February 20th, 2012 Archive

Drafting Your First Business Plan

February 20th, 2012 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

I have a slightly embarrassing confession to make. While starting out, I encountered challenges and setbacks that were really demoralizing. Do you want to know what kept me going? Inspirational quotes. I’m happy to admit that many of the things that led to my success can be found on the most common, most unremarkable greeting cards.

One of my most favorite quotes is, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” I consider myself lucky to have come across this quote very early in my career. I realized soon enough that many of my setbacks have been due to a lack of preparation. Back then, I thought of planning as something that is for people who lack the creativity to improvise. That, of course, was a bad assumption. Experience and research have taught me that planning is a prerequisite for success.

In fact, until today I still scour the Internet for information that can help me make better planning decisions. One of the gems I found was an article from Small Business CEO entitled, “Summary of a Business Plan.” This article by Don Sandoval reminded me of many of the key points about business planning that I always try to remember:

- Acquire the necessities that would help the company get established. Where is company headquarters going to be located? What type of construction or renovation needs to be done?

- Indicate your marketing plan. What markets are you planning to attack? How will you market?

- Decide on what you plan to market first. When do you plan to open for business? What will you produce first?

These are the main principles that you’ll have to incorporate into your business plan. Yes, there are going to be a lot of questions you have to answer and if this is your first time drafting a business plan, you may find that dealing with these details is a little tedious. You might even feel the urge to skip it altogether. Let me tell you right now, persevere and make a business plan because it’s very, very important. As Dan says, “The Business Plan is very important and basically serves as a road map of how your business is expected to grow.”

Now, you might be thinking, “Yes, Adaire, I want to make a business plan. If only I knew how…” If this is a concern of yours, then I have the perfect solution. There’s something also from Small Business CEO that can definitely help you draft your first business plan. Andrei Boudnikov wrote a very informative article called, “What a Business Plan Is,” where he provides a foundation for an effective business plan. Here are some items found in his article:

- A brief description of your business. This section of the plan should include who you are, what your products are, and who you intend to sell them to.

- A business strategy. This part should include a brief description of how you intend to market or promote your product or service.

- Your personnel. This is where you have to indicate what type of employees you need to run your business.

I encourage you guys to read the rest of his very informative article. It’s certainly worth your time. Once you learn how to create great business plans, you can start presenting them to potential partners or investors. Who knows? You might even find a way to start a business without spending so much capital.

Always remember that with an effective plan, you’ve already won half the battle. As the wise inventor Thomas Alva Edison once said, “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” It takes more than luck and skill to reach your dreams. You need to be ready when such opportunities come, otherwise you might not be able to take full advantage of them.

So, take those creative business ideas and turn them into organized business plans! Soon enough you’ll be able to draft a plan with great potential that you can carry-out as a business project.

Good luck! :)


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