Have Proper Professionals Help You With a Business

If you are starting a business of your own, you have likely heard of the importance of a good business plan to get it off the ground. The question is whether or not this is actually true. How important is a business plan in the overall scheme of things. Can you get a business off the ground without one? Well of course you can. However, the real question you should be asking yourself is… if I don’t have a business plan, am I shooting myself in the foot? As the old adage goes…if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

What I want to take about in this article is the foundations of a good business plan. As a professional in this field, I have had many business plans come across my desk. Some have been good, but most have been bad. Actually, most have been terrible and not worth more than the paper they were written on. Why is this? The answer to that question is quite simple and forms the basis of this article. Most are just “pie in the sky” numbers, projections and dreams, and do not contain any realistic numbers or variables. In short, the best way to get anyone to read your business plan is to keep it short and simple. But most of all, make it realistic. How do you go about doing this? Quite simply, get help from qualified professionals.

Have professionals help you prepare it

You don’t necessarily need a professional business plan writer to help you develop your plan from beginning to end. You can involve a number of people along the way. The best part of this strategy is that you will undoubtedly learn something along the way. Getting involved with professionals in their key areas will provide you with valuable knowledge, tips, strategies and a general understanding of a number of key areas of business.

The following professionals are a good place to start to help you write the different parts of your plan:

  • Marketing consultant: the marketing of your company will be a big part of how successful you are. Have a marketing expert help you develop your marketing plan. They can also help you brand your business and create a logo.

  • Professional accountant: One of the most important professionals will be an accountant. He or she will be involved with the formulation of the projected statements and forecasts for your business which usually include an income statement, cash flow and possibly a balance sheet.

  • Lawyer: If your business will involve any sort of legal element, you may want to consult your lawyer to help you address these.

  • Banker: In 99% of the cases, a business plan is written to obtain some sort of funding, Have your banker involved from the start so that you have a good grasp of the financing side and how that will impact your business and financial projections.

Marketing Consultant

If you don’t have some sort of strategy to help you market your business, you might as well not even bother getting started. It’s not enough to just hang a sign on your door while you sit. wait and hope for the phone to ring or someone to email you. This is the area where a lot of start-up businesses make mistakes. A good marketing consultant will help you with your strategy as well as provide you with some ideas you may not have come up with yourself. The marketing plan will also be important in the projections as it will contain many of the factors used to determine the revenues of the business, and the advertising and marketing expenses.

Professional Accountant

At the end of the day, what most people will be interested in when reading your business plan is the financial projections. Now I may be a bit biased here, but the first thing I always do is turn to the projections and statements of a business plan and see whether it is even worth reading. In a fraction of a second I can tell whether or not a professional was involved. In most cases, they have not and it shows. Remember, anyone can just dump a bunch of numbers onto a spreadsheet. But in the end, do those numbers make sense? And are the numbers attainable?

An accountant will also give you a good dose of reality by shedding light on expenses that you may not be aware of such as payroll taxes, workers compensation liabilities, business taxes, retail sales taxes etc. When I read a business plan I want to see the impact of these elements. If they are not there, most people won’t even bother reading the rest of the plan.

Lawyer

If your business will involve legal elements and the services of a lawyer or other legal professionals along the way, it would be a good idea to get them involved in the process. For example, if you are starting an employment agency, you may want to be up to speed on various laws that are applicable. Why? Well once again, some of these may impact the numbers and should be taken into account. At the very least if you will be using a lawyer to draw up contracts, leases, or other legal documents, you will need to know how much to budget for that expense.

Banker

If you are writing the plan to obtain funding, then it is a good idea to talk to your banker to get a feel for the financing side of the equation. You may want to know what interest rate you will be paying on any loans or lines of credit. You may want to check to see if the bank will cover your entire funding needs, or only a portion of it. Another important variable is the term of the loan. These numbers will be vital in the overall business plan including the cash flow and financial projections.

In summary, what you want is a prepared document that doesn’t just slap a bunch of numbers and unusable statements together. There is nothing more impressive than a well thought out and “put together” business plan. It may require a lot more time, effort and money than you may be willing to put into it. But if you do, it will be an investment that is guaranteed to pay dividends.

Business Planning

Business plan writing can be very challenging. Even then it is very important that for a business to have a business plan to make it survive and succeed. In this articles we give you simple tips on how to go about writing a successful business report.

The first step is to do appropriate research. It is very important for one to understand a marketplace. To understand a marketplace, one needs to be aware of the targeted audience. There are different market audiences that need to be taken into consideration. One should consider if the audience is worthy. The writer should write the plan bearing in mind the business’ different market audience. The research is used to access market situations and possibly enable one to come up with goals and strategies that are consumer focused. Understanding a market’s need will help a business come up with ways of catering and providing for the desired needs. Still on the market, it is important to determine that the business faces. So it is important for a business to understand its competition.

Secondly, it is important include enough details in the business plan as possible. This will make it possible for consumers who will use the plan to make decision. Enough detail about the business’ products and likely future product objectives should be stated categorically. A business plan should give professional reflection. This is achieved by ensuring that a plan has little or no common spelling or grammar mistakes and that it contains accurate and relevant data.Try as much as possible to focus on the business opportunities. By clearly spelling the business investment opportunities. This is stating why it is better for an investor to make investment in the business and not any other business.

Thirdly ensure that the business plan covers all essential areas of the business. The plan should point out viewers data preferences. Sometimes inclusion of spreadsheets and charts can be very useful. On the same note all calculations and summing should be documented fully. Even if costs can be determined, a business’ success or failure is determined by the level of sales made. Costs statements can be used to help investors determine how much it will require them to invest to make the business successful or how many sales can a business make to succeed.

Fourth, make an executive summary of the business plan. An executive summary is simply a summary of all that is contained in the business plan. An executive summary is very crucial as it is summarizes all business plan content and hence making it easier for busy investor get all business information in a shorter versions.

Finally once the plan has all the above details, it will need to go through a review process. Ensure that the plan is reviewed by independent bodies to get genuine reports on the plan. The essence of review is to get criticism. After the plan has been reviewed then the implementation process may then start. The implementation process may include carrying out of the stated objectives and goals and at times editing of both the strategies and structures of the business plan.

Reasons Why NOT to Write a Business

Looking back I don’t think I’ve ever written specifically about business plans before and the more I think about it the more I realise why, because they’re usually a pretty boring subject.

Let’s be honest, business plans are not fun things to write or to read, so I’ve quite happily avoided the subject up to now.

So why the sudden change of heart?

Well, my view on them is a little unconventional and I figured it’s time I told you why.

Admittedly I can think of a few reasons why you might write a business plan, but I can think of whole lot more reasons why you shouldn’t waste your time on them.

The fact that business plans are quite boring to write isn’t a good reason not to write one. However, here are my top five other reasons why you shouldn’t waste your time on one:

Business Plans are Guesswork

Almost everything you write in your business plan will be guesswork. Even worse, there’ll be some pretty inflated and optimistic claims in there that won’t reflect reality at all. Here’s some reasons why you’re going to be doing a lot of guessing:

o You don’t really know how many widgets you’re going to sell until you try to sell some.

o You don’t know what price point to use until you test to see what your market will accept.

o You don’t know whether your customer even wants your product/service until you find a market and ask them.

o You don’t know how to market your business until you try various methods, split test and see what works.

o You don’t know how new tools like Twitter might transform you business, if they aren’t yet invented when you write your five year plan.

So we’ve established that a business plan is largely a work of fiction. What other reasons are there not to write one?

They Give You a False Sense of Security

I don’t mind admitting I’ve written business plans in the past for some pretty bad ideas. Yet, I managed to make the business sound really viable, enough to fool even myself.

This is a dangerous thing to do because having a plan in place which looks great can give you a false sense of security.

With all the guesswork involved you’ll have a free rein to make your plan reflect what you want to happen, rather than what is likely to happen. This can lead you to think you have a great idea when maybe you don’t.

If you use your plan to convince other people it’s a great idea then the problem can escalate. Now those you seek approval from also think it sounds like a good idea, all based on fiction.

Those who have read anything I’ve written before will already know that I believe guesswork doesn’t contribute to a good business mindset and should be avoided whenever possible.

It’s best to just take action, try it out on a small scale with minimal cost and you’ll know very quickly whether it’s a good idea or a terrible idea.

Writing a plan doesn’t make your idea any better, it jut makes it sound better.

No-one Reads Business Plans

Besides yourself while you’re writing it, who are you expecting to read your shiny new 80 page business plan?

An investor might pretend they’ve read it all but the chances are they’ll only read the salient points. They could have established these anyway with a five minute conversation with you.

If you ever have time to read your plan yourself after you’ve written it then you’re probably not spending enough time actually running your business.

You can refer back to specific sections, but these will probably be outdated and obsolete just weeks after you’ve written them.

If you do refer back to it, the optimism you had when you wrote it might inspire you, until you realise the path your business has actually taken is nothing like what you planned.

This isn’t a failure on your part to follow the plan, it’s often a good thing. Let me explain why in my next point.

Your Business Should Be Flexible, Not Rigid

Your business needs to be flexible and dynamic. It needs to adapt to your customers needs, to the changes in the market, to the economic climate, to the available technology.

It needs to evolve as you experiment with advertising media, copy, headlines, price points, offers, social networking and split testing.

As you create a market you’ll be surveying them to find out what they really want from your business and then you’ll be creating exactly that.

You’ll be creating goals that you want to achieve and tracking them weekly or monthly using a spreadsheet.

The common factors here are flexibility, experimentation and adaptation.

Now tell me where a rigid five year business plan fits into this scenario? It doesn’t, because a rigid plan is the last thing you need.

Business Plans are a Distraction

Depending on what sort of business plan you’re writing it could take from a day to a week to write. That’s valuable time you could be spending actually creating and trying out your business.

I’m all for knowing exactly what you want from your business and creating one which supports the lifestyle you want. But let’s not be getting goals and plans mixed up here.

You should definitely have goals, and you should definitely be tracking your progress against them.

However kidding yourself that you know at the very beginning exactly how you’re going to achieve them isn’t going to help, because you can’t possibly know without experimenting first.

Allow yourself to be flexible, experiment and work out what takes you to your goals the faster. That’s a much better use of your time than writing a rigid plan that’ll be out of date a week after you wrote it.

I know my views on this might be a little controversial but I feel it’s only right that I share my thoughts with you. The time you save by not writing a lengthly plan will allow you to concentrate on more important things, like making your business actually happen.

Now my guess is, if there’s one thing that’s been annoying you the most as you read this it’s probably that if your business needs external funding then you do need a business plan. I agree, if you have no choice then you have to create on, that’s obvious.

If this is the case for you then write whatever your potential investors want to hear, as long as it sounds realistic.

Don’t spend forever on it though because when your funding’s in the bag you should put you business plan in your bottom draw and start the real work, figuring out what actually works and doing more of that.

Techniques For Writing a Business

A business plan may be defined as the formal statement of a collective set of business goals or planning. It can also contain the background information about the organization. Business plan is mandatory to run a company because it is an essential part of initial strategic planning of any company. The capability of writing this plan effectively is a fundamental quality that a businessman should have, especially while starting a new business company or organization. The plan acts like a road map which may guide the company towards success.

There are some objectives or reasons to write a plan for business. These are mentioned below:

– It’s a tool or equipment for obtaining financing
– This helps to unite joint venture partners in a common goal or destination
– It makes the whole business goals feasible to study and analyze
– It will serve as the blueprint for the debut business companies.

A business plan works to convince individual or institutions for investing money in his business or loaning money. Sometime the plan writing is more important than the plan itself. While attempting to write a plan, the businessman’s strategic foundation should be identified first. This strategic foundation explains about the type of business he wants to start or which type of firm he wants to establish. It also indicates the basic elements that are needed to start the business firm. One can predict about the future condition of the company by the plan on his business. In the plan, the main products and the information on the clients should be written down in detail. To get more idea about it the business man can contact with business marketing consultants who can help him.

The planner can be able to declare the financial conditions and financial goals of the company by the help of written form of the business plan. A businessman must think about the present and the future conditions, which mean that he must analyze recent conditions as well as the upcoming needs. He should categorize the ideal and awful clients so that he can take steps to attract the best clients, at the same time to refuse the others. A business plan should be written in brief way so that he won’t forget any topic or information.

Writing a business plan proves the deadly seriousness of a businessman. It is very important in acting as a guide in different stages of the business. While writing a business plan one should follow some criteria which make the plan more effective and work worthy. To set up a unique business goal that is verifiable. The main purpose of writing the plan is to notify the specific goals or plan that a company is going to perform. It will guide the businessman to take decision himself as well as it will explain his plans on business and aims to anyone reading his plan. It also states the long term objectives of the business.

The plan must be realistic in every aspect. It includes the time line, market analysis, specifies projected expenses and revenues, and creates an accurate forecasting. One must keep his plan simple, easy and clear to be understood easily. If the language is difficult and inflate for impressing the customers, it may affect in reverse way. It may be confusing for the businessman himself. It should be very easy and naturally described without any excess verbiage. It should be in proper tone so that the reader can response and react positively to that tone. One must consult with some of the institute concerned with the business sector. These firms and organizations help you to take proper decision at the right time. Consulting institutes such as business consulting firms, business technology consulting, business plan consultants, organizational consultants etc. They help and give you the proper guideline in every aspect and decision. These types of firms summarize the plan and efforts that is effective for the company.

One must write a plan staying along the lines of traditional business plan format. Creative thinking is always appreciable, but to make yourself look more professional you must go with the guide of a tested business plan template. This may organize the plan into a well structured data and document.

One must clearly state and define the main purpose of the business plan. Similar to the identification of the goals of business, the writer must identify and specify the goals of the written business plan. It will help to secure the financial backing from the investors.

Once the plan is ready for the inauguration of the business, the businessman should decide his priority. These priorities will make the success in business easier. The main contents of writing a business plan are given below:

Cover sheet
Statement of purpose
Table of content
The business
-Description of business
-Marketing
-Competition
-Operating procedure
-Business insurance
Financial data

Summary:
Overall a business plan should be written in such a manner that it is easily understandable and that have the ability to attract newer clients. After these mentioned process been finished, one would be ready to face challenges that a new business would bring.