Top 10 Do's and Dont's in Writing a Business Plan

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					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
				
This document is also part of a package Business Planning Starter kit 22 Documents Included