Components of a Business Plan
The format and contents of a business plan is something that has been refined many, many times over the years but there are some key components to make your plan turn into a successful business. When creating a business plan it’s important to make sure that when someone is reading they can understand and interpret your vision for the business and feel the passion you feel about starting your own business. To assure understanding between you and your reader you must make sure they understand where your business stands currently, where it will stand in the future and how it is your going to get to that point in the future. With that said it’s also important to make sure you cover all your bases when constructing your business plan so there are no questions left unanswered after one has concluded reading. Although it is typically one of the first pages in the plan, the Table of Contents should be one of the last constructed items in the plan. It should be a brief outline or overview of the contents of your business plan and should also contain any related tables or appendixes that may be useful in the projection or explanation of the business plan. The amount of information in the appendices will vary from plan to plan depending of the type of industry you are looking to get involved in but none the less there will almost always be some sort of pertinent information that can and will be located here. Like the table of contents, the Executive Summary is another item in the plan that will come early in the order of the plan but should also be one of the last items constructed when building the business plan. Similar to the preface of a book, the business plan is an overall introduction to the business plan. There is a few things the summary should accomplish and the first is get the reader acquainted with the subject matter of the material you will be covering in the plan. Second, the summary should emphasize any strengths the entrepreneur wishes to make sure the reader is aware of. Third, it should establish the market in which your business will be targeting and how you plan on reaching that target. Lastly, the summary should be engaging so that the reader wants to continue reading the rest of the plan. The last portion of the summary in many ways is the most important. Getting the reader excited about your idea for a business can have them wanting to know more and more about your plan and thus enticing them to continue reading. The first large section of the business plan will be a description of the business and will contain many parts. This part of the plan lets the reader know how well you know your business in your own words and assure them that your business can and will be a successful one. Company Analysis and Services is a section that includes your personal qualifications to run your business, a history of your business or idea, and any past accomplishments associated with your business. In this section it’s important not to try to make your business out to be more than it really is but simply let the facts and numbers speak for themselves. Any information given that can be backed up by solid evidence or numbers goes a long way to validate your business or idea. Giving the reader proven reason to believe in your business or idea can really go a long way to help get support from them. Industry or market overview and target customers could be one of the most important portions of your business plan. With this section, research and information is more valuable than you could ever imagine. Depending on the type of business you are looking to establish, this section is usually divided into two sections. First being the Industry or Market Overview. Understanding the industry your entering is very important in determining the ways of doing business and understanding what it is you can do to best serve your customers. Knowing your target customers is the second part of...
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