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How long did it take for your business plan?

kamolahykamolahy subscriber Posts: 27
edited December 2006 in Business Planning
I`ve heard of people taking a long time, months even. However, I`ve heard of others cracking down and getting one together in 48 hours. Making a complete and presentable business plan in 48 hours seems like a mountain of a struggle to me. Especially with the level of detail that I require of myself. I sometimes wonder if I`m trying too hard and putting together TOO much information.I`d be interested to see what everyone else has put together. How long did it take you? How presentable do you make yours?


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    jellynetjellynet subscriber Posts: 0
    I am spending about a month to go through and do my business plan.  Most of the time will be spent researching the industry and determining the underlying movements of the industry.  I understand the actual business fairly well, but I am still learning about what actually effects the industry.  
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    kamolahykamolahy subscriber Posts: 27
    Ha, interesting! I admire people who can just sit back and say "it`s done". The truth is that I do spend a lot of time planning, but mostly I spend time learning things I didn`t know. It`s my first business, so I had to really learn what all the financial terms mean and how they apply, as well as how to properly do market research. It took me forever to find that I have tons of market research information available through my university... stupid me!Anyway, good luck to us eh? I hope to see you all in the future with success.. everyone knows that this is the place to find it.
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    matchstickmatchstick subscriber Posts: 1
    Depends on what you need your b-plan to do for you. Are you using it to paint a rough picture of your overall business concept and strategy for internal purposes or are you looking for external funding which of course requires something much more detailed with financial projections, market analysis, etc... Entrepreneur magazine has a number of articles which might be helpful to you. http://www.entrepreneur.com/businessplan/index.html</A>
    Good luck!
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    byugronbyugron subscriber Posts: 0
    I found that once the basic infrastructure of the plan was constructed, it is easy to make alterations fairly rapidly.  It required a solid month to construct origionally, but now when I need to make an adjustment, it only takes a couple of hours. 
    Also, I found that the extra time linking all of the various financial pages has really paid off because with the exception of the cashflow report, the financials auto populate. byugron2007-1-4 14:55:34
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    MrTeaMrTea subscriber Posts: 1
    I`ve been working on mine for about 8 months now. Of
    course, there are several months in there without any work at all. However, I
    think it`s important to point out what the purpose of the business plan is. If
    you are writing the plan for yourself and perhaps a partner you may not
    need as much detail and could leave yourself open to more "flexibility".
    However, if you are writing your plan, as I am, for a bank to look at for
    lending you funding you need much more detail. I don`t see how anyone
    could create a business plan to present to a bank in any less time than a
    month or so with full-time work on the plan. Just my 2 cents though... [/
    FONT]MrTea2007-1-5 9:48:24
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    kgkg subscriber Posts: 3
    It took three weeks to write a 90 day business plan.  It included the design concept and building plan.  I was on a founding board with my husband to develop a science technology museum for children.  It involved multiple levels of planning, fund raising, exhibits, historical data.  It was a monumental effort.
    How did we do it in one week?  We have a sample business plan that was similar in scope and sequence.  We were given permission to use it and each board member was given 15 pages.  Unfortunately, the pages that came back lacked cohesiveness and clarity.  I worked it through and did the research that formed the body of the plan.  I couldn`t run the critical costs of construction, so my brother, a contract/estimator, helped finish the numbers.  My husband wrote the executive summary which is the most important part of the business plan, the only part anyone is going to read.
    We have written several business plans for RTD products, restuarant clubs, and a coffee business. What I discovered is find a sample, don`t reinvent the wheel, ask permission to use someone elses work!  You can find free samples at any business plan website.  I have designed several business websites, again use a template.  Trust that someone else out there has already been successful with your idea and follow their steps.
    If I could create a 90 page business plan for a museum in three weeks, you can create one in half that time.
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    CookieCookie subscriber Posts: 2
    You might want to take a look at the Jan. 9 WSJ Marketplace section.  The article on p.9 gives the pros & cons of business plans.   I was of the `Just Do It` school.  I did my research & knew there was a market for my gardening tool.  After getting my provisional patent, I set up a meeting with a friend who has done marketing for large corporations.  On one sheet of paper, we listed all the potential avenues for marketing WEDGIE.  And that was my business plan.  I admit I was funding the legal work & all set-up costs myself so I didn`t have to make presentations to banks or angel investors  to get money.  But I think a lot of people could come up with the money themselves if they actively tried.  It might be nice to think you`ll use OPM & not risk anything yourself but if you believe in your product, using your own money keeps you as the person in charge.  
    Many people I`ve met over the 4 years I`ve been in business say they haven`t gotten started because they`re still working on their business plans.  For years!  Don`t fall into that trap. 
    Good luck to you.
    Cookie Wherry  
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    kgkg subscriber Posts: 3
    I have a question for you.  Are you developing a business plan for Drop Box LLC or another venture?  The size of your business should determine the length of your business plan and what you include.  The most important aspect of a business plan is: that it is a plan to follow.  It shows a potential investor, whether you are the investor or an outside source, that you actually have a plan and have thought through the development phases of your business.  A good plan is objective and doesn`t suggest goals that you can`t possibly reach as a start-up.  You can outline future goals and dates when you will reassess you goals, but it is the overall first steps can have taken in the past (milestones), steps you are currently taking, and your future steps.  It gives the reader of your plan as idea of where you are going and how you plan to get there.  If you don`t believe what you put into your business plan, no one else will.
    Anyone should be able to write a simple business plan that outlines their idea.  If you need someone to help determine the steps, set up a meeting with an objective friend who can ask you the questions you need to answer.  For instance: Why do you think you should be running this business, rather than a management team?  Why do you beleive your product will sell in the market place?  What is your market and what share do you think you can tap into?  Do you have an initial investment fund ready to implement certain phases of your plan or do you need an outside investor?  Who do you think might invest in you, a friend, a private investment group, a bank?  Why would they risk their money, what is their level of risk, and what incentive are you going to offer them for use of their money?
    If you are having any difficulty filling out a plan, set aside a few hours of your day to just dream about the possibilities.  Then, do an personal inventory of your natural talents and where you have succeeded in the past.  Don`t set yourself up for failure.  You may be an amazing manager but a terrible leader, find someone who can lead you forward.  You may be an incredible ideas person but can`t ever follow through, find a strategist.  If you can`t dream, find a futurist and idealist.  These people are probably closer than you think.  Ask those around you to tell you what you do well and where you fall short.  You may not be able to see it as clearly as they do.
    I encourage you to just start and hope you see beyond the page of blank paper to a thriving future business.  Have a great day,
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