Business Plan Basics

Published: Mar 10, 2009

Topics: Job Search       
The business plan is an essential element of starting any business. It puts all of your ideas and research into one organized report that explains the nature of your business. No matter how basic and straightforward your idea is, you should always write a business plan. Writing a plan actually generates new ideas and forces you to flesh out current ones. A plan creates structure and organizes your thoughts; it should include the main strategy and research you have accumulated. The plan will serve as an operating manual when you start your business. <p>The best way to learn how to write your own business plan is to read and understand others. You will show others your business plan to generate feedback and interest in your concept. Investors, loan officers and potential partners will always ask to see a business plan so they can get a comprehensive understanding of your venture and vision. Not only should the plan give detailed financial information, but it should be a creative presentation that captivates the reader. It should read like a story that builds excitement and makes them want to become involved. The business plan is the tale of how your company will become a success. <p><b>General tips</b><p>Generating a polished business plan package is an important initial step in creating a positive company image. If financing is necessary to start your venture, the business plan is the most important document in the eyes of the potential investor. Therefore, you should take care that your business plan is professional in tone and appearance. <p>Every page of your business plan should include your company name and contact information. Use a consistent format throughout the plan that makes it easy for the reader to navigate between different sections. Make sure to double-check spelling, grammar and punctuation throughout the document. Have others read it over. Include reference articles and other pieces of information that support your ideas. Use graphics throughout your plan to spice up the presentation. When you have finished, have copies of your business plan printed and bound.<p>Your business plan does not have to be long, but it must include all of the information necessary to give your reader a comprehensive understanding of your business. Potential investors want to see that you have investigated and researched your idea and understand what it will take to succeed. Stress the comparative advantages of your business and how you will use these to leverage your company. It is also important to emphasize the resources and skills that you bring to the table. This is a chance for you to explain why your business will make it and what amount of money and time it will take to achieve the goal. <p>Writing a business plan will also force you to express your ideas in a more concrete form. Speak with other business owners, consult with experts on entrepreneurship and contact your local Small Business Administration office to get help from people familiar with the process.