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How to Prepare a Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits... Part 3


Next comes to your table of contents page. Don't really worry about this one until you've got the entire plan completed and ready for final typing. It's a good idea though, to list the subjects (chapter titles) as I have, and then check off each one as you complete that part of your plan. By having a list of the points you want to cover, you'll also be able to skip around and work on each phase of your business plan as the idea or the interest in organizing that particular phase, stimulates you. In other words, you won't have to make your thinking or your planning conform to the chronological order of the "chapters" of your business plan - another reason for the loose leaf notebook...

In describing your business, it's best to begin where your statement of purpose leaves off. Introduce your product, the production process, which has responsibility for what, and most importantly, what makes you product or service unique - what gives it an edge in your market. You can briefly summarize your business openings, present position and potential for future success, as well.

Next, describe the buyers you're trying to reach - why they need and want or will buy your product - and the results of any tests or surveys you may have conducted. Once you've defined your market, go on to explain how you intend to reach that market – how you'll alert these prospects to your product or service and induce them to buy. You might want to break this chapter down into sections such as... advertising plans, promotions and publicity, direct sales force, and distributor/dealer programs. Each section would then be a sketch of your plans and policies.

Moving into the chapter on competition, name who your competitors are their weaknesses and strong points - explain how you intend to capitalize on those weaknesses and match or better the strong points. Talk to as many of your "indirect" competitors as possible - those working in different cities.

One of the easiest ways of gathering a lot of useful information about your competitors is by developing a series of survey questions and sending these questionnaires out to each of them. Later on, you might want to compile the answers to these questionnaires into some form of directory or report on this type of business.

It's also advisable to make contact with the trade associations and publications serving your proposed type of, business. For information on trade associations and definite trade publications, visit your public library, and after explaining what you want, ask for the librarian's help.

The chapter on management should be an explanation on the people operating the business. Those people that actually run the business - their job titles, duties, responsibilities and backfilled resume's. It's important that you "paint" a strong picture of your top management people because the people coming to work for you or investing in your business, will be "investing in these people" as much as your product ideas. Individual tenacity, innovative problem-solving and mature judgment under fire "won over" more people than all the AAA Credit Ratings and astronomical sales figures put together. Continued - How to Prepare a Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits... Part 4

Previous Articles:
How to Prepare a Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits... Part 1
How to Prepare a Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits... Part 2

4 comments:

Business Finder said...

Thank you for the advice. Writing business plans can become a big chore, but is needed if you want to get a business loan (well, at least here in South Africa). The benefit of writing a plan, is that you are forced to give your business some thought.

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