Tuesday, May 26, 2015

An Effective Business Plan Layout is Essential For Small Business Success

Creating a dynamic small business plan is a critical step to understanding your business and developing successful strategies and goals / objectives. One essential feature of business plans that guides entrepreneurs to growth and profits is an effective business plan layout. After all, if the plan doesn't cover the essential components of your business clearly and correctly, it will probably not be very relevant.
Here is a general outline for a success small business plan that covers all of the areas financial institutions and angel investors look for when lending capital and also provides an excellent roadmap for owners in tracking business milestones.

Executive Summary - This needs to be a concise, hard-hitting overview of your business' information, priorities, and projects. Keep it to 1-3 pages and write this section last so that the narrative accurately reflects the rest of the document. Remember, if this section must grab the reader--making her want to read more--or the entire business plan will be compromised.
Mission Statement - Mission statements are ridiculed but it is always a good idea to document what your small business is going to do and why it is so important. The mission statement should not be any more than 1-2 sentences and should reflect the primary purpose for opening the business and why it is so important.
Company Description - This is where you describe the nature of the business-does it sell a product or service, what target audience will it serve, what is the general territory it will cover, and what is the staffing arrangement.
Risk Assessment - This allows you to do an honest evaluation of your business, its industry, and what pitfalls may affect you when you least expect them. It is very important to show that you have spent time to anticipate problems and identify potential solutions.
• Operations - This reflects the nuts and bolts of the business including location, staffing, employee recruiting, hiring, training, and evaluating processes, building / equipment lease or purchase, etc.
Marketing - It is essential to have a strong understanding of target audiences or types of people who will be most likely to purchase your product or service. This is also the opportunity to discuss primary competitors and how you plan to optimize your business in a particular market or niche.
Products / Services - Provide a detailed description of the product and / service your business will promote and other relevant information such as production / distribution methods, pricing, etc.
Sales - Products and services rarely sell themselves so you need to describe how you plan on generating revenues and profits. Are you going to use advertising and, if so, what type (print, radio, TV, etc)? How will you measure the success or failure of your chosen method(s) to generate revenue?
Financial Projections - This is another "nuts and bolts" section of the plan. It is essential to document overhead costs, product pricing, and anticipated profits from your business. Create a spreadsheet that shows each line item and tracks projected figures as well as actual.
Appendix - Pull together all relevant documents for your business such as insurance policies, leases, and industry-created information about your product or service. Most investors will want proof or evidence to show that you have complied with all regulatory / professional standards and to justify your optimism in your business model.
Reaching the decision to write a small business plan is certainly an important step in attaining success and profits. However, careful attention needs to be given to the business plan layout to ensure that you include all essential elements needed to guide your actions / decisions and attract financial institutions or angel investors.
Steven Watson, PhD has been a small business owner for over 10 years and a manager for 18 years. He currently owns a copywriting and resume company in the Tallahassee, FL area. Steven has a special interest in helping new entrepreneurs get their businesses started successfully and learn the management skills needed to fulfill their career goals.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Watson,_Ph.D.

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