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Business Plan: What are the key components?

Business Plan: What are the key components?


It’s really important that you make the
plan into a story, a convincing compelling story,. Not a fiction. It has
to be real, but it has to be convincing. The problem with creating and following
too many guidelines (and you need to follow the guidelines) is that each of
the different sections create a barrier to making your story. So, you need to make
sure after looking at each of the sections to make the storyline make sure
the storyline is still there. So, for example, first start (and people debate
about this) but first start with the executive summary. Knowing that you’re
going to take that executive summary, and you gonna change it along the way. But
just put down the overall whole picture and then that executive summary will be
your value proposition. What is the primary value proposition? How is your
product or service going to serve that market? Not only how is it going to serve
it, but how is it going to do it better than the competition? What’s out there? What’s the problem you
are trying to solve and how you going to solve it better? That’s the key aspect of that. And, not
only how you’re going to solve it, but why are you going to be able to solve it
when others haven’t? Is it your years of experience in the industry? Is it your
knowledge of a particular market? Is it the team you built? Hopefully, it is all of
those things. So, once you’ve done that executive summary, then you have your
sections of the plan: there’s a product section, the market section, marketing and
sales, operations, finance, management and personnel. All those things have to be
addressed in the plan. However, make sure you maintain that storyline as you go
through all the really detailed spreadsheets and put all those really
detailed spreadsheets in the appendix so you can maintain that story line and not
get lost in the trees (basically, instead of seeing the whole forests). And then
once you’ve finished the whole plan go back again, looking your executive
summary, and I’m sure there will be changes from
where you started. But once again, what is the business plan for? It’s for a road map,
is a communication device. But let me say something else. As an investor, I don’t
see business plans anymore. I haven’t seen a real business plan in 20 years.
What I see as PowerPoint presentations and executive summaries, but writing a
business plan is still really important to serve as your repository of
information and to make sure that you’re covering all the details in your
business, because when you’re asked questions by investors they’re going to
be probing into those details. The repository of information is all going
to be in that business plan, and you have a business plan is going to serve as the
device to make sure that you have everything covered.

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