Effective ways of using a business plan

BYTRADEBYTRADE subscriber Posts: 63 Bronze Level Member
edited November 2011 in Business Planning
Use It For Financing
You business plan is like a resume for your business. It should present your business idea to potential investors, and show how you plan to be profitable with your idea. Your business plan should give a picture of how your business will operate. It should show how you will capitalize on strengths, and overcome your weaknesses.
Have your business plan bound. It should look like a finished, professional document, not something that was thrown together at the last minute. If you want people to take your plan seriously, you need to present it that way.
Your business plan should not be a mass mailing piece. You should be selective about who you let see your plan. You put a lot of time and effort into the plan, and there is a lot of valuable information abut your business. Don't just give that information away. While most serious investors would not steal your ideas, there are always some who will take advantage of you if given the opportunity.
Use It As A Road Map For Your Business
A downfall of many new business owners is in thinking that once they've gotten financing for their business, the business plans job is done. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Earlier I mentioned that a business plan is a valuable management tool. You spent a great deal of time and effort defining your business, setting goals, and establishing financial expectations. You examined the competition and did your SWOT analysis, and gathered tons of valuable information. Now that you have financing and your business is a reality, that information is critical to your ongoing success.
The information in your business plan will help guide your decisions, and will help you evaluate your progress. Use it the information as benchmarks to compare against. It will help you better evaluate which decisions meet your goals and vision.

Comments

  • taat_pringisttaat_pringist subscriber Posts: 0
    Use it for yourself
    A process of writing down a business plan with financials helps to clarify your own mindset. Besides, your team becomes more united and informed about what's going to happen (in theory
  • spiderspider subscriber Posts: 0
    In my opinion, you can also use your business plan in following things-:1. Using a business plan to grow your company2. Using a business plan to monitor Progress3. Using a business plan to get funding4. Using a business plan to focus your efforts, set objectives and company direction.5. Using a business plan to enable you to spot potential pitfalls before they happen.6.Using a business plan to set realistic targets that allow some flexibility without steering away from core objectives.
    Selling a business
  • CateDSCateDS subscriber Posts: 0
    Depending on your needs, I agree with tmerrill, and with spider.
    A formal business plan *is* needed to get bank financing, or venture capital.
    But for running and benchmarking, and keeping the direction of your business, SMART goals, or a Strategic Business Plan is the go.
    The difference between SMART goals and a strategic business plan is that the latter takes your SMART goals, and breaks them down into specific sub strategies, tactics and timeslines, to micromanage the achievement of the goals. Great for that "To Do" list, although quite time consuming to create in the first place. Nevertheless, you really can't beat it, if you need to manage several people or projects at the same time, or just need to keep yourself accountable.
    Oftentimes a strategic business plan is exactly what is needed to apply for grant funding for projects, or to raise private investor interest to finance a particular aspect or your business, too.
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