Writing an Effective Business Plan: Introduction
By Julie King | October 31, 2000
Writing an Effective Business Plan: Page 1 - Introduction
So you want – or need – to write a business plan. You might be looking for debt or equity financing, or maybe you need to to develop a blueprint to help you build your business. Either way, a comprehensive business plan is a useful tool that can help you meet your goals.
Get your plan done faster by using our premium MemberZone business plan tool, which makes it easy for you to create business plans for your company! Become a member today to start building your plan!
Business Planning Essentials
So you need to write a business plan. Maybe you are a detail-oriented person starting a company and you understand that smart planning at the outset can increase you chance of success. Or maybe you need to develop a plan to apply for funding or bring on new business partners.
Regardless, a lot has changed over the past two decades about how companies develop their plans. There is the traditional method and a new "lean canvas" method. Each has its value and place.
Before you get started, it helps to do a little preparation.
This article covers the basics of what you need to know. Our MemberZone guide includes in-depth planning and self-assessment tools that will help you shortcut the time you spend on your plan.
To prepare, you need to understand:
- Your strengths, skills and where you have a knowledge advantage;
- The gaps you will need to fill in order to be able to fully describe your business idea and write a business plan; and
- What work / research you will need to do to validate assumptions you have made in deciding that your idea is a good business opportunity.
To write your plan you will neeed to be able to summarize some or all of the following:
- Your corporate structure, organization plan and fiscal year-end;
- The industry your will be doing business in;
- Market research you have done to validate your business idea;
- The uniqueness of your products and/or services;
- Why people will choose you over your competitors;
- How you will market your products and services;
- Your sales plan;
- Legal issues that you need to address; and
- The financials of your business, including your revenue model, costs of doing business, sales and expense forcasts, break-even analysis and balance sheet.
In this introductory workshop I'll explain the basics of creating a business plan, based on my own experience and input from other professionals who are tasked with writing and reviewing plans on a regular basis.
The following pages outline the four major sections of a business plan, packed with tips that will help you write a plan that will get investors excited.
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