WRITING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

business-plan      Whether you’re starting or growing your business, you need a business plan. Your plan will provide the road map to achieve the success you want. The question shouldn’t be IF you write your plan, but how to write a business plan that will take your company where you want to go.

Your business plan is essentially your answers to a comprehensive list of questions. The first and most important question is this: where do you want your business to go? Stated differently, what do you want your business to look like in three, five or even 10 or more years? What level of revenues and profits do you have at that time? How many employees? How many locations? And so on.

Likewise, your business plan should answer these questions for a shorter time period, particularly one year. That is, what are your business’ goals for the current year, and what must you accomplish to make the year a success.

Tips when writing your business plan

When writing your business plan and before you start using it, consider the following:

  • Do your research – You will need to make quite a few decisions about your business including structure, marketing strategies and finances before you can complete your plan. By having the right information to hand you also can be more accurate in your forecasts and analysis.
  • Determine who the plan is for – Does it have more than one purpose? Will it be used internally or will third parties be involved? Deciding the purpose of the plan can help you target your answers. If third parties are involved, what are they interested in? Although don’t assume they are just interested in the finance part of your business. They will be looking for the whole package.
  • Do not attempt to complete your business plan from start to finish – First decide which sections are relevant for your business and set aside the sections that don’t apply. You can always go back to the other sections later. Get some help – If you aren’t confident in completing the plan yourself, you can enlist the help of a professional (i.e. Business Enterprise Centre, business adviser, or accountant) to look through your plan and provide you with advice.
  • Actual vs. expected figures – Existing businesses can include actual figures in the plan, but if your business is just starting out and you are using expected figures for turnover and finances you will need to clearly show that these are expected figures or estimates.
  • Write your summary last – Use as few words as possible. You want to get to the point but not overlook important facts. This is also your opportunity to sell yourself. But don’t overdo it. You want prospective banks, investors, partners or wholesalers to be able to quickly read your plan, find it realistic and be motivated by what they read.
  • Review. Review. Review – Your business plan is there to make a good impression. Errors will only detract from your professional image so ask a number of impartial people to proofread your final plan.

 Business plan chalkboard

What to include in a business plan?

A business plan provides direction, keeping you on track and is usually a requirement when you seek finance. Depending on your business type, your plan could include the following sections:

  1. Company Analysis: what products and/or services do you offer now and/or what will you develop and offer in the future?
  2. Industry Analysis: how big is/are your market(s) and how are they changing? What trends are affecting them and do these trends bode well for your future success?
  3. Competitive Analysis: who are your competitors and what are each of their key strengths and weaknesses? In what areas will you have or gain competitive advantage? How?
  4. Customer Analysis: who are your target customers? What are their demographic and/or psychographic profiles? What are their needs?
  5. Marketing Plan: how will your reach your target customers? What promotional tactics and marketing channels will you use? How will you price your products and/or services? What brand positioning do you desire for each?
  6. Management Team: who comprises your current team and what key hires must you make in order to execute on the opportunity in front of you. Will you build a Board of Advisors or Directors, and if so, who will you seek?
  7. Operations Plan: what is your action plan? What are the milestones you must accomplish to go from where you are now to where you want to be at year’s end? At the end of five years?
  8. Financial Plan: how much external funding (if applicable) do you need to build your company? In what areas will these funds be invested? What are your projected revenues and profits over the next one to five years? What assets must you acquire?

 

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Regards,

Cynthia Mwangi

Sources : forbes.com

: business.gov.au

Images : Google

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BUSINESS IDEAS YOU CAN START TODAY : EVENT SERVICES

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we know how Kenyans get overly excited about events. Weddings, graduations, birthdays, barbeques,baby showers, bridal showers etc. Why not turn that into a business? You know someone who’ll be having a  party and can pay you to handle the logistics. Its not easy, trust me. But nothing ever came easy.

 

Event Services
Photography
With your eye for photo opportunities-at weddings, parties, special events and more-you could be zooming in on profits as a freelance photographer. Be prepared to work weekends and evenings (when many clients will need your services) and to hire an assistant to help you juggle your photo paraphernalia.

Errand Runner/Personal Shopper
Calling all shopaholics: Here’s one business where you can truly shop till you drop . . . without spending a penny of your own! Personal shoppers-who may also perform other errands, such as picking up prescriptions or buying groceries-can never complain about a lack of things to do.

Mobile DJ
As a mobile disc jockey, weddings, parties and other events are all music to your ears. Start jammin’ with a collection of compact discs, a CD player, and a speaker system, then pass on the word about your services to wedding and event planners.

Wedding-Planning Service
Getting married isn’t always as simple as saying, “I do.” There’s a caterer to be contracted, a location to be rented, and flowers to be ordered. So when it comes to making matrimony a more harmonious event for the new couple and their families, wedding planners take the cake.

Event Planning
If your life has been, well, uneventful until now, we have a solution: Be an event planner! Whether it’s a party, wedding or convention, you’re sure to be at the center of all the action when you coordinate everything from room rentals and speakers to decorations and food.

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Limousine Service
With a limo and some insurance, you could be the driving force behind a new business venture. Stretch your market by adding more drivers and cars to your fleet. Then, once you’ve established a reliable reputation, start-driving home your limousine-service sales.

Photo Birth Announcements
For birth-announcement producers, business is booming as fast as the population! Some basic desktop-publishing software, scanning equipment, and the names of new parents put you in the starting blocks; from there, create fanciful photo-cards, including those all-important details: name, birth date, time and weight.

Video Service
You may not win a producer-of-the-year award, but you’ll win the appreciation of your clients when you capture their weddings,  birthdays and more on video. Keep the film rolling at special events, then edit a final version for clients’ own special screenings.

Reunion Organizing
Reunite ’em ’cause it pays so good: Whether it’s one big happy family or one big high school class, reunions can be a joyful-and lucrative-occasion for reunion organizers. coordinate the catering and entertainment, send out the invitations, then sit back and let it all “come together.”

 

Was this post helpful? Leave a comment.

 

Regards,

Cynthia Mwangi

 

source : Guen Sublette runs her writing-and-editing-services business from her home in Redondo Beach, California.

: entrepreneur.com

images : Google

 

 

BUSINESS IDEAS YOU CAN START TODAY : CHILDREN’S SERVICES

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For one to make a change, you don’t need a new Year, Sometimes all it takes is a new month, and a beautiful Monday morning.

 

Children’s Services

 

Children’s Party Planning
Do parents a favor and plan their next children’s party. From hiring Sesame Street /Ben ten, Dora the explorer or even Sofia the first ( Jackie Stany thank you for this, i shall never forget)  character look-a -likes to coordinating games, decorations and food, you’re sure to be the life of the party by allowing parents to relax and have fun, too. Plan birthday, holiday, and religious-ceremony celebrations . . . and let the festivities begin!

Child Care
As a child-care provider, you’ll need a state license, plenty of baby-sitting experience, and a lot of patience and TLC. You’ll find busy parents aren’t your only clients; many office complexes, gyms and other businesses need quality child care, too.

Children’s Transportation Service
For working and nonworking parents alike, transporting junior to and from school (as well as to after-school activities) can become, well, taxi-ing. By providing a reliable children’s transportation service, you give busy parents a break-and keep their busy kids on schedule.

Baby-Proofing
Stairs, cabinets, electrical cords and outlets-they’re all potential baby hazards. New parents, grandparents, and even baby sitters could all benefit from a more kid-friendly house. So grab your tools and be prepared to get down on your hands and knees (it helps to view things from a baby’s perspective).

Computer Training for Kids
Reading, writing, arithmetic . . . and computers. Though it seems like kids today are born speaking’ computerese’, they’ve got to start learning somewhere. Teaching them the basics early on is sure to put kids at the head of their class . . . and you at the head of your own business.

Nanny Placement
For busy parents, finding a good nanny isn’t child’s play. Nanny-placement agents-who screen applicants, check references, match personalities, and set schedules-provide clients an invaluable service by saving them considerable time and worry.

New Mother/Infant Home Care
Make new babies’ homecomings from the hospital less tiresome for parents by providing the in-home care and support they need. Preparing meals, diapering the baby, and providing light housekeeping are all a great relief to proud-but occasionally exhausted-new parents.

Tutoring
Thought your proficiency in high school algebra was all for naught? Think again: As a tutor, you could help others bone up on their studies. Whether it’s reading, writing or arithmetic, help your students reach the top of their class with a little experienced guidance and support.

 

Source : Guen Sublette runs her writing-and-editing-services business from her home in Redondo Beach, California

Full article found in Young entrepreneurs

pictures : Google

 

Have a blessed month.  Was this article helpful? Leave a comment.

 

Regards,

Cynthia Mwangi