Researching a Business Plan Objective: This guide is designed to assist you in making a flexible business plan. A business plan is a written proposal that describes your new business. It identifies the goods or services you will offer and how your product or service will be produced and sold. It outlines your goals and gives a timetable for meeting them. Answer each question with a complete response. Remember this guide will be used in the writing of your business plan. Description of the Business: 1. Indicate the competitive edges your business offers. 2. Describe the products or services that will be offered. 3. Describe the customers you plan to target. 4. Briefly describe your operations and distribution of the products. 5. Describe the image you want your business to have and how you plan to achieve this. Self Analysis: 1. What skills or training do I need to start this business? 2. Do I have the optimism to succeed? 3. Am I a self-starter? 4. Am I innovative? 5. Do I have the skills to be able to make decisions and enforce them? 6. Am I willing to take a risk? 7. Do I have set short and long-range goals for myself? 8. Can I manage my resources wisely [human, material and financial]? 9. What are my strengths that will help me start a business? 10. What are my weaknesses that might hinder me in starting a business? Trading area analysis: 1. What location will provide accessibility? 2. How many clients are expected to utilize the business? 3. What demographics (age, gender) need to be considered in starting this business? 4. How much disposable income do potential customers have? 5. What competition is this business facing? [make a list] Market Segment analysis: 1. What is the specific client this business is expected to reach? 2. How do your clients see themselves as buyers? [impulse, fad, peer, planned, comparison] Analysis of potential location: 1. How near is my major competition? 2. What is the number and size of the competition? 3. What are the hours the business will operate? 4. How visible will this business be? 5. How accessible is this location for your clients? Proposed organization: 1. What type of ownership is going to be involved with this business? 2. List the steps needed to form this business. 3. What are the personnel needs of the business? 4. What is the job description for each person in the business? 5. Draw an organizational chart for your business based on the job descriptions. Proposed Goods/Services: 1. What type of goods/services will be offered? 2. What inventory will be kept on-hand? 3. How will you keep track of what to order? 4. How will you keep track of what has been sold? 5. Where will you store the goods that you have in stock? 6. Who will be your suppliers? Proposed Marketing Plan: 1. What price will you set that is high enough to cover your costs, but enough to make a profit? 2. Will this price be competitive enough to attract clients? 3. How do you propose to promote your business? Sources of Capital: 1. With what capital will this business be started? [ if a club, would you charge extra fee?] 2. Would you be able to get community support for your business? 3. Are any personal funds needed to start this business? 4. How much will it cost to start this business? Write a detailed list of these costs. 5. Make an estimate of the money you expect to earn and to spend in operating this business. 6. Set up a certain period to analyze the business [a month] is good. Make a profit and loss statement. 7. Prepare a balance sheet [summary of the business' assets, liabilities, and owner's equity]. 8. Prepare a cash flow statement that shows when you anticipate cash coming into the business. You should also include when you expect to pay out cash.
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