The Almighty Business Plan

The Almighty Business PlanFrom the ebook, Micro Loans: Finance Your DreamsBy Darrin F. Coe, … to Richard Greene, in his book, From One … to … to Start, Manage, Grow and

The Almighty Business Plan
From the ebook,Guest Posting Micro Loans: Finance Your Dreams
By Darrin F. Coe, MA

According to Richard Greene, in his book, From One Entrepreneur to Another.How to Start, Manage, Grow and Exit Your Own Small Business,

“The business plan is a guide toward achieving profitability
as quickly and economically as possible. It is a plan for
orderly growth. It is designed to help you raise capital.”

And according to the Black Enterprise Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Wendy Beech,

“Every business owner should craft this important document
before hanging out a shingle, but few do. Instead, many business
owners fly by the seat of their pants and manage to successfully sail
through the first few years of their operation without a plan.
However, when major problems crop up and threaten the life of
their company, the owners must scramble to find and apply
quick fixes.”

According to the Oakland Business Development Corporation, a micro loan
application should include a business plan that incorporates the following information

– use of funds requested
– cash flow
– income statements
– balance sheet
– assumptions as to how you arrived at your numbers

Wendy Beech again writes,

“Creating a business plan will force you to think through all of the essential
factors that will impact the success of your operation . . . Drafting a written
plan will help to ensure that you have not omitted any significant factors
that could kill your business. With a plan, it will be easier for you to
communicate your ideas to potential investors, suppliers, partners,
corporate boards of directors, and employees.”

Before you write your business plan

1. Identify the audience to whom you’re writing
– Internal audience
– employees
– co-owners
– board of directors
– partners
– External audience
– bankers
– venture capitalists
– vendors/suppliers
– family members
– friends

2. Specify the type of business that you’re seeking to start

–will your business be providing a product?
– develop statements concerning the uniqueness of
your products
– why is your product worth caring about?
– what is your product’s unique selling point?
– will your business be providing a service?
– consider customer service
– consider presentation of services
– will your business provide both product and service?
– consider what makes your combination of product
and service unique and superior to the competition
– consider your market niche

3. Gather available resources to help you write your plan

– marketing research
– business records
– review your personal circumstances
– analyze personal assets and liabilities
– analyze financial assets and liabilities
– do you have or can you develop collateral?

4. Set a planning timetable
– beginning plans generally take a five year viewpoint
– develop a system so that you can review and modify you
plan every 3 to 4 months.

5. Consider possible outcomes about your business
– research all possible types of sources of information about your
type of business
– consider the external factors that will be beyond your control

6. Schedule time to write your business plan
– identify a writing start date
– set aside 15 to 60 minutes per day, at the same time everyday
to develop your plan

== Note ==
A personal friend of mine, Mike Phillips, started the company Rock Solid Health and Fitness. He spent hours everyday writing his business plan and it took him about 2 months to complete. It was easily over 50 pages long. So expect to put in some effort when developing a great business plan.
== Note ==

In conclusion, business planning is vital to the long term success of your entrepreneurial endeavor. Whether you’re planning a small home business, an internet-based business, or a larger project, business planning will help you develop that project and protect the success of that project for the long term.

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