Business Plans

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by JPM, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. JPM

    JPM
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    179
    I am currently putting together an extensive business plan for a project I am looking to start in the new year.

    I wondered if anyone has any tips from experience of what worked well for them during the planning process, also did you seek investment and if so - how was your plan received?
     
  2. firstchoicecar

    firstchoicecar
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    29
    In planning you must be futuristic,and make some assumptions.
     
  3. Ayen Mahinay

    Ayen Mahinay
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    your plan is very secure and I grantee your feature is save.
     
  4. ArcSine

    ArcSine
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    187
    Two-and-a-half tips which take on added relevance if you have to seek outside capital (the third one's just common sense and barely qualifies as a tip)...

    1. Show that your projections and forecasts are supported by solid evidence and research, to the extent possible.
    2. Avoid the temptation to puff up the revenue and net profit projections over what a realistic analysis would deem appropriate.
    3. Make sure the quantitative portion of the plan is internally consistent.

    Re 1, everybody and his brother (and his cousin) has a biz plan with all kinds of rosy projections. But when you ask to see the evidence upon which their projections are based, 8 or 9 out of every 10 fall away, leaving just 1 or 2 still standing. It's those 1 or 2 that really interest the investors. Sure, a lot of it comes down to educated guesswork at the end of the day, but the key is to utilize whatever market research, engineering analysis, industry trend reports, etc., that put the "educated" into "educated guesswork". With investors it's all about perceived risk and uncertainty. Solid support for your forecasts---from independent, expert sources---goes along way in easing the uncertainties.

    With respect to 2, it's tempting to think that you'll be more attractive to potential investors if you juice up the projected bottom line (or revenues, or % market share you expect to capture, etc.) over the level that prudent forecasting would imply. The truth is that you're likely to paint yourself into a corner, because savvy investors will hold you to your overly-rosy projections. They will condition the deal on your actually hitting those same targets which you used to sell the deal to 'em in the first place. When actual results fall significantly short, penalty provisions will kick in, such as your percentage share of the profits is adjusted downward, or the investors exercise their right to co-manage the biz with you until the numbers start looking better. While nobody expects any company to hit its forecasts precisely, if the gap between actual results versus your earlier promises is big, you'll have a lot of explaining to do.

    On 3, just make sure the numbers hang together. With so many schedules in the biz plan it's easy to let an inconsistency slip through. I saw one plan a while back which showed a certain amount of projected capex (capital expenditures) over the next 5 years on the cash flow schedule, but a couple of pages over the balance sheet showed a different percentage growth in capital assets. That's one of the dreaded "red-face" moments for an entrepreneur, and it casts doubt on the credibility of the rest of the plan, in the investors' and lenders' eyes.

    But past all the little cautions and caveats, remember that (especially now) the economy desperately needs good new companies, and investors and banks really need attractive opportunities in which to invest. Go forward with the knowledge that they (and the rest of the economy) need you just like you need them. Best of luck with it, JPM!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. JPM

    JPM
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    179
    I am in the process right now of speaking with a couple of market research firms about providing the figures and evidence.
    Great advice, thank you.
    Can you expand a little on this point, i'm not entirely sure what you mean?
    Thanks, thats a great way to put it. I am looking currently for detailed market research as I mentioned, so hopefully that ticks this box.

    Great advice, thanks. Better to under-promise and over-deliver I guess!
    fair point, I will be checking and double checking all figures and forecasts.

    Thanks for your post, I really do appreciate the time you spent to reply!
     
  6. LFinkle

    LFinkle
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    I assumeyou mean some type of new business, not simply a project? If you want to secure funding or lines of credit your business plan needs to include areas such as an executive summary, research on competition, a full scale plan on why your idea will succeed, what you intend to do about staffing and more. If you are looking to put together something to set up and run your business you don't have to do the same level of work. This will be more for your use than to secure funding at any level. Getting investor funding is not easy. VC firms hear about 150 proposals for every 1 they say yes to.

    I am putting together a product on this subject and would love your questions or ideas. Please submit to howtowriteagreatbusinesplan.com and we'll enter you into a drawing to win the product upon completion.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. JPM

    JPM
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    179
    Splitting hairs slightly but yes, it is a project right now and I hope to be in business next year. I am actually using some software to help me with the process now, so it's but thank you for the offer.
     
  8. Jessica-SYS

    Jessica-SYS
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have used software called Business Plan Pro and found it very helpful.

    Jessica-SYS
     
  9. ferd1987

    ferd1987
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is a nice idea trying to stand on your own, know it is called entrepreneurship you may need to know who an entrepreneur is http://whoisanentrepreneur.com that is taking a bold step, secondary you have to ask necessary question about the business you plan to venture in which is what you are already doing here, know where you passion lies, it is always great doing what you love you will not only last in the business but also be the best of yourself
     
  10. bigborecycle

    bigborecycle
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals.
     
    #10 bigborecycle, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2011
  11. Henry_Jakson

    Henry_Jakson
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am totally agree with your information. Business Plans may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals. Business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally focused plans target goals that are important to external stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders. Internally focused business plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals.
     
  12. stellaandreapark

    stellaandreapark
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    10
    Research is very important when it comes to business planning. I make sure I do not miss that part.
     
  13. James Greg

    James Greg
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    32
    Explore the niche market. stellaandreapark is right research is a very important factor. Your personal assessment will play a vital role in this.
     
  14. patrick0001

    patrick0001
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    186
    The Best Business Plan - all staff able to contribute income to company, it is include admin, cleaner, hr, not only depend on sales and marketing. Some time we no need completely own a staff, e.g. HR, we can offer HR services to those small medium company. Same goes to cleaner.
     
  15. Smoker

    Smoker
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes I am looking too, but I do proposal only. All other docs preparing my fin. adviser, they are same blood...
     
  16. audioenhancer44

    audioenhancer44
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    business product development

    A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
     
  17. Ronald Williams

    Ronald Williams
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    When you're ready to tackle writing your business plan, it's good to start with an outline, or general idea of what information you should include in your plan, and the standard format.
     

Share This Page