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How to Write a Killer Business Plan

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Writing a business plan is an essential step in starting up a business, but it is often delayed or skipped all together by many entrepreneurs. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Write a Killer Business Plan


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How to Write a Killer Business Plan
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  • Writing a business plan is an essential step in
    starting up a business, but it is often delayed
    or skipped all together by many entrepreneurs.

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  • Why should I spend so much time writing a
    business plan when I can be running my business?
    I dont have time to write a business plan.
    Nobody will read it, so why bother? These are
    comments I hear on a daily basis regarding why a
    business does not have a business plan.

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  • The statement that I always reply with is so,
    your business has not been planned and youre
    just guessing. A business plan is more than a
    pack of papers that have been packaged, and
    presented professionally.

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Why Write a Business Plan?
  • The purpose of a business plan is to set the
    direction of your business.  Your business plan
    objectives should be to provide a document that
    clarifies your ideas, and provides a reference
    point in times of difficulty or change. Your plan
    is your business bible, and can help you avoid
    costly mistakes and ensure long-term success.

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  • Tim Berrys blog in Bplans, Why Plan Your
    Business? Look At This Data shows results from a
    survey carried out by Palo Alto Software. They
    asked thousands of Business Plan Pro users
    questions about their business aims, strategy and
    planning. Almost 3,000 people responded.

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  • Those who finished their business plans were
    twice as likely to successfully grow their
    business, get investment, or land a loan than
    those who didnt.

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  • The process of creating a plan will help you
    understand your business in greater depth. So
    when youre out promoting your business to
    potential customers, financiers and partners, you
    can talk with greater confidence and accuracy.
    You will have a better understanding of the
    purpose of your business, and how it operates in
    its current environment.

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  • A business plan should be a live and flexible
    document. Many experts say that it should be
    updated every 8 10 months I dont believe this
    is necessary for small start-ups. Every 12 months
    should be sufficient.

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  • But its objectives should be measured and
    discussed at least monthly to ensure your
    business is on track. To enable this I always
    recommend short, sweet and simple business plans
    that support your business vision. Nobody is
    going to read a 50-page business plan, not even
    you.

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  • When you start writing your business plan you
    should have already carried out your business
    research, or be in the process of doing so. All
    you need to do now is roll up your sleeve, and
    write all that information on paper.

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How to Write a Great Business Plan
  • These are the steps I carry out when researching,
    and gathering information for my business, which
    I then use for my business plan.
  •     Market Research? Gather information on
    your future business, and industry, from as many
    independent sources as possible. The resources
    available are endless if you look properly e.g.
    websites, magazines, industry networks, trade
    fairs and library databases.

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  •     Executive Summary ?The business plan is a
    summary of the business, and the executive
    summary of a business plan should highlight the
    important features of the business plan. Keep it
    short and sharp, and get the reader excited about
    reading the rest of the plan.
  •     Business Description? The business
    description gives interested people an insight
    into your company. Within this section you should
    do the following

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  • ?    Describe the industry ?    Describe your
    company ?    Write a mission statement ?    Set
    out your current and future aims
  •     Financial projections This is arguably the
    most difficult part of the business plan. It is
    hard to make financial projections when you are
    still trying to secure funding.

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  • Looking three years in the future may seem a
    lifetime away. One tip I would give is get
    comfortable with Microsoft excel, as this will
    give you the flexibility to modify and
    re-forecast your projections.

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  •     Financing Funding Where is your money
    coming from, and how much money do you have
    readily available? This section can determine
    whether your idea is viable, if it can be
    launched, or if it can be sustained in a period
    of low sales.
  •     Competitive Analysis First, you must
    determine who your competitors are. Once they are
    identified you must get to know them. Visit their
    website and store if they have one. Talk to their
    buyers and suppliers. Find out as much as you can
    about them, because once you enter the market
    they will be doing the same to you. You are
    competitors, so you must aim to gain the
    competitive advantage.

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  •     Location Analysis Study your potential
    customers, and understand where they live or
    work. If your customer has to come to you, you
    must make their customer experience hassle
    free.   If your business is online, you must
    invest in online analytics and marketing. This
    will help you understand your customers online
    shopping habits. This information should be used
    for targeted marketing campaigns.
  •     Data and Record Keeping This is a very
    important point, if in the future you plan to
    apply for financial support from banks and
    investors. These people care more about past
    performance, future orders and projected
    performance than they do your business plan.  So
    you must keep clear records that document this
    information.  Your business plan will also help
    to support this information.

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  •     Suppliers Researching and finding suitable
    suppliers that you can agree the right price,
    right quantity and right quality will set you on
    the right path. If you get these elements correct
    you will have increased profits, reduced
    inventory, and increased money reserves.
    Highlight your supply chain strategy in your
    business plan.
  •     Operations Management Plan This outlines
    the processes, procedures and functions that will
    keep the business running. This tends to focus on
    production, manufacturing, storage, inbound and
    outbound logistics. The operations plan will
    highlight the key performance measures of the
    organisation, and the various responsibilities of
    the management team to achieve them. This section
    will focus more on the practical, and less on
    theory.

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