Developing a business plan

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by tongyun, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. tongyun

    tongyun
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    For some reason, the idea of developing a business plan just overwhelms and scares the beejeebers out of me. The part that just stumps me is how do I know what my projected sales will be? Do I just make up a number and hope for the best? Help!
     
  2. Fergal

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    It will be easier for us to help you Tongyun, if you give us some info on the type of business that you are creating the plan for.

    Are you doing the business plan for an existing business or a completely new start-up?

    Sales forecasting is always difficult. Sales forecasts are based on best estimates and not on any exact science. These estimates could be based on growth from your current level of sales (if it's for an existing business), the total market size (if you can get that information) or on what existing businesses in the industry are currently selling.

    If you tell us a little more we will be able to give you more specific advice.
     
  3. Nazreen

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    If you know of someone who started the same business as you, you might try asking them on their projected sales. They might not be as forthcoming if they know that you'll become their competition though.

    Another way is to break down your products and/or services. Let's say that you are selling three items and offering two services. List down the three items as Item 1, Item 2 and Item 3. List down the two services as Service 1 and Service 2. Next step is to list down the Unit Price for each item and services and how many your expecting to sell. With that you can already have an estimate of your projected sales.
     
  4. djschwab

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    The main idea is to put your thoughts on paper. You don't need an elaborate fifty page plan, but you do need to cover the basics. Try and approach your plan by creating some short and long term goals and objectives. Once you have these, work on developing the proper strategies to achieve these goals.
     
  5. deepak_sharma

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    Its diffcult to judge the feasibility of an idea before its launch. Their are many tools that help you to get near your result but still its an risky process.
     
  6. SandraVMG

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    Having a business plan will help you do a SWOT analysis of your business. This will help you in taking decisions that will help you in building up a successful enterprise.
     
  7. vlada

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    I think that it is not such a dreadful thing. In addition to that, I want to tell you that there are no business without business plans. If it is so hard for you, may be it is the best to ask the consulting company to make business plan for you.

    You are absolutely right. Business is a risky process. There are many factors that make the influence on the business process and business plan will help to coordinate efforts for the overcome of obstacles.
     
  8. youbetcha1018

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    Vlada is right, in every business there is always a business plan. They said that a successful business comes from a great business plan. :)
     
  9. pendelton

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    tongyum, if building the business plan overwhelms you the thought of running the business should do much much more than that.

    One of the big reasons they tout making big complex business plans is to lower the number of start ups that fail. Even small businesses, such as one person article writers, should build a business plan. This will give you a guide on how many articles you can do during a week, how much to charge to meet your financial goals, and more. If you do not plan for this you are apt to do like others have done and over estimate yourself, which creates a lot of unhappy customers giving you bad feedback.

    If you need help with a plan let me know and I can guide you through it.
     
  10. Fergal

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    I agree 100% that a business plan is extremely important, I also fully agree that running a business is much harder than writing a business plan. However, there are exceptions to every rule, I know one very successful business man who wouldn't know how to begin writing a business plan. I think it is important to stress that this is unusual and that planning your business can help you avoid major pitfalls.
     
  11. deepak_sharma

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    SWOT analysis is an important tool for internal and external assesment for your company specially if you are going into a new business.
     
  12. Nazreen

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    I believe that business plans should also be geared towards fulfilling our goals. That's the most important thing we need to remember about it. I think that it has also been mentioned before that we should make our goals realistic.

    Whatever our goals are, me must make sure that we keep our feet on the ground. A very simple question that we could always ask ourself is, Am I trying to achieve the impossible?. This is our business, and this is our money so we shouldn't confuse it with with buying a lottery ticket or gambling.
     
  13. jams002

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    oh this is cool developing business!!
     
  14. Johnhanry

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    We should prepare a business plan by doing SWOT analysis. It gives a perfect picture of do's and dont's with which we can proceed in the direction of gaining profits.
    Thanks
     
  15. scifi

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    Hi Johnhanry!!
    Welcome to the BAF community...
    I believe that SWOT analysis is something that comes into play in already established businesses, not in the one you are thinking of starting using your BPlan...
    Swot analysis is done using Data from company's Balance sheet, company history & other such relevant informations; which a new venture can not have all of a sudden.....!!!!!
     
  16. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Johnhanry. Thanks for joining.

    Scifi, I believe a SWOT analysis can benefit both established and new businesses. Even if your business is not already set up you can still benefit from thinking about what your strengths and weaknesses will be. If you are about to launch a business you should definitely be analysing the opportunities and threats in the marketplace.
     
  17. scifi

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    Well that is correct about SWOT analysis but the problem lies in the fact that we don't have enough data for a proper analysis to assure of accuracy & precision of our forecast regarding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats....
     
  18. Fergal

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    I suppose we can never have enough data to be 100% accurate. Opportunities and threats are external to the business, so we will have the same info on these before the business is set up as we will, once it is actually up and running.
     
  19. Kay

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    That's true, you can only find out so much about the competition's business practices based on what they make publicly available. I think any kind of analysis is better than none. What matters is spotting the potential downfalls as well as upsides however you do it .
     
  20. Johnhanry

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    SWOT analysis can be done for both established business and while starting a business. It helps in designing a plan by which we can forecast the hurdles which we may face in future. By using this plan we can overcome the competition and can flourish our business.
    Thanks,
     

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