Business Plan Guidelines

Topics: Management, Marketing, Strategic management Pages: 10 (2400 words) Published: February 26, 2014
Business Plan for a Startup Business

Technopreneurship begins with a technological idea that upon reflection can be converted into a valuable opportunity. Simply put, technopreneurship is entrepreneurship in technological venture. Thus, technopreneurship involves the entrepreneurial life cycle. One of the phases of such life cycle is to document one’s business idea into a business plan. The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial worksheets. The real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished product in hand; rather, the value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later. This summary of your business opportunity and concept should give the reader a quick and complete idea of the problem the new venture is solving and how the new venture will act to solve it. Why Prepare a Business Plan?

Your business plan is going to be useful in a number of ways. First and foremost, it will define and focus your objective using appropriate information and analysis. You can use it as a selling tool in dealing with important relationships including your lenders, investors and banks. Your business plan can uncover omissions and/or weaknesses in your planning process. You can use the plan to solicit opinions and advice from people, including those in your intended field of business, who will freely give you invaluable advice. Important Reminders in Business Planning

Place some reasonable limits on long-term, future projections. (Long-term means over one year.) Better to stick with short-term objectives and modify the plan as your business progresses. Too often, long-range planning becomes meaningless because the reality of your business can be different from your initial concept. Avoid optimism. In fact, to offset optimism, be extremely conservative in predicting capital requirements, timelines, sales and profits. Few business plans correctly anticipate how much money and time will be required. Do not ignore spelling out what your strategies will be in the event of business adversities. Use simple language in explaining the issues. Make it easy to read and understand. Don’t depend entirely on the uniqueness of your business or even patented invention. Success comes to those who start business with great economics and not necessarily great inventions. Five Steps to a GREAT Business Plan

Start-up entrepreneurs often have difficulty writing out business plans. This discipline is going to help you in many ways so don’t skip this planning tool! To make it easier, here are six steps that will produce a worthwhile plan: 1. Write out your basic business concept.

2. Gather all the data you can on the feasibility and the specifics of your business concept. 3. Focus and refine your concept based on the data you have compiled. 4. Outline the specifics of your business. Using a “what, where, why, how” approach might be useful. 5. Put your plan into a compelling form so that it will not only give you insights and focus but, at the same time, will become a valuable tool in dealing with business relationships that will be very important to you. Formulate (and Reformulate) your Business Plan

Donald N. Sull, associate professor of Management Practice at the London Business School, in an article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, offers some practical suggestions on managing inevitable risks while pursuing opportunities. Here is a capsulation of his suggestions on how to formulate (and reformulate) your business plan: Be flexible early in the process and keep it fluid. Don’t commit too early. Expect your first plan to be provisional and subject to revision. Ask yourself if your experience or experience gives you the right to an opinion on your...
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