Developing A Business Plan - Quick Overview

A business plan should be neat, not fancy, and should include:

Cover Page: List the business name, address, mailing address, telephone number and the name of the owner(s). Identify your primary goals and


Business Description: Include an accurate and concise description of the business.

A. What is the principal activity? Be specific. Give product or service descriptions.

B. How will the business be started?

C. Why will it succeed? Promote your idea.

D. What experience do you bring to the business?

Reference: One Page Business Plan

Marketing is the core of your business. Carefully think about these questions:

A. Can you market your business from home?

B. Who and what is your market?

C. What pricing and sales terms are you planning?

D. How will you be competitive?

Reference: Duct Tape Marketing

The Financial Plan

Money is what fuels all businesses. With a little planning you'll find that you can avoid most financial difficulties.

When you're drawing up a financial plan, don't worry about using estimates. The process of thinking through these questions helps develop your business skills and leads to solid financial planning.

Start-up Costs: To estimate your start-up costs, include all initial expenses such as fees, licenses, permits, telephone deposit, tools, office equipment

and promotional expenses. Business experts say you should not expect a profit for the first eight to 10 months, so be sure to give yourself enough cushion.

Projecting Operating Expenses: Include salaries, utilities, office supplies, loan payments, taxes, legal services and insurance premiums. Don't forget to

include your normal living expenses.

Projecting Income: It is essential you know how to estimate your sales on a daily and monthly basis. From the sales estimates, you can develop projected

income statements, breakeven points and cash flow statements. Use your marketing research to estimate initial sales volume.

Cash Flow: Cash pays your bills, not profits. Even though your assets may look great on the balance sheet, if your cash is tied up in receivables or equipment, your business is technically insolvent. Or to put it in layman's terms, you're broke.

Start-up Consultant: Business901

Make a list of all anticipated expenses and projected income for each week and month. If you see a cash flow crisis developing, cut back on everything but the necessities.Remember, preparation is the foundation of success. Talk to home-based business people, join a home-based professional association or "moonlight" at a similar business. Learn how to use business resources to strengthen your home-based business. Success doesn't just happen, you have to make it happen


Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive coaching company providing no-nonsense direction in areas such as Lean Six Sigma Marketing and organized referral marketing. What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joe’s ability to combine his expertise with “out of the box” thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work...

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