Developing Your Business Plan

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Most individuals who want to open their own retail business or internet business need to approach a lender to secure financing. For your request to be successful, you need to have a very powerful business plan. The more detailed your business plan is, the more it shows the lender that you are dedicated to following through on your project. It also shows you have the skills to work through all the aspects of your business including day to day operations and long term plans.

Don’t make the mistake of simply going in to talk to your lender without a business plan in hand. To make it easy to read, you need to have it divided up into sections. Together, the sections of your marketing plan are going to discuss what your product or service is, who your target market is, how you plan to reach them, and the estimated profits and expenses for the next five years. Simply place it all in a binder or clear cover to make it look more professional.

The first part of the business plan needs to be your introduction. It needs to be short, but also very powerful. If the lender isn’t impressed with the introduction, they may decide not to finish reading what you have to offer. This is the perfect place to include information about your skills, desires, and motivations for operating your own business.

The next part of your business plan needs to discuss your target market. This section needs to be very detailed. Make sure it covers why you think there is a need for your product or service, how you will reach your target market, and discuss each of your marketing strategies in detail. It is very important that you have at least two distinct marketing strategies in your business plan.

In this section you will also discuss the elements of your product or service. It needs to include the cost of making it, how much you plan to sell it for, and how you will distribute it. All of your prices need to be as accurate as possible. This shows the lender that you have been doing your homework and that you have a realistic idea of the profits and expenses involved in the business.

Your lender is going to want to find out how your business is going to be operated, and this information goes next. Include all the information about the internal structure of your business. You also need to include information on the equipment necessary to operate your business in this section.

Think about any consultants, marketing agencies, employees, managers, etc. that you will be incorporating into your business. Try to get as accurate of a dollar amount associated with these operating expenses as you can.

Your financial plan for the business is the next section of your business plan. This needs to include projected income and expenses over a five year period. You will need to provide information on how you came up with the figures used. It is a good idea to use conservative figures in your business plan when it comes to income. If you make more that is wonderful, but don’t overshoot your profits.

I suggest that you include risks that can increase your expenses and lower your profits in this section as well. It is not required, but your lender will already be thinking of the risk factor involved with your business venture. By outlining some of them as well as how you will handle them, you show the lender you are willing to take that risk and that you understand some of the challenges you may face on the road to having a successful business.

The last section is to be a brief summary of everything including in your business plan. Focus on the positive aspects of it in this area of the business plan. This is the last information the lender will read so you need it to be convincing.

Writing a successful business plan is going to take you time, but it will be a very valuable tool for securing funding for your business. Try to include as many details in your business plan as possible. It is a good idea to get a friend or family member to read through it before you see the lender.

They may have questions about particular areas, and this gives you a chance to make any changes to the business plan. Don’t forget to include your personal views in your business plan. This is the best way to allow your passion and motivation for operating your own business to shine through.

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