes you may use. This will also build credibility while ensuring you are not infringing on any protected or copyrighted content you use. To quickly and easily cite your sources there is a web-based tool that you can use to enter in your info and get back the properly formatted entry for the works cited page. It makes the process a breeze: easybib.com.
3) Do Your Own Research
Creating a solid business plan is the singular first step in knowing your industry and understanding what it will take to be successful in your chosen field. Part of developing a plan should be to evaluate competitors, define your business strategy and start to understand if your value proposition meets a tangible need in the marketplace. Walking through the initial steps of creating a business plan is an invaluable process that will help to ensure that your business can survive the market trends. Don’t pay someone else to do your research for you or it may end up costing you more than you think.
4) Using a Business Plan Template
Now that you have various notes and articles, market information and loads of statistics it is time to put it all together in a layout that will highlight the data you have compiled. Finding business plan examples can be a challenge as every business plan is different (see point #2 above), however you can develop your own based on a compilation of the different topics or areas you want to cover. If you want a business plan template that comes formatted with sample headings and the different categories already setup, try using the plan layout from online websites. This site has a real business plan in Word format for quickly changing out headings and information. In addition the plan comes with a break-even analysis template in Excel as well as a 1 year Pro-Forma template in Excel with the formulas already built for easily updating and projecting costs for your business. This is a big time saver and an easy way to quickly get the business plan document underway without having to start from scratch.
5) Seek Out Experts in the Industry
Finally, after you have organized your information reach out to some industry experts like local college professors, trade show organizers, or even your local Chamber of Commerce for some insight and feedback on your plan. It always helps to get a second opinion on the plan before making the final presentation. Having one or more individuals look over the plan will shed light on areas that need to be revised or reinforce that the business plan is ready to present.
Don’t get distracted spending valuable time figuring out the Works Cited, Table of Contents or overall plan layout. Use the templates or resources that are readily available to you and spend the time focusing where you should, on the reporting and presentation of your business idea.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-ideas-articles/top-5-tips-for-writing-a-killer-business-plan-3231860.html

Business Plan Example – Writing a Killer Business Plan in 5 Steps

Starting a business plan is a detailed process that is both revealing and educational. To get started find some good business plan examples and decide what the purpose of your plan will be based on the examples you have. For existing businesses it is an opportunity to re-evaluate profit margins and focus on successful areas of the business while cutting out the departments that are not profitable. For business plans in startup companies it is an opportunity to really focus on, and understand the industry and evaluate whether your shiny new opportunity will be successful before you make an investment of time and money.
Although up to 44% of new companies survive 4 years or more the success of any new startup is proper planning and projection, capital resources, and good business management.
Here are the top 5 tips for creating a killer business plan that will undoubtedly impress:
1) Don’t Skip the Research
Creating a solid business plan is the very first step in knowing your industry and understanding what it will take to be successful in your chosen field. Part of creating a business plan should be to evaluate the competition, refine your business strategy and begin to understand if your value proposition meets a tangible need in the marketplace. Going through the steps of creating a business plan is an invaluable process that will help to ensure that your business will be able to survive the market trends. Don’t pay someone else to do this part for you or it may end up costing you more than you think.
2) Consider Your Audience
Business plans are created for many different reasons. Will it be for presenting to a board for project approval? Will it be to submit for funding? Is it simply to re-evaluate the business and profitability? Each of these areas will require adjustments to the plan format and style you choose to use throughout the document. Find a good business plan example to use as a starting point to help focus your project. If you are trying to get funding then you will need to have very detailed cost and ROI projections that are realistic and measurable. If you are presenting to a board or non-profit it is likely that you will need to include a focus on community impact or involvement and impact (either positive or negative) to the existing organization. Keep your audiences in mind as you create your document to ensure you hit the right points and leave no questions unanswered.
3) Use Quality Reference Material
It is important to use a good mix of reference material in your business plan. The internet is great for up to date news but is not nearly as reliable and printed publications. Be sure to use a good mix of reputable website research along with solid facts and industry statistics commonly found in printed books. Industry publications and magazines are a great way to get the latest news and trends in a reputable place. Include research from industry publications as well to enhance your plan and build credibility in your due diligence. Always be sure to cite your research or any quotes you may use. This will also build credibility while ensuring you are not infringing on any copyright protections of the content you use. To quickly and easily cite your sources there is an online tool that you can use to enter in your info and get back the properly formatted entry for a works cited page. It makes the process a breeze: easybib.com
4) Find a Good Business Plan Example Template
Now that you have countless articles and notes, market information and statistics it is time to put it all together in a format that will highlight the research you have compiled. Finding a business plan example template can be a challenge as every business plan is different (see point #2 above), however you can create your own based on a combination of the different areas or topics you want to cover. If you want something that is already formatted with sample headings and the different categories already setup consider using the plan package from the online websites. This site offers a real business plan example in Word format for easily changing out headings and information. In addition the plan comes with a break-even analysis template in Excel as well as a 1 year Pro-Forma in Excel with the formulas in place for easily updating and projecting costs for the year. Finding a business plan example in Word format is a big time saver and an easy way to quickly get the business plan document underway without starting from scratch.
5) Talk to Industry Experts
Finally, once you have compiled your research reach out to some industry experts like local college professors, trade show organizers, or even the local Chamber of Commerce for some feedback and input on your plan. It always helps to get a critical eye on the plan before making the final presentation. Having one or more people review the work will shed light of areas that may be lacking or confirm that the business plan is ready to present.
Don’t get caught spending too much time figuring out the Table of Contents, Works Cited or overall plan formatting. Use a business plan example template or other resources that are readily available to you and spend your time focusing where you should, on the research and presentation of your business idea.
After struggling to find the tools to write his own business plan for a local small business, Craig Frazier compiled the final product of the actual business plan and spreadsheets into a business plan example package that is available online.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-ideas-articles/business-plan-example-writing-a-killer-business-plan-in-5-steps-3231907.html

How To Prepare A Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits

It is always said “If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail”

Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal.

A business plan is written definition of, and operational plan for achieving your goal. You need a complete but success tool in order to define your basic product, income objectives and specific operating procedures. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN to attract investors, obtain financing and hold onto the confidence of your creditors, particularly in times of cash flow shortages–in this instance, the amount of money you have on hand compared with the expenses that must be met.

Aside from an overall directional policy for the production, sales effort and profit goals of your product–your basic “travel guide” to business success–the most important purpose your business plan will serve, will be the basis or foundation of any financial proposals you submit. Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken impression that a business plan is the same as a financial proposal, or that a financial proposal constitutes a business plan. This is just a misunderstanding of the uses of these two separate and different business success aids.

The business plan is a long range “map” to guide your business to the goal you’ve set for it. The plan details the what, why, where, how and when, of your business–the success planning of your company.

Your financial proposal is a request for money based upon your business plan–your business history and objectives.

Understand the differences. They are closely related, but they are not interchangeable.

Writing and putting together a “winning” business plan takes study, research and time, so don’t try to do it all in just one or two days.

The easiest way to start with a loose leaf notebook, plenty of paper, pencils, pencil sharpener, and several erasers. Once you get your mind “in gear” and begin thinking about your business plan, “10,000 thoughts and ideas per minute” will begin racing thru your mind…So, it’s a good idea when you aren’t actually working on your business plan, to carry a pocket notebook and jot down those business ideas as they come to you–ideas for sales promotion, recruiting distributors, and any other thoughts on how to operate and/or build your business.

Later, when you’re actually working on your business plan, you can take out this “idea notebook” evaluate your ideas, rework them, refine them, and integrate them into the overall “big picture” of your business plan.

The best business plans for even the smallest businesses run 25 to 30 pages or more, so you’ll need to “title” each page and arrange the different aspects of your business plan into “chapters.” The format should pretty much run as follows:

Title Page Statement of Purpose Table of Contents Business Description Market Analysis Competition Business Location Management Current Financial Records Explanation of Plans For Growth Projected Profit & Loss/Operating Figures Explanation of Financing for Growth Documentation Summary of Business & Outlook for The Future Listing of Business & personal References

This is a logical organization of the information every business plan should cover. I’ll explain each of these chapters titles in greater detail, but first, let me elaborate upon the reasons for proper organization of your business plan.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-ideas-articles/how-to-prepare-a-business-plan-that-guarantees-big-profits-3285128.html

Top 10 Sections of a Successful Business Plan

Every business plan is different. A company and its products and services are unique. The purpose of a business plan could be to either start a completely new business venture or grow an existing business. The audience could be investors, bankers, managers, or major suppliers. The sections or topics of a business plan may not apply to every business. Listed here are the top 10 sections that are found in most successful business plans.

The first, and most popular, part of a business plan is the Executive Summary. It provides an introduction to the company, its business opportunity, products or services, current business position, financial potential, and a closing paragraph stating what you want from the reader. Remember, this is a summary – most of these topics will be explained in more detail later in the business plan. The Executive Summary is the most important section since it will be read first and is used to entice the audience to read more of the business plan.

The second topic is the Company Background. This section tells the story of how the company began and why. It also describes the ownership of the business and business type (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, S Corporation, C Corporation, Limited Liability Company).

The third topic is Products. It describes the product, competitors, market research and demand, and suppliers. The fourth topic is Services. This is similar to Products except that with services, a business plan needs to explain how the service will be provided. The Products and Services sections are an example of how an entrepreneur or business owner needs to apply the sections that work best for them. Some companies will have products, some will have services, and some will have both.

The fifth topic of a business plan is an analysis of the Industry, Competition, and Market. This section includes in-depth details about the current condition and trends for the industry, specific companies that will be the primary competitors, the market size, projected market growth, and the characteristics or profile of a typical customer.

The sixth section is the Marketing Plan. A marketing plan is important because it describes how the company will reach its revenue goals. It should outline the promotional plans and distribution channels, and explain pricing and the company’s competitive advantage.

The seventh section of a business plan is the Operating Plan. An operating plan talks about what is needed to operate the business, such as employees, equipment, the location, and supplies. It describes how the business will be run on a day-to-day basis.

The eighth section goes over Management, Organization, and Ownership. It will include information about outside consultants, including attorneys, accountants, and advertising professionals. Typically, investors will need to feel comfortable with the owners, advisory board, and managers before they back a venture.

The ninth section of a business plan is Goals and Strategies. Discuss business goals, such as increasing market share, expanding into new markets, adding a location, and sales revenue. It’s important that these goals are as realistic as possible.

The tenth section is the Financial Projections. This can be the most intimidating part of a business plan for most people. But, with a good idea of your expenses and projected income, business planning software can automatically prepare financial statements for you.

Business planning software helps entrepreneurs and business owners prepare their entire business plan by providing examples of each topic, practical advice, and a list of start-up resources. Even though every business plan may be different, using a standard process found in business planning software can help walk you through each of the top 10 sections found in most business plans

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/management-articles/top-10-sections-of-a-successful-business-plan-3379794.html

Top Tips on Business Plan Services

Business plan is the top essential thing to have when setting up a new business or expanding an existing one; however, it is a challenging undertaking, and there is need for expertise in order to create a sound and workable plan. A well-written business plan is necessary for every aspect of your business such as securing loans and working with vendors.

As your mind is occupied with other aspects of setting up the business or trying to implement business expansion strategy, you may not be able to come forth with a sound plan, especially if you do not have skills in creating such an important piece that determines the success of your business. Therefore, hiring a professional business plan service provider is the best option at your disposal.

Business Plan Cost

The entire cost you will incur when hiring the services of a business plan writer is largely determined by the aspects of the service you want handled for you. For instance, you may opt to have the service provider write only the business plan and leave out the marketing strategy. On the other hand, it is likely to cost more when both the plan and marketing strategy are undertaken by the expert. A good number of the business plan services do not charge for consultation and would also offer free business plan quote.

Tips on Choosing a Business Plan Provider

Sometimes, it could help substantially to search and read business plan writers reviews online to help you make a better choice. However, ensure that the reviews are genuine, visit sites that offer honest reviews of such services. You may also choose to use business plan software to write your business plan; again, it’s a good idea to read genuine business plan software reviews online.

Business Plan Service Process

For most business plan services, the same process applies but may vary slightly.

This is how it goes;

You will first of all undergo an interview with the business plan service provider along side with your management team. The essence is to capture a good picture of your intended business or an existing one in order to build a solid and relevant plan thereafter.

Subsequently, the business plan service will conduct an extensive research which will include studying related businesses to aid them in structuring relevant content for your business plan. There may be need for revisions along the line in order to come forth with the best plan. Usually, you will be consulted all along to ensure that you participate in the structuring of your business plan. They will also advise you accordingly on marketing strategies (or even come forth with excellent marketing strategies for you if you choose so) and business finance sources.

Bear in mind that a sound business plan is necessary to get financial assistance and funding for your business. This is why you must choose a business plan writer wisely, and ensure that your investment in business plan will pay you off excellently at last.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/customer-service-articles/top-tips-on-business-plan-services-3404338.html

The 4 key reasons that people build business plans

There are a number of different reasons why people create business plans. Understanding the reason for your plan can help you better target your message.  Whilst all plans are largely similar, the key areas of focus should differ slightly based on the reason for building your business plan.  The business plan should clearly articulate the opportunity represented by your business and the approach you propose will best capitalize on the opportunity.  Investor focused plans should also include an explanation of the proposed exit approach.

Business Plan Reason#1: Finding an investor
A Business plan, often referred to as an information memorandum is usually the foundation document on which an investment is made.  Investors have specific requirements of a business plan, and have a desire to see how they will realize a return on their investment. A clear exit strategy provides a an understanding of how the funds will be returned to the investor.  Each investor may have a different investment horizon and the plan should reflect a return in that investment horizon.  The best place to start with preparing an investment business plan is to identify your potential investors first.  Understand as much as possible about their investment criteria before you start writing.

Business Plan Reason#2: Obtaining a loan

Obtaining a loan requires formal documentation of the business opportunity, prospects and financial implications.  Loans usually require a higher level of certainty than investors.  These plans should be realistic with clearly documented rationale and assumptions.  There needs to be as much focus on solid numbers as there does on the business vision and strategy.  Bankers often have set criteria for investment and as much as possible should be understood about approval guidelines as possible before the plan is constructed.

Business Plan Reason#3: Demonstrating Compliance

Obtaining required operating licenses and permits can drive the creation of a business plan.  These audiences are looking for effective processes and governance associated with the successful execution of these processes.  Whilst the document needs to contain similar information to other forms of business planning, more emphasis is placed on the “Operations” section.  Who will be conducting key activities and how will it be managed.  What processes are in place to ensure that any issues or errors are corrected quickly.

Business Plan Reason#4: Recruiting partners, staff and directors
A recruitment business plan needs to be a strong sales document.  Particularly in the early stages of venture creation, little is known about the business.  The purpose of the plan is to clearly describe what the business will do and why it is likely to be successful in delivering value to stakeholders.

 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/entrepreneurship-articles/the-4-key-reasons-that-people-build-business-plans-3552472.html

Should I buy a business plan online?

There are a number of things to consider when either engaging a consultant to build your business plan, or purchasing a business planning template.  A primary reason for looking online for assistance is to reduce the cost associated with the development of a business plan.

Sites such as Elance offer the ability to post your specific business planning requirements online.  Interested consultants then respond to your business plan enquiry, often providing a quotation for business planning services.

Selecting a consultant online

Consider the end objective of your business plan.  Business plans are usually developed for a specific purpose, such as finding an investor, partner, loan provider or obtaining compliance certificates or government grants.

Ensure that your consultant is familiar with your specific target audience, and have experience in delivering successful outcomes to this audience.  With the internet, it is possible to hire a consultant from anywhere in the world for your business plan.  For some plans this can substantially reduce the cost of planning, without compromising your intended outcomes.

For specific purposes such as grant funding, a local business planning consultant may be able to better target your plan to the requirements, thereby improving the rate of success.  However not all business planning requirements call on the need for a consultant.  For some applications sophisticated and standardised templates can provide some structure and guidance to your planning process.

Selecting a template online

There are a variety of business planning templates available online.  Both free templates and paid templates can offer some level of assistance with your business planning process.   Whilst templates are often criticised for being overly simple, and too generic, for some business plans they can offer the appropriate level of assistance at an affordable price.  If possible try to find a template that has been developed specifically for your purpose.  Often banks will provide business planning templates for free to assist clients in structuring their plans to meet the core requirements of the loan.

The key issue iwth templates is that they are often quite general and do not assist you in clearly developing and structuring your business.    They work to help you put words to your current strategy which may incorporate inconsistencies.  They do not help with the business design process which is, in our view a core element of the business planning process.

Other approaches

Business Planning HQ.com has created a unique approach called “Question Led” business planning that offers you the benefits of using an expensive consultant for not much more than the cost of purchasing a template.  To create this proven approach we have built hundreds of different business plans for clients in a wide range of industries.  The audience for the business plan generally has a fixed series of questions about the business.  Through experience we have managed to boil down hundreds of business plans and identify their key success criteria.  Our clients are able to leverage this experience and simply build their plan by answering a simple series of questions in their own time.

 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/corporate-articles/should-i-buy-a-business-plan-online-3552486.html

How can question led business planning reduce planning timeframes?

Business planning involves more than just writing a lengthy document.  Much of the core value in a business plan is derived from the business strategy, business model and the effective communication of these to the intended target audience.

After consulting on the creation and development of hundreds of business plans, Business Planning HQ has developed a faster approach that the vast majority of businesses can now afford.

A survey of businesses involved in the business planning process revealed some sobering statistics.  Most first time business planners spend 2-3 days just deciding on the format their business plan should take.  As first time planners are not usually experienced writers, they tend to struggle with developing concise content set format plans.  The process of getting the language right can take almost as much time as developing the key concepts and strategy.

Business Planning HQ has developed a set of questions, the answers to which automatically populate a business plan.  Our clients believe that this approach a far simpler, more structured and efficient approach to creating a business plan.

The question led business planning approach was developed by Business Planning HQ to embody all the best of a consulting approach with the efficiency of an automated template.  All the language and logic of the plan already exists, and the answers to the questions act to help the business planner clarify their thinking, and ensure that the business model is internally consistent.  The questions are answered in their own time, and are provided in a simple excel based document.

These questions can be shared with collaborators, partners, or suppliers to ensure the best possible input is provided into the planning process.

Once the questions have been answered (usually taking less than 4 hours) the information is then automatically used to create either a business plan or a business concept pitch.

Question led business planning can reduce the usually time a first time business planner would spend from more than a week to less than 4 hours.

 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/entrepreneurship-articles/how-can-question-led-business-planning-reduce-planning-timeframes-3552495.html

WAHID’S MEASURE – THE INFLUENTIAL AND EVALUATED OF SIMILARITY BETWEEN PROFIT & NON- PROFIT BUSINESS PLANNING

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/personal-finance-articles/wahids-measure-the-influential-and-evaluated-of-similarity-between-profit-non-profit-business-planning-3635427.html” class=”rated

Business Plan Software – Solution for making Business Schedule

If we want to develop business, then we have to build the business plan. Business plan includes all the strategies in which all the policies of business are involved. Business manager should build business plan according the business strategies. Business plan is very vital part of business building. All the criteria and the conditions are contained by the business plan. For the business, Manager must prepare for all the strategies used in business.

Business plan can be made by the business plan software because there are many types of softwares which are used in the business. These business softwares are used to improve the business growth. So the business plan software is very useful to make the plan of business. Businesses and manager must thank to advanced technology, by which they can achieve these types of softwares.

Business plan software has many types of the applications and features. These all the features and the applications play an effective role to make the plan. These applications program are used to help the manager to make an effective business plan.

Manager writes and prepares the business plan faster and better by the help of the business plan software. For the new users they can also try its new free version. It is the good option instead of purchase its paid version. Business manager uses business plan software for write the professional business plan in the better way. Business plan software has the guideline by which the manager makes the business plan step by step. By the help of this software, manager and other employee can easily update the daily tasks so they cannot go out from the track. The basic work of business plan software is to update the daily routine tasks. So the manager can easily judge the progress of the business from tasks.  There are many versions of the softwares in the market so if you are new to this technology, so you must try the free version of business plan software. It is the trial version to do the plan schedule. Business plan software makes the schedule of all the business processes as their timings. If the business plan software is implemented properly by the business manager then it will provide effective growth for business.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-opportunities-articles/business-plan-software-solution-for-making-business-schedule-3643367.html