Basics of Writing a Business plan Contributed by: Rajeev Roy, Prof of Entrepreneurship, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, India Introduction: This note goes beyond discussing elements of a business plan. It encourages the reader to explore the reasons for writing the business plan and the lays down a very practical roadmap on how to go about creating the business plan. After this initial discussion, various components of a business plan are individually explored. This is meant as an indicative canvas only and does not pretend to show the one and only way to make the ideal business plan. Each business is unique and will have a customized approach best suited for it. When to Use: ...view middle of the document...
Preparing a business plan can be a time-consuming and daunting task. However, the
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importance of a business plan to achieve funding and growth goals cannot be ignored. So one should get down to it and start composing a business plan.
1. Decide why you're writing your plan • • • • • • Raising money Clarifying the company’s future Launching a new venture Searching for partners Plotting against the competition. Recruiting
Whatever your reason, the business plan will serve its purpose better if it is spelt out in the very beginning 2. Study business plans Before accumulating mountains of research and information, take a look at other business plans. Your goal is to get a feel for what a business plan is, what it isn't and what to expect from your business plan. With this new insight, prepare an outline that includes the major sections and subsections that you believe should appear in your business plan. 3. Collect Information Dig through every computer file, box and file cabinet you have to unearth the information that's already available to you. You'll surprise yourself with what you find and with how nicely this step will move you forward. Consider marketing pieces you've prepared, press releases, related articles, industry journals, historical financials, important web sites and notes or ideas you've accumulated over time. Don't rate the quality of this information just gather it. At this point quantity is the name of the game, and the more you can find the better. 4. Put it down on paper Start typing thoughts, ideas, words, questions and to-dos into each section of your business plan outline. Put rough thoughts on paper and empty your brain. Don't worry about complete sentences or proper grammar - just type. Approach this step like a brainstorming session, the more powerful the storm, the more potent your business plan. Jot down any ideas that demand further consideration, areas that present a challenge and topics that require the input of others. Strive to place your thoughts in the most appropriate section of your business plan outline and rearrange the outline if it will be more logical for your readers.
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5. Prepare your rough draft. Now it's time to take your outline, the information you've got handy and your brainstormed ideas and shape them into a useable rough draft. Move through your entire outline, section by section and begin writing complete sentences and paragraphs. As you work, start a To-Do List to keep track of topics that require in-depth research, statistics or back-up information. Go through your draft several times, revising lightly as you go. Your plan should be rather sparse, but when you've completed this step, you've truly made progress. 6. Its research time Now is the time to think like a lawyer and build a case for your business plan. Your goal is to compile information and research to support the claims and assertions you...