business plans

Business Plan Creation

Successful businesses have a business plan, or a map, because if you don’t know where you are going and how you are going to get there, it is easy to expend all your capital and resources on things that are not needed to meet your goals. A good business plan defines not only your objectives and where you want the business to go but why you want that which is equally important. It organizes your business around realistic timelines and maximizes the use of your resources. It defines our brand and differentiates your offerings. It identifies your target clients and the real opportunity of your chosen markets.

In other words, it helps you accurately create, optimize, and execute all the pieces of the puzzle you call your business.

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Product Description

It’s all about the business plan implementation. It’s like having a baby – You create your plan, map its elements, and execute it in a specific order. Your basic map must include the following elements:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
By definition this should be an abbreviated version of the entire plan. The purpose of this summary is to generate interest and excitement while encouraging the reader to read the entire plan and take the actions desired.

MISSION AND PURPOSE
There must be a reason for creating, directing, and managing a company. The mission statement must succinctly define this reason. More important, however, is the purpose of the business which is what will create the passion and excitement required to motivate the team to drive through the inevitable tough times.

THE INDUSTRY ANALYSIS AND GROWTH POTENTIAL
You need to be sure the target market wants your products, will pay what your products are worth, and can be distributed to and serviced profitably.

BUYER’S POINTS OF PAIN
Who is your target buyer, where they are and what are their pain pointsThe time of “build it and they will come” is long gone. You must build what your audience is seeking and willing to pay for, not what you do well and want to produce. The secret is to create a product you are passionate about which will resonate with your audience’s needs and wants. These needs and wants are primarily emotional so your features and benefits must be presented as remedies for your target clients’ pain points.

PRODUCT/SERVICE OFFERINGS
You need to describe in detail how your products and services relieve the target buyer’s “points of pain” or “provide additional pleasures.” While your product and service offerings are important, they must provide what your audience is looking for. They may not even know that they want or need your products which makes the proper marketing plan paramount.

MARKET ANALYSIS, GROWTH HIGHLIGHTS, AND POTENTIAL ACCESS POINTS
We are living in an information age, an age of data – big data. Your planned metrics must be relevant in terms of your market and not just an accounting of your costs, profits, and revenues.

FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS – CASH FLOW ANALYSIS
You MUST know the difference in profits and cash flows, between margins and markups. It is projected that 85% of all start-up businesses fail in their first year. Further only 5% of all business start-ups survive to see their fifth year. There are two primary reasons for this:

1. Entrepreneurs get excited about their product – their baby if you please – and believe the old adage, “If you build it, they will come.” At the beginning of the industrial revolution and before that, this may have been true. Everything was new and exciting and the local availability of products and service made it easy to
attract customers. In today’s world of retail and ecommerce, that is no longer true. Customers know what they want before seeking out your company. You have to offer the solutions they need and tell them about those solutions wherever they are.

2. Profits and cash are two different things and this must be understood and monitored to make sure a business survives. You can have a great P&L (profit & loss statement) and have no cash in the bank. Many entrepreneurs have succumbed to the illusion that they had money when they didn’t. Bankers will not entertain a loan request from these businesses.

PRODUCT SUITE ANALYSIS
Having a great product idea is just the beginning. There is the creation, marketing, ordering, manufacturing, fulfillment, and distribution of the products and all these cost time and money. You must determine how much a target audience will pay for the product and then figure out how to produce, market, and distribute that product in mass quantity to meet market demands.

BRAND ANALYSIS
When entrepreneurs start a business, their brand is usually their personality. While this is a necessary part of the brand, the brand must be bigger than a person or group of business people. This is a major consideration for a start-up company.

CURRENT BUSINESS ANALYSIS
Where are you now in relation to where you want to be as a person, a business man, and a business, collectivelyWhere is the community, the region, the nation and the world in relation to your offering?

MARKETING PLAN
The most profitable way to reach your market is not always intuitive. You must study the buyer’s behavior, communicate with him/her on their terms, and offer what they want (or think they want) to buy, when they want it, how they want it, and for the price they are willing to pay. This strategy and its accompanying tactics must be planned and executed.

COMPETITION ANALYSIS
What is the competitive landscape, not just in terms of your offering but in terms of other products that may solve the same problem or issue?

STAFFING
People are your most important and most expensive resource. You must find the right person for each position you need, compensate them properly, provide compelling benefits, and manage them. And, this is not only for your core competency but for all sectors like management, administrative, finance, accounting, marketing, sales,
manufacturing, distribution, and support.

FUNDING
You need to know how much money you need for start-up expenses and to sustain operations until you begin generating enough sales to pay for the operations expenses and then a profit.

EXIT PLAN
Unless you start a business just to have a job and be your own boss, you will probably need to have an exit plan. You need to know what you want out of the business at the end of your term, how you plan to create that value, and who the likely suitors are that will be interested in purchasing your business.

APPENDIX
This is where you put all the miscellaneous information like detailed projections, case studies, support documents and other relevant data