Business Plans 101 (Part 1)

Posted by lorrie.macy | December 11, 2012

One of the most dreadful parts of starting or running a business is writing the business plan.  They can be incredibly boring, long-winded and often times end up collecting dust on your bookshelf.  We are here to fix that, welcome to Business Plans 101 – the most basic and uncomplicated understanding of what’s good and bad about business plans that you will find.

 What Does a Business Plan Do?

  •  A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm’s resume.
  •  It provides specific and organized information about your company that informs the reader how wonderful you are.
  •  It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions.
  •  They are the road map of strategy; they identify the actions needed to implement the strategic plan.
  •  They provide the information necessary for others to evaluate the company’s strategy.
  •  It is a tool that can be used to measure the performance of the business and its managers

What’s in a Typical Business Plan

Conventional wisdom indicates that a plan will provide the reader with the following understanding:

  • Your customers, how you will reach these customers and why your approach is the right approach to reach them.
  • What your customers want; how you know this; and how you are going to provide it to them.
  • The industry and the current trends in the market; what differentiates your business from all the others in your industry.
  • Your qualifications to do what you want to accomplish; What will you do to make it easy for people to do business with youThe market assumptions; do they make sense to someone unfamiliar with your business.
  • Financial projections that make sense and are realistic; your pizza shop will not be doing fifty million dollars its first year.
  • How will you measure your progress financially as well as operationally and strategically.