1. Writing the Dreaded Business Plan

The Closet Entrepreneur by Kendra Leah Fuller

By , @Writing2Day

I don’t know about the rest of you but when I think about writing a business plan, I groan. Here’s a partial list of excuses I have heard and told myself.

“I just want to get down to running my business and making money!”

“I don’t want to take the time to write a business plan.”

“Business plan? Who needs that? I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal.”

“Why would I need a business plan? I don’t need to borrow any money.”

The list goes on. For me personally, it wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to write a business plan as it was that I was so excited to start my business that I just wanted to jump in with both feet. And, that’s exactly what I did. I did not actually write a formal business plan until our company was looking for expansion capital.

In hindsight, I wish that I had actually written my business plan before I opened for business because it forced me to look at some issues that I had not thought about. I had bits and pieces down on paper, like sales goals, start up costs, and the company’s target market. But I really had not thought about expansion costs to reach some of those goals, how many employees it would take, warehouse space and so much more. Preparing our company’s business plan to obtain financing for expansion forced me to look at all of the nitty-gritty so that I could sell my business and myself to the bank.

Everyone should write out a business plan before opening for business even if you are not looking for financing. Pretend you are pitching your business and yourself to a loan officer. If you were sitting in front of the banker would you just throw out a couple of goals and expect to get what you want? Of course not, you would expand upon those goals and be prepared to answer any questions thoroughly. Who’s going to make a better impression? Someone who walks in the door with empty hands or someone who walks in with a well thought out plan that has been put to paper?

Let’s take that a step further so we’re not just focusing on obtaining financing.  Who would you guess is going to be more successful? Someone with a well thought out plan who has anticipated obstacles their business might encounter or someone who deals with obstacles as they come along?

So quit moaning, groaning, procrastinating, and thinking you just don’t need one of those things. Start formulating your business plan now to give your business its best chance to succeed. You’ll be glad you did. Below are the basics that should be included in your business plan. I will talk about each in further detail later.

  • Request for financing (if applicable).
  • Executive summary (yes that’s you).
  • Mission statement.
  • General company description.
  • Company history.
  • More about your financing request.
  • Startup and expansion costs.
  • Number of employees.
  • Factors for success.
  • Challenges facing your business.
  • Short term plans and goals.
  • Long term plans and goals.
  • Product offerings.
  • Product pricing and criteria.
  • Market analysis.
  • If you are applying for a business loan there may be many Exhibits that follow which support and supplement the above statements.

See Related Posts:  #businessplan #businessfinancing #businessstartup #newbusiness

 

One Response to “1. Writing the Dreaded Business Plan”

  1. […] As I thought about writing this post, I came to the realization that not only do I dread writing a business plan – I dread writing about writing a business plan. I probably shouldn’t admit that, but it is what it is. Nevertheless, it is a necessary evil and one that you should put your best foot forward on for reasons I discussed in my first post, “Writing the Dreaded Business Plan.” […]

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