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Most business plans will take one of the following shapes: Miniplan – As its name suggests, a miniplan isn’t a lengthy document.It can be as short as two to 10 pages, as long as it covers your concept for the business, how you’ll finance and market it, and financial information such as operating expenses, cash flow, income projections and a balance sheet.
1) Focus – Writing a business plan will help you gather all of your ideas in one place, hone your message and crystallize your vision.
This will keep you from getting scattered, sidetracked, or pulled away from what’s likely to make you the most successful.
2) Research – The knowledge you’ll gain as you explore the industry you’re working in will be invaluable.
You’ll get a much better understanding of the niche you hope to fill and where you fit into the market.
Doing the work to put the plan together will make sure you think about all of the important facets you need to cover, and give you standards to hold yourself to as you start to put the plan into effect. While it’s important to see your business plan as flexible, it’s great to have something in writing that helps keep you honest with yourself about your performance.
8) Measurement – Laying out your goals and ideas in advance gives you something to check in with along the way to see how you’re doing. 9) Recruitment – When you’re looking to attract top talent, your business plan will help give potential employees an overview of what you’re all about, and their reaction to the plan will help you know if they’re a good fit. Just as your goals and business will not look exactly the same as someone else’s, your business plan will be unique to you.No need to print it out on nice stock and put it in a beautiful binder.You don’t even have to print it at all, if it’s on your computer.Do they grasp the key issues involved with your business? Great employees will appreciate how you’ve taken the time to assess your place in the market — as will lenders and investors when you need to raise money. You understand the benefits of having a business plan and you’re committed to writing one. Some elements belong in each one, and we’ll explain each of those below, but your presentation might be completely different.Most importantly, think about who the audience is and what the goals are for the plan.It’s vitally important to catch things early before you invest too much time or money.6) Teamwork – Even solo businesses have team members, whether it’s a supportive spouse or a professional accountant or attorney.You’ll want it chock full of details about your finances and objectives, but you can leave out the parts that would mostly be necessary for outsiders, like resumes of key executives and photos of products or prototypes.Your final presentation can also be a bit less fancy.Larger companies may have someone to manage sales, another person for marketing, and one for operations.No matter how many people are on your team, it’s important to share the same goals and values as you work toward the future.