Thursday, November 21, 2013

Next Step After the Plan

Now that our business plan has been finished, finalized and presented, I have now only accomplished step one of getting everything off the ground. After finishing a business plan there are multiple options that you can choose to do with a finished plan. Some companies decide to immediately seek funding, open doors, or seek a business partner.

This is why you wrote your plan! Did you write your business plan for a startup or for an existing business? If it's for a startup and you need outside funding for your business, lenders, angel investors, VCs, and pretty much everyone else will expect to see a professional-looking business plan when you pitch to them. And once you have your business up and running (or if your business is already up and running), then you can use your plan to track and manage the real outcome against what you projected. It'll keep you on track, organized, and always ready for the future. Remember, your plan isn't a static document; it can and should change over time.

When seeking financing always remember like my current instructor William (Bill) Thompson at Full Sail University says, “there is more money out there than good ideas”.  Like stated before there are tons of sources and money out there for good ideas for anyone not to receive a piece of the pie.

When finding a business partner its usually because you don’t have the experience or money to receive funding. So make sure that when choosing someone to add as an addition to your company, you make sure that they are a perfect fit and that you get them as excited as you are. Once in the company they should do as much as they can to make the company succeed, seeing that this is the source of there paycheck also.

Business plans are used for multiple external things, such as to raise funds, be apart of your hiring process, attract business partners. Some internal uses could be to set priorities, set people in charge of certain things also detailing how there progress is measured.

Figure what you need your business for and then determine a plan of action to get the next steps accomplished.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What Should Belong in My Business Plan?

When putting together your business plan you always want to make sure that you have the initial things all together and in order. Those initial things would be you cover page, table of contents and you executive summary.
When putting the business plan together one thing that should be structure is that the first page is the cover page. The cover page should entail the company name or logo, the owner/representative name, and disclaimer. The second page of the business plan should be left intentionally blank. Reason being, some companies who print this document, may print on the front and back of each page, this will entail that the table of contents be the next and only thing you see opening the business plan. Of course the next item in the business plan should be the table of contents, with all accurate page numbers and chapters. Subchapters may be included but not necessary. The first of all the rest of the chapters should be the executive summary. The executive summary should be 1-3 pages, outlining the entire business plan, as if it was a 1-3 page summary or book report.
After that, all the rest of the chapters should be determined on whom you are presenting to and what information is most important to them. These chapters should include, but not limited to your company description, industry analysis and trends, target market, the competition, a marketing plan, operations and management, financials, and also try to include an appendix. Sometimes it may be a good idea to include chapters on certain strategic position and risk assessment, technology plan, and social responsibility and sustainability.
Now a days a business plan is typically about 25 pages. Try to narrow down details, especially when they start to repeat themselves from one chapter to another. Include what needs to be there and then add any extras.