A business plan just may be the most important document for any business, both a newly created startup business and an existing and growing business.
A business plan is vital to getting a newly created startup up and running and anyone considering investing money in such a company will need to see and verify the information contained in the business plan.
= What Is Included In Your Business Plan? =
A business plan is also important as the existing business grows and expands such as if the business needs to purchase additional equipment, for instance.
In that case, the business plan should not only contain financial statements and cash flow history, but should contain specific information on how the proposed equipment will help the company to earn even more money.
=The Format Of A Business Plan Will Vary Considerably From Company To Company =
The format of a business plan will vary considerably from company to company, and there is no one standard business plan format that will be right for everyone.
Even so, every good business plan will include crucial elements such as a summary of what the company does; descriptions of the products the company produces or the services it provides the mission statement of the company, a thorough market analysis, and a break-even analysis. In addition, the business plan should include a section which details the key challenges and opportunities facing the business.
It is important to state the challenges facing both the market sector as a whole, and the company as a specific entity.
= Formatting And Researching The Business Plan =
It is important to lay out the format of the business plan in advance, and research the various items of the plan as thoroughly as possible.
The purpose of the plan should be stated at the beginning, the key personnel should be listed (most business plans include resumes and relevant experience of management team members); a thorough market analysis of the market segment, the marketing strategy the company will use going forward, and its relevant financial data.
= A Business Plan Can Be A Powerful Management Tool =
In addition to its value when seeking financing, a business plan can also be a powerful management tool, since the writing of a business plan requires the use of logic and discipline, and it helps the management team quantify the goals of the business and set their guidelines for future growth.
A quality business plan is a map of where the company is now, as well as where it is going in the future.
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