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7 Important Steps For Preparing a Business Plan

7 Important Steps For Preparing a Business Plan

One of the most pivotal aspects of starting a new business is preparing a business plan, yet the importance of it is very often mistakenly overlooked, especially by a home business newbie. A business plan format enterprises of seven main sections, which is used to spot loopholes in the planning process and to showcase a company's money-making potential in order to lure investors to it.

The first of the seven essential steps in preparing a business plan starts with an executive summary, which is basically about what you, as a home business owner, want and desire. This is the statement of purpose for your business so keep it short and do not beat around the bush. The best way is to keep it within half a page to one page long. Next is the business description of your small home based business opportunity. A home business owner should start by briefly describing the industry, including any new developments which will benefit or negatively affect your business.

In this section, you should describe your home business venture and explain how you will profit from it. This should include information on the legal form and structure of your business, as well as setting a marketing plan including advertising and promotions. The third portion of the seven steps to write a business plan is to assess the market environment for your business. This includes defining your market, projecting market share, positioning your business, determining pricing, creating a promotion plan and also making a financial projection. All the data which you garner from research will help you to determine if the profit projection for your business will be a positive one.

The fourth step in this process is to perform a competitive analysis which is used to determine your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. When you analyze your competitors in the same market, then you will be able to exploit their weaknesses within your product development cycle and also utilize marketing plan examples which will give you a unique advantage. You will also need to create a design and development plan for your home business venture which will give investors information on the product's design, and also monitor the product's development within the production, marketing and organizational context.

Another crucial step is to prepare an operations and management plan in order to detail how the business operates on a daily basis. The organizational structure of your business is important as it forms the platform from which operating costs can be estimated. For instance, you will need to determine labor costs, overhead expenses, costs of goods sold and also determine the amount of money you require to continue your operations. The last step in this process is relating to financial statements, accounting of income statement, cash flow statement and of course the balance sheet. You should always include these information at the back of the business plan.

Hopefully these steps will guide home business owners on how to create a business plan. You should remember not to be too optimistic when saying your sales and profit projections. Most importantly, when you are preparing a business plan, you should be flexible and able to accommodate changes in the industry.


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