Do I have a complete business plan?
The business plan is the place where you organize and present all of the ideas about what the business is, how it works, and what resources are needed to make it all work. It is important that you do the actual work of developing the plan. There are many resources that can help you develop the plan, but it will be your business and so it must be your ideas and your plan.
A planning overview is presented here first. Effective planning requires a certain attitude or mind-set. This will help you understand the planning issues. A business plan outline is presented to help you organize your ideas and answer questions about how the business will function. This is followed by a planning worksheet to help you start to capture the key elements for your own plan. You will see that you have already started the process in the earlier Sessions.
Many times, people are afraid of writing their own plan. They feel that it is a complicated process and that they do not have the writing ability to put their ideas on paper effectively. The process is actually quite simple. Start by addressing the issues in each section of the planning outline. The answers will provide the meat and potatoes of the actual plan itself. Links to sample plans are provided. Sometimes seeing how someone else tackled the issues helps to better understand the process.
A good business plan shows how the business will actually operate, and should provide valuable guidance once the new business is started. The next Session on forecasting will show you how to develop the forecasts and budgets that support your plan.
Once you have developed the framework for your own business idea, you may want to seek some assistance in actually writing the plan – there are many excellent resources to help you with this process.
1. Guidelines for Writing a Business Plan
2. Business Plan Outline
3. Business Definition Worksheet
4. Sample Business Plans
5. Business Planning Resources