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Introduction What is a Business Plan? Business Plan Format Six Steps to a Great Business Plan Does Your Plan Include the Following Necessary Factors Formulate (and Reformulate) Your Business Plan

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What Is A Business Plan? The primary value of your business plan will be to create a written outline that evaluates all aspects of the economic viability of your business venture including a description and analysis of your business prospects.

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Why Prepare A Business Plan? Your business plan is going to be useful in a number of ways

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What to Avoid in Your Business Plan Place some reasonable limits on long-term, future projections. (Long-term means over one year.) Better to stick with short-term objectives and modify the plan as your business progresses. Avoid optimism. In fact, to offset optimism, be extremely conservative in predicting capital requirements, timelines, sales and profits. Do not ignore spelling out what your strategies will be in the event of business adversities. Use simple language in explaining the issues. Make it easy to read and understand.

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Business Plan Format- The Business Plan format is a systematic assessment of all the factors critical to your business purpose and goals.

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Six Steps To A Great Business Plan Write out your basic business concept . Gather all the data you can on the feasibility and the specifics of your business concept. Focus and refine your concept based on the data you have compiled. Outline the specifics of your business . Using a "what, where, why, how" approach might be useful. Put your plan into a compelling form so that it will not only give you insights and focus. Review the sample plans we furnish and download the blank format to a MS Word document. Fill this in as you progress though the course.

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DO'S Prepare a complete business plan for any business you are considering. Use the business plan templates furnished in each session. Complete sections of your business plan as you proceed through the course. Research (use search engines) to find business plans that are available on the Internet. Package your business plan in an attractive kit as a selling tool. Submit your business plan to experts in your intended business for their advice. Spell out your strategies on how you intend to handle adversities. Spell out the strengths and weaknesses of your management team. Include a monthly one-year cash flow projection. Freely and frequently modify your business plans to account for changing conditions.

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DON'TS Be optimistic (on the high side) in estimating future sales. Be optimistic (on the low side) in estimating future costs. Disregard or discount weaknesses in your plan. Spell them out. Stress long-term projections. Better to focus on projections for your first year. Depend entirely on the uniqueness of your business or the success of an invention. Project yourself as someone you're not. Be brutally realistic. Be everything to everybody. Highly focused specialists usually do best. Proceed without adequate financial and accounting know-how. Base your business plan on a wonderful concept. Test it first. Skip the step of preparing a business plan before starting.

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