Preparing a good business plan

You can also read our article on common mistakes to avoid when building your business plan. The Canada Business Network also offers a guide to writing your business plan as well as good examples of industry specific business plans. Your business plan has to be backed by facts and research to hold up to scrutiny. You should gather this information using both secondary and primary sources.

Preparing a good business plan

A good plan can take up to six months to complete. Recognize this and set aside the time required. Remember, while you may use outside professionals such as lawyers and accountants to help, the plan needs to be your own.

You are the one who will have to present, summarize and answer questions about it.

preparing a good business plan

Assess Your Business Idea As you begin, examine every aspect of your business carefully and honestly. Be realistic in assessing what you are capable of and the opportunities that exist for your success.

Consider the following questions. What is the purpose of my business? Be able to express it in a couple of short sentences. What is the specific market I want to fill? Are customers willing and able to purchase my product or service?

What are my personal and business goals? Do I have the necessary skills, ability and resources? How much money do I need at start-up and beyond?

Do I have the resources? If not, where could the funds come from? Am I willing to take the time to plan my success? Your answers will help determine the feasibility of your ideas. Some require personal assessment, others external research.

These include a title page, table of contents, an executive summary and business profile, and sections outlining the marketing, production operationshuman resources management, and financial plans.

No two businesses are alike and the nature of your operation will govern the emphasis you give each component.

But to present to lenders your plan should contain at least some information in every section. Title Page and Table of Contents The title page includes your business name, the time period the plan covers, the date as well as a contact person, phone number and address.

Make it professional - it is the first page your readers see and first impressions are important. The table of contents lists the topics covered by the plan. As a road map it allows the reader to jump immediately to those sections of most interest.

Executive Summary and Business Profile A summary is critical to capturing your reader's instant attention. It should, at a high level, outline your: Also include a brief description of your company organization and ownership for example sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.

Other useful information includes company management, previous financing by whomproposed start-up date of operations, important details of the company's current market area, customers and trends the proposed business can build upon.

The Marketing Plan In this section describe, in general terms: A full marketing plan and strategy need not be included here, but make sure to consider and evaluate different alternatives in the planning process before finalizing your marketing plan.

Sales are frequently the only revenue of a business, so investors will want to see the following information: The plan should show you are aware of market conditions size and structurethe general economy and the competition.

The implications of change or trendsnew technologies, new products, different lifestyles, ability of customers to afford the product or service. The implications of legal or political constraints on how your products are produced and delivered. The competitive advantage of your product or if it fills a particular niche in the marketplace.What's For Dinner?

food preparation business plan executive summary. What's For Dinner? is a new concept in food preparation for busy families in Texas, run by a party planner and a personal chef. Your business plan can look as polished and professional as this sample plan.

It's fast and easy, with LivePlan. Write a business plan that’s right for your business. As tempting as it is, don’t just cut and paste from a sample plan. Any banker or investor will be able to tell from miles away that you copied someone else’s plan.

Get Organized

A business plan acts as a guide when your business is being set up and operating; how you work, planning the future and preparing for risks. It is also often a required document for finance applications.

A business plan is a very important strategic tool for entrepreneurs.A good business plan not only helps entrepreneurs to focus on the specific steps necessary for their to make business ideas succeed, but it also helps them to achieve both their short-term and long-term objectives.

Guidelines In Preparing a Good Business Plan. Pitfalls To Avoid In Planning a Business Plan. There are a number of pitfalls that should be avoided by business owners in the formulation of a business plan. Many of these are common errors committed by business owners and can easily be noticed.

Nonetheless, most business plans follow a well-tried and tested structure, and general advice on preparing a business plan is universally applicable. However, your business plan should be a realistic view of your expectations and long-term objectives for your startup or small business.

How to Write a Business Plan (with Sample Business Plans)