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Jon123
24-10-2005, 05:47 PM
Has everyone here that owns a business done a business plan?

What purpose did it serve? applying for a business loan? etc

Jon

Inzvestor
24-10-2005, 07:19 PM
A business plan serves more than one purpose (usually)

A Business Plan is a roadmap of where you want to go with your business, and how you are going to get there.
It can be as detailed as you want it to be, but ideally will cover the following points.

Business Vision
An overall snapshot of how you see your business developing

Analysis
External - about the marketplace and where you wish to position yourself
Internal - strengths and weaknesses

Marketing Strategy
How will you market your product/service
Do you have a marketing budget?

Finance and Resources
To outline how your business will be funded, and what resources you will use

Profit Forecasts
How much money do you expect to make?
Your projected costs for the year should also be included in these figures.

Biography of Partners and/or key clients
Investors will judge an application for finance on both the details included about the partners and the key clients
Summarise your strengths and also your weaknesses. If you are looking for other partners, the information provided here may help determine the qualities required.

Summary
A 2 - 3 paragraph summary of your business plan - often the first place an investor will look when assessing your business plan.

Exit Strategy
All business plans should include an exit strategy.
Are you building up your business for long term employment, or to sell at a later date?

Business Plans are dynamic, and should not be written and filed in the bottom drawer, never to be seen again.
They should be reviewed and updated at least 6 monthly.

(excerpt of an article on This Is Your Business)

In summary, every business should have a business plan

Jon123
24-10-2005, 07:27 PM
I agree completely that a business plan is extremely useful.and should certainly be reviewed and used as a business roadmap.
When would you say is best to produce your business plan? im about 70% through completion of my business plan but feel that it is not accurate because it is impossible to predict how many sales i will achieve? there is only so much market research that can be done and knowing that the figures in my plan will not be pin point accurate questions my opinion on writing up a plan.

would it not be better to produce a plan a year in business therefore having more knowledge and better sense of prediction.

Inzvestor
24-10-2005, 07:43 PM
I would advise reviewing and adding to your plan every mointh or so throughout the first year.

Business is fluid, and figures should be used as a guideline only until more accurate data is obtained.

Business Plans are never going to be entirely accurate.

Play!!
24-10-2005, 08:11 PM
A business plan is a must these days. If you dont know how to write them ir are unaware of their uses you need learn about it.

A business plan is for you as much as investors or banks. Its guidelines for you to follow as your business grows etc. Another use is to allow others to get a view in their minds of exactly what your business is and does. It allows them to get a vision of the business idea you have in your mind.

A good business plan can mean the difference between getting the funding you need or not.

The are always changing so dont think if you do 1 for the next 3 years that this will be enough. I review mine every 6 months and change it according to the direction I want to go in.

Hours spent learning about all aspects of business plans is time well spent.

Bumptastic
24-10-2005, 08:29 PM
I started my business without a business plan as I'm totally rubbish at planning anything and so just got on with it. Then I got to the point where I wasn't really sure what direction I was going in so signed up to a local free business course which took me through all the stages of planning and came out of it with a much much better vision of where I want the business to go and I'm so glad I did it! I really wish I'd done it before starting, I now have a very professional business plan and even if I never end up using it to secure funding or even show it to anyone writing it has been so useful and I agree you need to change it and update it as often as you can.

You should write a business plan!

sarah

Jon123
24-10-2005, 08:45 PM
Cheers for all your comments your all a credit to the forum.
I have a vision of where i want to be in years, and know how to get there i have the funding and at the momement will not need funding from any external sources and might never.
Through writing my business plan so far it has curved my attention to areas which i could believe the business is weak in.I am quite young and expect to learn alot and make a few mistakes.

I just wanted to gather people's opinion on the subject as i have not seen it arise and curious to see if abusiness can be successful without a plan.

They do say the key to success is through the planning.

Jon123
25-10-2005, 02:34 PM
Any one else have some more experience with business plans?
cheers

shane74
25-10-2005, 03:56 PM
I did one originally for my 'Oakfield Jewelry' business last year but instead of sticking to it and going down the main road I decided to go down a country lane instead after seeing a few road signs along the way. It may not be the route I planned originally but I think my new route is a better way of getting me to where I want to go.

natasha
25-10-2005, 07:03 PM
I didn't write a business plan for my card biz as it was just a hobby which turnt into a business.

But i am writing a detailed business plan for my salon idea.

Bumptastic
25-10-2005, 09:19 PM
What's your salon idea Natasha??

natasha
26-10-2005, 10:48 AM
Hi sarah,

I'm suprised you havent heard me talking about it, i've been talking about it for years.
Its a major project that i'm working on, i'm planning to open a salon in the future, its a life abition of mine.
The salon is going to be different from alot of other salons and has a few USP's.
It's going to need major funding.

Thanks for asking.

Best wishes

thickchick
26-10-2005, 12:52 PM
On registration you will have received a guide to writing a business plan which can be downloaded from your 'Briefcase' found at www.shell-livewire.org/login

You may also find the information in the following link useful:
www.shell-livewire.org/beyourownboss/main.php?catid=9&subcatid=16