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Business Week

A Detailed Business Plan Template for Your Home or Small Business

A Guide to Your Business Plan

So you want to start a new business! Be it online or offline, a business plan is an essential ingredient to the success of your venture. The trouble with most business plans is they are to difficult to understand and appear overwhelming to most small business entrepreneurs. I have made the job easier by providing a format with self explanatory sections for you to follow. It’s a simple business plan with a lot of power when you need to source funding or show clients, among a host of other benefits.

What does my business plan look like?

Executive summary

type of business

company summary

management

product / service, competition

funding, use of funds

financial statement & projections

legal & financial structure

risks & exit

ad hoc swot

1. Background and purpose

1.1. product/service: what is your business? detailed description.

1.2. history: when did you start? how has the business been developing? achievements.

1.3. vision: what do you want to become? what path makes your company better than its competitors?

1.4. mission: the core values of your business. why this business and how you want to shape it?

1.5. milestones:

1.5.1. long term: a way to measure the vision

1.5.2. short-medium term: stages & goals, measurements

1.6. resources required:

1.6.1. critical resources: to back up key success factors

1.6.2. overall resources: to guarantee you can deliver

1.6.3. funding and use of funds: the proposal

2. Objectives

2.1. short term:

– outcomes which can be achieved within one year

– quantitative measurement: efficiency

– example: sales, gross margin, market share

2.2. long term:

– outcomes which require more time to be measured

– can be quantitative and qualitative

– effectiveness will show the sustainability of the business proposal

3. Market and industry analysis

3.1. overall & specific data

3.1.1. type of industry / service

3.1.2. mainstream / niche: market potential, demographics

3.1.3. stage of growth: emerging, growth, maturity

3.1.4. existing similar markets: other regions/countries

3.2. competitive analysis

3.2.1. statement of opportunity: sustainable competitive edge, resource based competitive analysis

3.2.2. review of your competitors strategies

3.3. five forces

3.3.1. bargaining power of buyers

3.3.2. bargaining power of suppliers

3.3.3. threat of relevant substitutes

3.3.4. threats of new entrants (entry barriers)

3.3.5. rivalry among firms (influenced by the other four factors)

3.4. macro & micro factors

3.4.1. global & international: trade agreements, war

3.4.2. national: taxation, regulations, patent protection

3.4.3. local: incentives, infrastructures

3.5. key success factors, a review of your strategic management

4. Production & Operations

4.1. processes & procedures

4.1.1. input, process, output

4.1.2. logistics: store, warehouse, deliveries

4.1.3. equipments, tools, it infrastructure

4.1.4. organization charts: responsibilities, information flows

4.2. thresholds

4.2.1. output capacity: measurement, peaks

4.2.2. stages of output increase: bottlenecks

4.3. resources

4.3.1. technical resources: equipment, software

4.3.2. physical resources: raw material, power supply

4.3.3. human resources: non substitutable for the output

4.4. quality assurance

4.4.1. prototyping, testing, approvals

4.4.2. incoming qc: sampling procedures

4.4.3. outgoing qc: sampling procedures

4.5. customer service

4.5.1. technical support: call center, on-site

4.5.2. warranty: policy, returns

5. Marketing plan

5.1. overall concept & orientation

5.1.1. target customer group(s)

5.1.2. customer awareness

5.1.3. customer satisfaction

5.1.4. customer loyalty

5.2. strategy

5.2.1. price strategy (leadership, differentiation, focus)

5.2.2. distribution strategy

5.2.3. communication strategy

5.2.4. perceived value

5.3. 4 p’s (can be combined with 3.2.)

5.3.1. product

5.3.2. price

5.3.3. place

5.3.4. promotion

5.4. sales forecasts

5.4.1. short term: detailed (month, region…)

5.4.2. long term

5.5. market share

5.5.1. short term

5.5.2. long term

6. Financial plan

6.1. financial projections (1st year monthly, 2nd year quarterly)

6.1.1. p&l (income statement)

6.1.2. cash flow (justify for variations)

6.1.3. balance sheet (yearly)

6.1.4. investments plan

6.2. source & use of funds

6.2.1. present situation (shareholders, loans if any)

6.2.2. requirements (need in working capital + investments)

6.2.3. proposed funding (shareholding, loan, bridge loan)

6.2.4. use of funds (destination & schedule)

7. Human resources

7.1. management team

7.1.1. individual / team (resumes in appendixe)

7.1.2. education, experience, skills & know how

7.2. skilled resources (key personnel)

7.2.1. hired

7.2.2. identified but not yet hired (funding)

7.2.3. to be found (head hunting…)

7.3. unskilled resources

7.3.1. issue about turnover rate (cost…)

7.3.2. issue about continuous hiring (training…)

7.4. packages & salaries

7.4.1. overall policy (market rate, yearly increase…)

7.4.2. incentives (commissions, bonus…)

7.4.3. specific packages (stock options)

7.5. hr strategy

7.5.1. set of values (refer to mission)

7.5.2. internal communication (intranet, group events)

8. Ownership

8.1. legal & financial structure

8.1.1. form of business

8.1.2. shareholding (equity position)

8.1.3. proposed deal structure (if any)

8.1.4. next round of financing (if any)

8.2. Exit strategy

8.2.1. independent growth (self financing)

8.2.2. ipo

8.2.3. bought over / merging

9. Critical risks

9.1. risks factors

9.1.1. categories (what if? and answers)

9.1.2. plan(s) “b” & book value (if …

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Economic News

Strategic Business Plan Template – Dollars and Sense

If a person looks on the Internet, they can find just about anything they want. Sometimes these things are free, something they cost a few dollars, but it is all out there for the taking. When looking for a strategic business plan template that will serve the business owners purpose, it is important to know what aspects of the business plan are necessary for that particular business.
Financial Strategy (Dollars)
Money is behind everything, especially a new business. Regardless of how the money is going to be obtained, the new business owner must make detailed plans of how much they need and where they plan to get the money needed to launch the business. It will also let them know right off the bat if launching the business will even be feasible.
In addition, this strategy must be included for any investors or financial institutions approached for backing. No smart investor will commit a single penny to any company that does not have a clear plan laid out. Banks and other financial institutions will also want to see where the money is going to be spent. Even if a portion of the money is being used as a salary, list it as exactly that in the business plan.
Marketing Strategy (Sense)
This section of the business plan is just as important as the financial section. Having a great business idea and the money to get it started is all well and good, but unless the business is properly marketed, it will fail. Realizing most businesses will not realize immediate success, lay out the strategy to become a big fish in small pond until the business is established, then it is time to deal with the big boys in the same niche.
Everyone wants to be an immediate success, but getting a very small portion of a big niche is often not as profitable as dominating several small niches in the same business. When first starting out, market to those sectors, that when combined, can be just as profitable as dominating the main sector of the given niche. Eventually, the success in those smaller sectors will allow the business to rise to the top of the main sector.
Creating the proper strategic business plan template is the first step in starting a new business venture. Without this plan, the business will have little chance of success. Ideally, the business plan will lead the new business owner down the right paths and keep them focused on the success of the business. Without these targets and goals, they are merely flying by the seat of their pants. In order to give their new business the best chance for success their strategic business plan template needs to be smart with both aspects, dollars and sense.…

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Business News

Using an Internet Business Plan Template Effectively

Using an internet business plan template has shown to be an effectively way to get your online business up and running. There are a number of benefits that can be gained by building your own business off of someone else’s success. The key is to understand the best way to utilize your template. Templates are only as useful as you allow them to be. They are just like any other tool. If you don’t know how to use them, then they are not going to help you get the job done. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are using an internet business plan template as effectively as possible.
The first thing that you need to do when using an internet business plan template is to make sure that the template is something that you want to follow. A lot of people will choose their template because they like the results that it could help them achieve. Unfortunately, the steps included in the template may not be something that interests them. This scenario will almost always result in failure, not because of the template, but rather because it isn’t implemented correctly. If you don’t want to buy a bunch of online advertising, then you are not going to effectively use a template that is reliant on PPC advertising. When choosing your template, make sure that you are paying attention to the specific strategies and not the end results.
Another thing to consider when using an internet business plan template is flexibility. The internet is an ever-changing beast and your plan of action will need to change with it. If you choose to follow a template that allows for minimal flexibility then at some point, you will have to choose a different one. The key is choosing templates that already have options built into it. For example, if are using a template to build a mailing list then the key components are getting opt ins and sending emails. The key to getting people on your list is generating traffic to your opt in page. This provides you with a lot of flexibility because there are a hundreds of different ways to generate traffic. If a certain traffic method starts to fail, then you can simply use another one.
One of the biggest barriers to using an internet business plan template effectively is not understanding how it was created. Quality templates tend to have a history of testing behind them. During this process a lot of data is gathered and analyzed. From there, the best course of action is chosen and put into a template. If you don’t understand why a certain step is being taken within a template then it becomes much more difficult for you to deviate from it while still achieving success. Even if you don’t gather the data yourself, it is important to at least have a solid understanding the concepts behind the template. This will allow you to modify it to fit your specific goals while still using an internet businesses plan template as effectively as possible.…