Charmayne Smith reports:
"The business plan is not just for business startups...Existing businesses use the business plan to monitor their expenses, define their strategies and benchmark their progress. Unlike new business startups, the business plan creation process is often simpler for the established business because the business’ operation information is more readily available...Create a cover page for your business plan. Include the name of your business, full address and all contact information, including fax number and email address...Complete a general business description for your business. Provide the company’s mission in 30 words or less. Include your business’ objectives, goals and philosophies here, as well. Provide a brief description of your business’ industry and include information on the industry’s growth trends and forecasts...Follow this information with your company’s legal business description...and expound on the company’s history, including its number of years in business, sales and profit history, and significant successes and failure. Include resolutions that your business implemented to correct any problems or failures...Define your business’ products and services. Explain the products in depth and highlight the competitive advantages and disadvantages of your products. Identify any strategies or steps that your business has taken to overcome disadvantages in your products...Complete a primary and secondary analysis of your industry, industry trends, target market, target market demands and competition. Use resources, such as demographic profiles and census data, to complete your secondary analysis. Refer to your own business data and analysis to complete your primary analysis...Use your research data and analysis to complete your business’ marketing plan. Provide detailed information, including statistics and sources, to support your findings and strategies. Identify and explain the demographics of your target market. Explain the features and benefits of your products, as well as why these features and benefits appeal to your target market...Identify your business’ major competitors, their products and locations. Compare your business’ strengths and weaknesses against those of your competitors. Identify your business['] competitive advantages and disadvantages and explain the strategies that your business will use to compete against the competition...Explain the advertisement methods that your business will use to capture its target market. Define the strategies that your business will use to retain its customers, as well as generate referral business. Include price points and expenses that will generate from these strategies...Describe your business’ operations. Include information on your business’ location and equipment. Include information on the expenses that pertain to each...Provide details about your business['] legal requirements...Explain how your business completes its operations, maintains quality, controls inventory, develop[s] products and services customers...Identify your personnel. List the responsibilities and functions of your executive and senior employees. List the number of employees that your company maintains and identify each department. Create an organizational chart for an easy visual reference. Identify the pay rates for each employee, along with the training methods and requirements for each employee. Identify any vacate[d] positions and include information on the pay ranges for those positions...Provide information on your business['] finances. List your business’ accounting method (cash or accrual). Explain your business’ credit terms and fees, and collection methods, if your business uses the accrual method...Complete a personal financial statement for each owner of your business. Provide a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement for your business. Analyze your business’ profits and losses, and complete a 12-month profit and loss sales forecast for your business. Include a five-year projection if your company seeks to include long-term goals and projections...Complete an executive summary for your business plan. Limit the summary to more than two pages, as recommended by SCORE. Highlight your business’ target market, specialty products and mission within the summary...Create a table of contents and an appendix for the plan. Generate the table of contents so that it references the exact pages to where each section begins. Include supporting documents in the appendix, such as receipts, tax returns and accounts payable schedules. Label each supporting document accordingly and organize the documents so that they are organized in the order in which they are referenced."
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