Description of management and organizational structure. The quality of a company's management team can be the most important aspect of a business plan. This section presents the strengths of the company's management team by highlighting relevant experience, achievements, and past performance. Key areas include management's ability to provide planning, organizational skills, and leadership. This section also contains information about the company's ownership and work force. It may present an existing or planned organizational structure that will accomplish the goals set forth in the business plan.
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Every business operates within a specific context that affects its growth potential. The description of a company's resume operating environment may cover new products and developments in the industry, trends and outlook for the industry, and overall economic trends. The intent of the company profile, meanwhile, is to provide readers with a description of unique features that give the company an edge in the environment in which it competes. A brief company history reveals how specific products and services were developed, while descriptions of pertinent contracts and agreements should also be mentioned (information on contracts and legal agreements may also be included in an appendix to the business plan). Other topics covered include operational procedures and research and development. Description of products and/or services, the goal of this section is to differentiate a company's products or services from those of the competition. It describes specific customer needs that are uniquely met by the firm's products or services. Product features are translated into customer benefits. Product life cycles and their effects on sales and marketing can be described. The company's plans for a new generation of products or services may also be included in this section.
Business plans explain specific steps and actions for that will be taken as well as their rationale. That is, they not only tell how a company will achieve its strategic objectives, they also tell why specific decisions have been made. Anticipated problems and the company's response to them are usually included. In effect, business plans are a set of management decisions about how the company will proceed along a specified course of action, with justifications for those decisions. Listed below are brief descriptions of the major elements found in business plans. This is usually a two-to five-page summary of the entire business plan. It is an important part of the plan, in that it is designed to capture the reader's attention and create an interest in the company. It usually includes the company's mission statement and summarizes its competitive advantages, sales and profit projections, financial requirements, plans to repay lenders or investors, and the amount of financing requested. Description of business, the business description includes not only a profile of the company, but also a picture of the industry in which the company operates.
Finally, these specific plans are assembled into the completed business plan. Elements ousiness plan, business plans must include authoritative, factual data, usually obtained from a wide range of sources. The plans must be written in a consistent and realistic manner. Contradictions or inconsistencies within a business plan create doubts in the minds of its readers. Problems and risks associated with the business should be described rather than avoided, then used as essay the basis for presenting thoughtful solutions and contingency plans. Business plans can be tailored to the needs and interests of specific audiences by emphasizing or presenting differently certain categories of information in different versions of the plan. Business plans contain a number of specific elements as well as certain general characteristics. These include a general description of the company and its products or services, an executive summary, management and organizational charts, sales and marketing plans, financial plans, and production plans. They describe the general direction of a company in terms of its underlying philosophy, goals, and objectives.
Setting goals and defining strategies are the next key steps in the planning process. Using the assessment and evaluation of internal and external factors, fundamental goals for the business are developed. Pertinent areas to be studied include the company's competitive philosophy, its market focus, and its customer service philosophy. Specific performance and operational strategies are then established, based on these goals. After strategies and goals have been defined, they are translated into specific plans and programs. These plans and programs determine how a company's resources will be managed in order to implement its strategies and achieve its goals. Specific areas that require their own plans and programs include the overall organization of the company, sales and marketing, products and production, and finance.
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In other cases, such as for a business acquisition, it may be necessary to prepare a business plan on short notice. The process can someone be expedited by determining what information is needed from each area of a company. Participants can then meet to complete only those plan components that are needed immediately. During the planning process, it is usually desirable to encourage teamwork, especially across functional lines. When people work together to collect and analyze data, they are far more likely to be able to arrive at objectives that are consistent with one another. A few basic steps can be identified in the planning process.
The first step is to organize the process by identifying who will be involved, determining the basic scope of the plan, and establishing a time frame within which the plan is to be completed. Company leaders not only communicate their support for the planning process, they also define the responsibilities of each party involved. Work plans that supplement the general timetable are helpful in meeting deadlines associated with the planning process. Once the planning process has been fully organized, participants can begin the process of assessment. Internal evaluations include identification of strengths and weaknesses of all areas of the business. In addition, it is generally useful to assess and evaluate such external factors as the general economy, competition, relevant technologies, trends, and other circumstances outside the control of the company that can affect its performance or fundamental health.
In such cases, business plans describe actions that need to be taken in order to restore profitability or reach other goals. Necessary operational changes are identified in the plan, along with corresponding reductions in expenses. Desired performance and operational objectives are delineated, often with corresponding changes in production equipment, work force, and certain products and/or services. Banks and other lenders use business plans to evaluate a company's ability to handle more debt and, in some cases, equity financing. The business plan documents the company's cash flow requirements and provides a detailed description of its assets, capitalization, and projected financial performance. It provides potential lenders and investors with verifiable facts about a company's performance so that risks can be accurately identified and evaluated.
Finally, the business plan is the primary source of information for potential purchasers of a company or one of its divisions or product lines. As with outside lenders and investors, business plans prepared for potential buyers provide them with verifiable facts and projections about the company's performance. The business plan must communicate the basic business premise or concept of the company, present its strengths as well as weaknesses, and provide indications of the company's long-term viability. When a company is attempting to sell off a division or product line, the business plan defines the new business entity. Preparing the business plan, the process of preparing and developing a business plan is an interactive one that involves every functional area of a company. Successful business plans are usually the result of team effort, in which all employees provide input based on their special areas of expertise and technical skill. Business owners and managers provide overall support for the planning process as well as general guidelines and feedback on the plan as it is being developed. Some companies make the planning process an ongoing one.
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Business plans also cover such areas as marketing opportunities and future financing requirements that require management attention. In some instances—such as scenarios in paperwork which an entrepreneur decides to turn a favorite hobby into a home-based business enterprise—the business plan can be a simple document of one or two pages. A business proposal of significant complexity and financial importance, however, should include a far more comprehensive plan. A tool and die manufacturer looking for investors to expand production capacity, for example, will in all likelihood need to compose a business plan of greater depth and detail than will a computer enthusiast who decides to launch a desktop publishing business out of his/her. Ideally, everyone in the company will use the information contained in the company's business plan, whether to set performance targets, guide decision-making with regard to ongoing operations, or assess personnel performance in terms of the their ability to meet objectives set forth in the business. In addition, workers who are informed about the business plan can evaluate and adjust their own performance in terms of company objectives and expectations. Business plans can also be used in the restructuring or reorganization of a business.
major uses. These include internal planning and forecasting, obtaining funding for ongoing operations or expansion, planned divestiture and spin-offs, and restructuring or reorganizing. While business plans have elements common to all uses, most business plans are tailored according to their specific use and intended audience. When used for internal planning, business plans can provide a blueprint for the operation of an entire company. A company's performance and progress can be measured against planned goals involving sales, expenditures, time frame, and strategic direction. Business plans also help an entrepreneur or business manager identify and focus on potential problem areas, both inside and outside the company. Once potentially troublesome areas have been identified, proposed solutions and contingency plans can be incorporated into the business plan.
It can be used by managers and executives for internal planning. It can be used as the basis for loan applications from banks and other lenders. It can be used to persuade investors ions that a company is a good investment. For start-up ventures, the process of preparing a business plan serves as a road map to the future by making entrepreneurs and business owners think through their strategies, evaluate their basic business concepts, recognize their business's limitations, and avoid a variety of mistakes. Virtually every business needs a business plan. Lack of proper planning is one of the most often cited reasons for business failures. Business plans help companies identify their goals and objectives and provide them with tactics and strategies to reach those goals. They are not historical documents; rather, they embody a set of management decisions about necessary steps for the business to reach its objectives and perform in accordance with its capabilities. "by its very definition, a business plan is a plan for the business, clarifying why it exists, who it exists for, what products and services it provides these client groups, how it intends to develop and deliver these products and services, and where.
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To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business. Follow that with a section that describes what products and services your company will offer. Then, write a marketing section where you detail fruit how you're going to inform people about your business. You'll also want to include a section on your business model and how it will operate. Finally, conclude your business plan by letting investors know what you need from them. Did this summary help you? A company's business plan is one of its most important documents.