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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Insights On Business Plans For Small Business

What are the primary goals of your business plan? You must answer this question before diving into a bunch of templates. Most templates are cookie cutters and may not achieve what you're trying to do. Raising capital? Figuring out your business model? Researching the market and competition?

You need to know who you are writing it for and why. If you have this figured out you're ready to roll. Some people these days will try to convince you a business plan is not necessary and is a waste of time. Unless you are a super lean high tech startup that "opinion" is a lot of hot air. There may be some truth in it ..... but the process of sitting down and writing it all out is an invaluable process.

If you want a good outline for a captial raising plan (not a template) try the Sequoia guys. They know what they're doing.

Sequoia

You can also use the information from MyOwnBusiness.org.

This is their business plan section: MyOwnBusiness

You can download all 14 sections of the plan at: MyOwnBusiness Download

For a guide to follow (use what applies .... delete what doesn't) you can use this outline........

Table of Contents
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
2 BUSINESS OVERVIEW
2.1 Fact Sheet
2.2 Company History
2.3 Organisational Structure
2.4 Product And Related Services
2.5 Business Process And Operations
2.6 Development of the Business
3 THE XYZ ENVIRONMENT
3.1 Background
3.2 XYZ in USA – Today
3.3 Administrative and Financing Responsibilities for XYZ
3.4 Statistical Overview of the Australian Regulatory System
3.5 International Focus
3.6 XYZ operation and management
3.7 Duplication of XYZ
4 TECHNOLOGY
4.1 Research And Development
5 XYZ AND THE ENVIRONMENT
6 MARKET PLAN
6.1 Market Analysis
6.2 Subscriber Market Demographics
6.3 Competitive Analysis
6.4 Marketing Strategy
7 HUMAN RESOURCE PLAN
7.1 Management and Ownership
7.2 Profiles of KEY PEOPLE
7.3 Administration, Organization, and Personnel
8 S.W.O.T ANALYSIS
8.1 The Critical Risks and Problems
8.2 Strengths
8.3 Weaknesses
8.4 Opportunities
8.4 Threats
8.5 Milestones, Schedule, And Strategic Planning
9 ALIGNMENT WITH GOVERNMENT DIRECTION
Appendix 1 - Financial Projections
Detailed Profit & Loss Statement
Balance Sheet
Notes
Appendix 2 – Cash Flow Projections
- Economy of XYZ
- XYZ Business model
-Dependent economic factors
Appendix 3 - Management Profiles
Appendix 4 - Letters of Support from Potential Users
Appendix 5 - Letters of Support from Strategic Alliances
Appendix 6 - Letters of Support from Potential Subscribers
Appendix 7 - Articles of Association and Certificate of Registration
Appendix 8 - Sample Website Content
Appendix 9 – Certificate of Registration & Articles of Association

That should be enough to get you started in the right direction. If you need more help click on the Cafe resource links in the menu on the left.

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