So what are the basic elements of a business plan? Typical sections include: Executive Summary (highlight of your plan), Company Summary, Products and/or Services, Market Analysis (your consumers and competitive landscape), Strategy and Implementation (your marketing, action plans, and milestones), Management Summary (background of your management team), and Financial Plan.
Don’t be intimidated—these are just terminologies that cover the following basic questions. (Remember, these are the same questions that potential investors will ask you before they agree to provide their financial support.)
1.Who are you, and why should I listen to you?
2.Where are you in the process of business creation?
3.Where are you going? What’s your vision and purpose?
4.What’s your product or service?
5.Who wants it?
6.Why would they want it?
7.How many people in which markets want it?
8.How are you going to tell them about it?
9.Who else has it, now?
10. How are you different from them?
11. What are the risks involved?
12. How much will it cost to get your products or services to those who want them?
13. What makes you different?
14. What are the possible rewards?
15. What do you want (debt, equity investors, bond holders)?
16. What is your exit strategy? (When do I get my return?)
One of the most critical issues in business is the level of risk involved. By using SWOT analysis—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—you will solidify your business outlook and be prepared for potential contingencies. As you work with your team to identify each of these, you will stabilize your business and overcome the internal and external factors that may undermine your success.
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