Writing a business plan!  Groan!

Writing a business plan! Groan!

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The dreaded documentthat no one really wants to write, but any smart executive or business owner realizes is crucial in order to successfully start a business, obtain additional financing or attract savvy investors – all of which can catapult the firm to the next level.

Without a sound business plan, it is easy to run away with your dreams, aspirations and to give into the desire to broaden your scope. To make it more enjoyable, surround yourself with people you trust, whose best interests are in helping you grow your business. Key components should include:

Executive Summary

The teaser.  Make it as eye catching and as interesting as possible. Clearly state what you’re asking for: new financing, or new partnership etc. It should keep the reader inspired to learn more about your products, services and your strategic goals.

SWOT Analysis

This is perhaps the most difficult part as it requires your complete honesty. As an executive, you have to be objective and review your corporate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and market threats. Broadcast your achievements, highlight distinct accomplishments (patents, special exclusivity rights) or important strategic partnerships. This analysis forces you to review recent changes in management, market conditions (i.e. recession) or new products or competitors who have emerged that could pose a real threat to your firm.

Market Analysis

The most challenging component. It is not uncommon for senior executives to believe that because their recipe for success has worked over the last 25 years that it will continue to do so.  Others simply don’t want to invest in a market research study that, in the end, will save them money in the long term. Today’s market conditions change at lightning speed. Be wise, do the due diligence. Facing reality can help your firm be better prepared, turn around quickly and align itself on the road to success.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

The fun part that allows you to dream! Take the time to explore new ventures, new product launches or strategic alliances. Challenge yourself while at the same time, be realistic. Many executives have found that it is more beneficial to keep their business approaches focused. Instead of trying to do a great number of things adequately, it is usually wiser to do a few things superbly.

Management Team

The key to any successful business is directly related to the management team – your most invaluable asset.  Surround yourself with the best and define roles clearly. Their commitment and clear responsibilities will ensure that your operations are streamlined and effective.

Financial Plan

Pull out the calculator and do the number crunching. Highlight the important financial points of the business including: sales, profits, cash flows and return on investment. Ensure that you have matched sales revenues with its corresponding expenditures. Typically, a three-year financial plan is best.

Conclusion

Once you have written a sound plan, obtained your desired goal (i.e. acquired new financing), put the plan in action. A smartly managed plan with ongoing reviews is important in order to analyse results, monitor key milestones, prepare and help you manage any bumps in the road.

Need assistance in writing a business plan or need a fresh pair of eyes to review an existing one, please contact us at info@izitamarketing.com or 514-363-3995 and we will be more than happy to assist you.