SBA Business Plan Webinar – Part 4 of 8

SBA Business Plan Webinar – Part 4 of 8

The third phase is to develop the plan using the situation analysis and the strategy we’ve already developed. For your business plan text, stay simple. Use your own words, tell your story, explain what you’re going to do. These sample paragraphs aren’t really important, it’s not worth reading the detail, the idea is just explain your business. You know it well. Your reader will be looking for simple facts, easy to find, easy to read. The text of the business plan should be relatively
easy to do. There’s no real reason to write from beginning to end when you’re doing a
business plan. You’re using a personal computer, you can
jump around. For example, you might start with the company
description because that’s easier for you to write and
get going. And you might then jump to the market analysis, both of those are situation analysis type
things so they’re easier to write at this point. And then you might go down to the financial
plan later because you feel you want to do the numbers
first. The key is jump around, fill in what’s easiest, and don’t get caught or constrained by having to write one thing before the other. You don’t write your plan in the same order
that somebody would read it. You will want to adjust the contents of your
plan to fit its business purpose. We see an example here of the plan accompanying
an application for commercial credit or bank loan. That plan should include the use of funds, the repayment plan, proposed balance sheet, ownership details, and personal financial statements for each
of the owners of the business. On the other hand, a plan for an investment should have a financial plan that includes an investor offering, exit strategy, use of funds, equity plans showing how the ownership is to be distributed among founders
and investors and valuation. And investment plans usually have more emphasis
on competitive edge because this is so deeply related to how the investors are going
to make money. And also market growth is much more important
in an investment plan than in some others. In all cases, remember this is your plan, and it tells your story. A business plan outline doesn’t have to conform to anybodies magic recipe. It has to serve your business needs. Let’s look at some standard outline points beginning not with the first, but the second. The company description will normally include history, ownership, your start-up plan, if you’re a start-up company, start-up costs, if you’re a start-up company, (otherwise it would have past performance) and then location and facilities. Your description of what you sell, whether it’s product or services, is going to include benefits and features, and sourcing, and in some cases, technology. Your fourth chapter will explain your market,
including the target market, market growth segmentations, market trends, market forecast. Then comes normally, strategy and implementation, which is where you lay out your marketing
strategy, your sales strategy, sales forecast, milestones, which are very important, those are dates, deadlines, budgets, who’s
responsible, and activities that will be part of the business
plan. Your management team chapter explains your
organization strategy, your key team members, what gaps you might
have in the business which presumably you’re trying to fill, and your personnel plan with projected numbers
for personnel costs for the time of your plan. The financial plan will have funding strategy, profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet at a minimum. And finally, notice that I explain this one
last, although it appears first in the plan, because you often write it last, your executive summary will outline mission, vision, objectives, and keys to success. Some people ask, between mission and vision… mission is what your business is doing for its customers, for its employees, and for
its owners. Vision, on the other hand, is what your company will be doing, where it will be, and what it will look like, three to five years from now, where you want
to go. Objectives should be specific, concrete, and
measurable, in all cases, so that you can track later, whether or not you’ve succeeded in fulfilling those objectives. And keys to success, we’ve mentioned in our
situation analysis discussion, focus on the main points that determine success
for your business. Remember, always, the business plan is your plan for your business, so you tailor that plan to what you need. For example, you may be doing a business plan
for internal use, your annual plan, operational plan. Then you don’t need to include a company description if nobody outside the company is going to
read the plan. Same thing with management team. Fit your
situation. You may not have to include backgrounds of the key management team members if the plan
is for internal use only. Always, this outline is to be modified and
tailored so that this plan is exactly what your business
requires. One very important point for making a business
plan useful, too often overlooked, is that, that plan should be specific. You want to actually list activities with start dates and end dates, who’s responsible, what’s the budget, what should the outcomes be of these activities, and how are they going to be measured? That’s critical for a useful business plan. Another very important point is the objectives in your plan should be measurable. The most obvious is dollars in sales, dollars in profits, percentage change in gross margin, sales,
or profits. But beyond that, whatever you’re doing, whatever is in your
plan, should be measured somehow, and the measurement should be specified: calls, presentations, complaints, transaction, contacts, messages, volume. There are many ways to measure the non-dollar specific portions of the plan. Without measurement, you won’t be able to
track, and manage, implementation which is what the plan is really about. The core of a good plan is the milestones, a collection of activities with start date
and end date and budget, person responsible, department
responsible. These milestones make a plan real. It’s not just blue sky strategy, it’s exactly what’s going to happen, when. And of course the milestones give you a way
to manage and implement that plan, give your course corrections, review the plan results, and turn that plan into a management tool.

Comments (10)


  2. I don't believe I just got this lesson for free! Thank for posting and thanks to youtube!!!!!!

  3. You are more than welcome, thanks for the feedback.

    it helps alot thanks alot=)

  5. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…. It all makes sense now!

  6. Hi. I'm new to this buisness thing i'm actualy studying it so I wont make any errors in the future.But what do you need on your businesplan if you open a theam park?

  7. @Meatalhalic Hello, thanks for the question. Our President and Founder just posted an excellent article on this very subject. You can find that at articles dot bplans dot com slash writing-a-business-plan/what-is-a-business-plan/33, I will send you a private message with a direct link as well.

  8. @Meatalhalic What you need in your plan is really more keyed to who will be reading it and what the purpose of the plan is rather than what your business type is. Certain audiences (investors, bankers, Angel Investment groups, officials, etc) will want to see specific things so understanding your audience is key to what should be included in your plan. We have a lot of information about this subject on our BPLANS d o t COM website for free. I'll PM you a direct link.

  9. @SeanPAS thank you so much

  10. @startupbuildervideos Hi, thanks for the feedback. A lot of our video content is built around the lectures and presentations that our founder, Tim Berry, presents in his every day course of business. Tim is our "Chief Blogging Officer" and gets a lot of ideas on presentations based off of questions he gets through his blog-o-sphere. Tim also gets ideas from the time he spends travelling and doing business planning presentations for academia and organizations such as the SBA and SBDC.

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