Monday, May 25, 2015

What to Include in a Small Business Plan

Putting up a small entrepreneurial venture? You need a good small business plan then. A good business plan that details everything you need to get your new company up and running. Here's a list of the bare essentials you need to include in your business plan:
Most experts agree on the standard contents a business plan should contain. A small business plan is no exception, it should still have these basic sections.

An executive summary. The not so technical highlights like the mission, objectives, and such concepts as the keys to success. Ideas, mostly. You don't need charts and tables on this one. But though this section may not be as technical as others, it is one of the contents that should definitely be in your business plan.
The company profile. A summarized description of the company-to-be, its ownership, and everything else there is to know about the whole legal establishment, including locations and facilities.
The goods and services. Of course the plan should have a section dedicated to the goods and services your business will have to offer. Now though you may want to list down the features of your products, remember that your customers to be will be thinking what's in it for them. So while you may indeed lavishly enumerate your products' features, make sure you explain how those features benefit customers.
Strategies and implementations. A very important section that outlines strategies that will be employed, and implementation procedures to use. In this part of your business plan you cannot afford to not be specific. You need to cite target dates, budget allocations, and even managerial responsibilities so everything can be kept in track.
The market analysis. Sounds heavy? Well don't make it out to be a thesis. Just a technical summary of your market. Your potential consumers needs, growth, trends, and patterns. This section is where you make sure you know your market, and how to reach them.
The management structure. From personnel listings to managerial responsibilities and duties-all of the factors regarding human resources and workforce should be funneled here.
The financial analysis. Most of the numbers end up here. From break even analysis, to profit and expenditure forecasts, to assumptions, to business ratios. And of course, there's the cash flow. A good cash flow plan ensures the continuity of your business. You can make a lot of profit but still lose the business if your cash flow sucks.
On a last note, business plans-even a small business plan-can make very good use of charts, tables, and graphs. You've probably already heard about people learning more from visuals, right? In the same vein, all the numbers and technicalities would be easier to follow and swallow-not to mention organize-if they are in neat graphs or charts. Key points such as cash flow and other similarly complicated numerical analysis content can be made more understandable through tables, graphs, and charts. Besides, it's a cash 'flow' isn't it? So why not illustrate the flow to be doubly sure of where your cash is headed?
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