Plan for Success

Plan for Success

The main purpose for the plan is to serve as a working guide for the business. It is a living document that should be referred to regularly and updated periodically.

The Executive Summary may be the most important part of the plan because it is what investors and lenders read first. The executive summary should not exceed three pages. It should be concise and highlight what the company is all about and what’s in it for the investor. The executive summary should be written last after completing the other sections of the plan.

Describe your business venture. Be specific and focused. Do not describe too broad a range of activities, especially if you are a sole proprietor. You are just one person with all the responsibilities. Everything in the business plan will be based on or be influenced by what you decide the business is to be. Describe realistic goals and how they will be reached.

Defining your target market. You must have a product or service that fills a unique needs that attracts customers.What are the trends of your market, potential customers, your competition, and the best ways to reach your market. The marketing plan must describe specific goals supported by facts and logic: size of market, strength of competition, pricing and competitive edge. You should talk to similar businesses outside your market area.

The financial section is essential to understanding how your business is doing. You may be able to set up the financial record keeping yourself. Your cash flow statement is probably the most important. Done properly, it will predict whether or not you will have sufficient funds to meet projected future cash needs. Realistic financial projections must clearly show viability of the business, loan repayment and positive cash flow.

For sample business plans, see:

SCORE can review your plan,make suggestions for improvements and help you to fine tune it.

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