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Writing A Business Plan

When planning to start a business, or maybe introducing a new aspect to an existing business, you need to write a business plan as part of the planning process. When doing this, your ultimate goal will be the realization of the plan, that is, the business coming from a plan and into existence.

The purposes of writing a business plan are: first, as an entrepreneur, you use the business plan to clarify, focus and research your intended business, its development and prospects for the future. Second, writing a business plan provides a framework in which you can use to develop and pursue the business strategies. In addition, a business plan serves as a basis for discussion with third parties such as investors, banks or shareholders. It also offers a benchmark for assessing performance of the business.

When writing a business plan, there are some guiding principles that will help you to come up with a good plan that will serve its purposes well. These are:

To begin, you need to write the business plan using a carefully considered outline, or table of contents. Ensure that sections related to marketing and sales are well outlined and described, since a business can literally go down because of issues related to sales and marketing.

In writing a business plan, you have to do a thorough market research which will be a basis for supporting your market and sales projections. In a market research, you will assess the sales forecasts and financial projections, competitors' positions and the possible responses you expect.

Thirdly in writing your business plan, you need to be realistic about the expectations you have for sales, profit margins and funding requirements. You should also not focus very much on product specifications and issues that are technical. Don't give too much detail on these.

Another thing to consider when writing a business plan is if you are looking for external sources of funding, you need to be realistic about how much your business is worth, what are the risks involved and what are the expected returns. You should also write how you intend to exit the business, should the need arise.

A business plan should also have details on the management of the business. Consider the experience, ability and commitment of management. Consider forming a new management team or strengthening the existing management team.

In addition to all these points, you need to write your business plan using words that are not lengthy, avoid jargon, ensure spellings are correct, use bullet points, and number pages. You should then get a qualified person who is not part of your team to go over your business plan and make adjustments if necessary.

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