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Writing A Business Plan For Success

Business plans are good for entrepreneurs starting a business who want to attract funding and established firms looking to expand into a new venture or grow their business. A business plan is a road map to the success of a business, many businesses fail every year because of improper planning. A good business plan eliminates this dilemma.

Purpose: The purpose of a business plan is to help determine the course of the business; where it should be in the future and where to place the resources in order to achieve that goal. It is a document that provides future lenders and investors with proof of the entrepreneurs’ credibility. Thus, making them better candidates for funding.

Length: A Business plan wording and formatting should be straight forward and simple. The business plan should not be more than 40 pages. Summary tables and business charts should be used to make the numbers easy to read and grasp. No more than two fonts should be used. Font size should be at least 11 or 12 point size. Page breaks should be used to separate pages and charts.

Objectives: The main objective of a business plan is to establish revenue projections for the business and provide details on how the business will acquire the revenue.

BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT

A) Executive Summary

This is the first section of a business plan. This section is a brief overall summary of the business. It will define the nature of the business. The executive summary should be the last thing written. Once the rest of the components of a business plan have be written, entrepreneurs will have a clearer sense of what to write as their executive summary. The executive summary contains the following:

Mission Statement- This is where the business plan states how the customer will benefit from what the business has to offer. The business plan needs to state what products and services the company will be providing.

Objective – This is what entrepreneurs expect the business to accomplish, basically setting goals for the company.

B) Company Description

In this section, the business plan will go over a detail description of the business. The company description section contains the following:

Ownership – What type of ownership will the company be: sole proprietary, partnership, or corporation.

Location – This states where the business will be located. Office’s, retail shop and any other type of facility that is associated with the business should be mentioned. A website address should be listed if the business has one.

Product & Services – What will the business be providing, will it be a service or a product?

Funding – This is where it is stated how the small business will get funded. Funding is broken down into two parts, start-up expenses and start-up assets. Start-up expenses is legal bills, renovation and leased equipment. Start-up Assets are items that the business owners will be using for the business operation. For example, cash, purchased equipment and inventory.

C) Management & Operation Plan

This section of the business plan details how the business will function on a day to day basis. It contains the following:

Management – This will be a list of the personnel that will have a managerial position and the definition of their role in the business.

Operation – This describe the process that it takes for the business to deliver the products or services to the consumer.

D) Marketing Plan

It details the small business effort’s to sell the products or services to the customer base. A marketing plan will contain a list of the following items:

Industry – This lists all the players in the market; the competition, the type of products and service that they have, the strengths that they have and how they attract customers.

Potential customers – This section provides information about the individuals who will be purchasing from the business. The customer demographics will be based on the industry of the company.

Advertising- It involves promoting the products or services to the customer base. It lists the different ways in which the business will do this. For example, newspaper, radio, television, magazines, direct mail, Internet or telemarketing.

E) Finance Plan

Cash is the lifeline of a business. Without it, the business will be in jeopardy. This section will contain the following items:

Profit and Loss statement – A statement that lists the business’ estimated revenue and expenses over a specific period of time.

Balance sheet – Measures the business resources (assets) and obligation (liabilities) and projected balance sheets for the first three years. The first year projections will be on a monthly basis and the second and third year projections are on a quarterly basis.

Cash-flow projections – The amount of cash that passes through the business. It lists income and expenses. Cash flow pays the bills.

FINAL NOTES

COVER PAGE: The cover page contains the company’s name, address, telephone number, fax number, email address, website and company logo. It should also contain the name and title of the person that prepared it. It should state the name and address of the organization that will be receiving it. For example see below:

The ABC Cell Phone Company

1234 Main Street

Miami, Florida 56789

Telephone: 000-000-0000

Fax: 000-000-0000

Email Address

Website Address

THE COMPANY LOGO

Prepared By

John Doe

C.E.O

Submitted to

Main Street Bank

Miami, Florida 12345

How Can I Sell My Business Fast?

Are you a business owner that’s interested in selling your business? If so, I can only imagine one of the main questions at the top of your mind is, how can I sell my business fast? That’s a very valid question and one that needs to be answered. After all, you’ve spent years building up your business and you’re ready to cash out and you want to do it as quickly as possible. I get that, no issues there.

Let’s first start by saying, some brokers will tell you, it will take them 1 year. yup, 12 long months to sell a business. I mean really? That’s a long time and there is not 1 business owner that is going to wait one year to sell their business. Brokers will try to “force” you into signing a year long agreement that states you give them the right to make an attempt to sell their business within a 1 year time period.

That’s a really long time. As a business broker, I would lose total interest trying to sell a business for a year. The name of the game is to get the business sold and get it sold fast. I would not be surprised if in a few years business brokers will tell their clients that it’s going to take 18 months or even a lifetime agreement.

The reason why it takes a long time to sell a business is because business brokers allow themselves a long to sell the business. Give someone 6 months to do something and they’ll take every bit of that 6 months to do it. If brokers would give themselves 90 days, guess how long it would take to sell? Yes, you guessed it. 90 days.

When you decide to sell your business, make sure, your business is taken to the marketplace immediately. Make sure the business broker is marketing the business for sale everyday. Make sure the broker has a consistent flow of business buyers in addition to providing to with weekly updates as it relates to the buyers that the broker has met with and presented your business to.

By now you’re probably wondering what does this have to do with the original question. Just hold tight, we’re going to get to that.

So, to answer the question, the answer is, it depends. Yup, it depends on the broker
that you hire. When selecting a business broker, you clearly want to ask them how long is it going to take to sell my business and what is their process for marketing your business.

There has to be an active marketing plan in place. There is no one size fits all to selling a business. If you ant to sell your business as fast as possible, you must first start with finding a business broker that is willing to sign a 90 day selling agreement.

Just remember to do your part as a business owner. If the business broker needs any sort of paper work, be sure to get the broker the paper work as fast as you can. Time is valuable when trying to sell your business. You want to ride the momentum that you’ve built up and do let the broker slack off. You can get the business sold in 90 days or less.

Why Should I Use A Business Broker?

You’ve come to the decision that buying a business or selling your business is the path that you want to take. The best piece of advice, although biased, I can offer is to retain the services of a business broker or business transfer adviser. Although business brokers usually work on behalf of the seller, there are sell-side business brokers and buy-side advisers. Even if you’re a buyer and you decide not to retain the services of a business broker or transfer adviser, you’ll receive the benefits because a business broker is working with the seller.

The broker is sort of like a clamp that holds things together as the business buyer and seller progress through the business transaction. Below I’m going to explain to you how both business seller and business buyer can and will benefit from the services of a business broker:

Let’s meet-

The good thing about the business broker is, the profession requires face to face meetings. Even though the broker is getting paid by the business seller, the buyer has to meet with the broker in order to view the business as well as so the broker can determine if the buyer is a compatible buyer for the business.

The meeting will be an interview style meeting. Some of the questions that will be asked by the broker are:

1- Can you go into detail about your background?

2- Have you ever purchased a business

3- Do you have easy access to the cash to buy a business?

4- Can you show proof of proceeds on a recent bank statement?

5- How soon are you willing to make a purchase?

In addition to the question and answer portion, you’ll also be given a personal financial statement to fill out and return. Be sure you return this information as soon as possible.

What usually takes place after this meeting is, the business broker will than present compatible business to the buyer. So come prepared with a recent bank statement showing the cash. Time is of great importance. Strike while the fire is hot and move with swiftness.

Expect for the broker to ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The business seller wants to ensure that the word about the business being for sale is kept quite.

As the buyer, you’ll get to see very general financial information about the business of interest and others in the business broker has other businesses available. If you decide that you have serious interest in any of the businesses that are presented, the broker will provide you with more in-depth financial date and also arrange for you to see the business in person.

The broker will act of the best point of contact for the buyer. Any questions or concerns that the buyer may have, the broker can answer all questions concerning the business.

How the business broker helps the seller-

If you’re the owner of a business and you’ve decided to sell, one of the best services that you can retain are the services of a business broker. The broker will oversee the entire process while you continue to run your business.

The business broker will interview all of the buyers. This service by itself is worth the broker fee. Business brokers usually have access to a database of buyers that they’ve acquired over the years. These are buyers that have identified themselves are compatible and financially capable of buying a business. Having access to a list of buyers will speed up the process and help get the business sold while it’s still “hot.”

The business broker will especially prepare a marketing plan for the business in question. A sales prospectus will take time to prepare but your broker will provide you with this required document. In addition, the broker will structure the deal as well as assist the completion of the paper work.

Many owners don’t know how much their business is worth, therefore the broker can assist you with pricing your business. Te pricing of the business is just a starting point. The buyer will get an official appraisal. Between the 2 numbers, the negotiations will start there. Also, you want to ensure that your business is properly priced. You don’t want it to be overpriced not under priced A business that is priced right WILL SELL. The ultimate price of the business will be determined by what it sells for or as brokers like to say-the marketplace.

The business broker is one of the most important advisers that a seller can have on their transaction team. This broker will bring their years of experience to the table. This will help both buyer and seller and ensure both parties walk away happy.