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A PowerPoint presentation that details the top ten do’s and don’ts of writing a business plan.
The Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts Top Ten Do’s ……….. Slide 4 – 13 Top Ten Don’ts …….. Slide 14 - 25 When Writing a Business Plan Have knowledge of the entire planning process Use a business plan outline Understand that you are the expert about your business and what you want to accomplish with it Develop a Complete Plan Answer the key questions: who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much Your business plan is a dynamic document. Circumstances are likely to change during the course of planning, starting and operating your business. As changes occur, you will need to update your plan and incorporate those changes. Use a Business Plan Template As your circumstances change, you are better able to revise and modify your plan Take time to research all of the plan’s components. Write a comprehensive, detailed plan that addresses each component. Complete all Sections of your Business Plan Make sure the information completely tells the story of your business Market research gives credibility to your business plan. It helps to establish the viability of your concept. It should include a suitable marketing strategy for your customers, and the product or service's likelihood of selling. Include Market Research Information Remember to specify the sources of your data Use your attractive kit as a selling tool. Use charts to detail: ◦ Monthly income statements ◦ Cash flow projections ◦ Historical financial statements for existing businesses. Make Your Business Plan an Attractive Package Include your financial plan, and your financial projections Include a narrative explaining the assumptions you used to develop income statement and cash flow projections. You must verify that your numbers are reasonable. Give An Explanation for Your Assumptions Explain how the plan relates to your financial projections Spell out your strategy for dealing with adversities. List your experience with the industry. If inexperienced, what will you do to acquire the necessary aptitude? Explain Your Strategy for Handling Adversities Address the strengths and weaknesses of your business concept What are the strengths & weaknesses of your management team? What are the strengths & weaknesses of your current and future competitors? Take a look at Your Competition Address the strengths and weaknesses of your team & your competitors Thoroughly research all costs so you can include accurate numbers. Determine all possible costs for starting and/or operating your business. Include a Monthly Cash Projection Clearly specify the amount of financing you are requesting Use your plan to direct your decision- making so your business stays focused on achieving its long-term goals. Use Your Plan to Monitor Actual Performance Modify your business plan often to stay abreast of changing conditions When Writing a Business Plan Handwritten plans are not professional. Do not expect your plan to be finished in a short period of time. Do not Hand Write Your Business Plan The process of developing a business plan takes considerable time Misspelled words and grammatical errors point to a lack of attention to detail. Use a spell check function. Have someone check your plan for errors. Do not Misspell Words or Make Grammatical Errors This is an indication that you do not pay attention to detail Don't overestimate expected revenues Be conservative when estimating your: ◦ Revenues ◦ Financial projections Do not Be Too Optimistic about Future Sales Specify your strategy for improving deficiencies & meeting sales goals Project the maximum expense you might reasonably have to pay. Include a cushion so you can deal with unforeseen events. Do not Underestimate Expenses & Costs Remember to include all facts and details that are pertinent Don't stress long-term projections Focus on projections for your first year. Do not Rush to Put Everything Together Lenders want to see business plans that are well thought out Don't depend entirely on the fact that: ◦ Your business is unique. ◦ Your invention or idea cannot be duplicated. Do not Depend on the Rareness of Your Business Include all relevant facts and details when describing your business services Always tailor your plan so that it conforms to your precise business objectives and does not appear standardized. Do not Use Content from Other Business Plans This is where you want to push home your individualism Do not try to do everything for everybody. Highly focused, specialized services generally fair better. Do not Underplay the Services that make You Different Specialized services are in higher demand Use historical averages Create a list of obvious: ◦ one-time costs ◦ recurring costs ◦ Permit costs ◦ Deposits Secure price quotes from inventory suppliers Evaluate your fixed assets Assess cost information for: ◦ utilities ◦ Insurance Professional fees ◦ CPA ◦ attorney Do not Presume What your Costs Will Be You can use historical averages if you are an established business The first thing you must do is test your idea. Do not Base Your Business Plan on a Concept Avoid using industry jargon in your Business Plan Do not not prepare a business plan before you ask for financing. Do not Think You Don’t Need a Business Plan Your request will not be taken seriously if you do not have a Business Plan The Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts n’ts
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