Friday, May 11, 2007

Tips On Writing A Business Plan

When you're ready to start your own business - whether you plan to start a home based business, retail store, service based business, online shopping site or otherwise - the first step often involves writing a business plan. Without a business plan, you won't know how to get started, or how to grow and maintain your new business.

A business plan is a simple roadmap. It's a plan which tells you what you're going to do, when, and how. The business plan also helps you clarify the type of business you intend to start, who your customers will be, and what your products or services will be too.

If you plan to try and get funding for your new business from either a bank, standard lender, or investor, you will need to create what's known as a formal business plan. Formal business plans will provide a summary of your business and market, then go into explicit details about your products, customers and markets, suppliers, profitability estimates, analysis of the competition and more. These formal business plans can often run twenty pages in length and take months to complete.

Small business owners however, don't need formal business plans to get thier business started. Often a small business will create their first business plan in the form of brainsorming notes, or outlines. And this is fine to get started with.

The important part though, is actually writing down some kind of plan. Too often, very small businesses will try to get started without any business plan, so their ideas are vague and they often don't know which steps to take next. By writing something down, even if it's just very informal brainstorming notes, you'll have a much clearer picture of what kind of business you want, and how it should grow over time.

Here are several things you should think about when writing your business plan:

1. What kind of company are you starting? Is it a retail store? A professional service? An online website?

2. What is the purpose of your new business? A business can be started for fun, but if you want it to be profitable then you need to know why you're starting it. Are you filling a need of some kind? Creating something never seen before?

3. How will your business make money? Will you sell products and if so, which ones? Where will you get the products from? How much will you pay for the products and how much will you sell them for?

4. Who will be your customers? Knowing who your customers will be is a critical part of writing any business plan. If you know your customers live on limited fixed incomes for instance, then you automatically know you cannot sell them products or services which cost thousands of dollars. Knowing who your customers will be also helps you to know where to place your advertising and marketing efforts.

5. How will you get those customers? Whether you plan on calling each one of them on the phone personally, or you'll be hiring a top notch sales team, you need to know how you'll get customers or your business may never get off the ground.

These are just the basic steps for writing a business plan of course, but they are the most important ones.

About the Author:

Please be sure to visit http://www.gbexchange.net/ for additional tips, information and resources to help you start writing your own business plan today.

Read more articles by: Adriana Copaceanu

Article Source: www.iSnare.com


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