You should either be a business owner or be sure you want to be a business owner and that this is the right time for you to venture into business * You should have a clear business idea and area of business * You should have done some basic viability studies * You should have read "What is a business plan?"
Remember: If you can't compile a business plan, you can't run anything more than a struggling little business. To compile a good business plan, you need to be able to think strategically, investigate and read the market, convince lots of people to give you information, understand financial statements, crystalise your ideas clearly, and communicate them to others. To run a business successfully, you need all those skills, and more. When you learn how to write a business plan, you gain a lot of skills needed to run a business. INTRODUCTION: This sheet describes good business planning as a three-step cyclical process * It highlights the main areas of your business plan, the questions you should answer and suggestions for research methods in each area. * It briefly describes the structure of the written business plan. * It warns against the danger of 'over-planning'
THE FIVE MAIN AREAS OF A BUSINESS PLAN Your business plan should consist of five main areas: 1. Your strategic focus (your niche, or core business) 2. The marketing plan 3. The operations plan 4. The staffing plan. 5. The financial plan
THE PLANNING CYCLE Tackle your business planning in stages, starting with your marketing plan. For each of these stages, use a three-step cyclical planning process. Step 1: Think and Strategise * Clarify your objectives - what do you want to achieve in your business and each area of your business? * Be concrete, using figures and targets, workflow diagrams, financial statements with