Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Keys to a Good Business Plan

by: Anthony Jewell

A business plan is a very important part of any business. It is usually drawn up before the business launches, but can also be developed after a business has already taken off. A good plan can take some time to develop but the effort you put into it will be well worth it to make your business succeed. Not many people know exactly what goes into a good business plan. What alot don't realize is that each business plan is unique to each business. Just because a Candy Shop's business plan is successful for them doesn't mean it will be successful for a Webhosting business. Though the design of the business plan may be similar, it is truly the details inside that make it work.

Here is an example outline of a business I developed for Logo2D.com . This will give you an idea of some of the subjects that go into a good business plan:

1.0 Executive Summary
1.1 Objectives
1.2 Mission
2.0 Company Summary
2.1 Company Ownership
2.2 Company History (for ongoing companies) or
Start-up Plan (for new companies)
2.3 Company Locations and Facilities
3.0 Products and Services
3.1 Product and Service Description
3.2 Business Advertising Program
3.3 Sourcing and Fulfillment
3.4 Technology
4.0 Strategy and Implementation Summary
4.1 Customers, Target Market & New Technology
4.2 Competitive Edge
4.3 Marketing
4.4 Main Competitors
4.5 Strategic Alliances
4.6 Milestones
5.0 Web Plan Summary
5 Development Information
6.0 Management Summary
6.1 Organizational Structure
6.2 Personnel Plan
7.0 Financial Plan
7.1 Break-even Analysis
7.2 Projected Profit and Loss
7.3 Projected Balance Sheet

As you can see it seems a little complex, but the best thing to do is to break it down into parts. Usually each category(Category 1-7) will remain the same on most business plans. Some categories may be added in or taken out all together. The key is to provide as much essential data as possible. For example on Number 5.0 - Web Plan Summary. You business plan mike look something like this:

Part: 5.0 Web Plan Summary
5 Development Information
Logo2D.com has already developed the necessary tools for business including:
- Business Identity
Our logo is unique to us, displaying a eye appealing, unique symbol that when seen can be easily recognized as Logo2D.com creating brand labelling.
- Ecommerce service
Logo2D.com features a fully operational ecommerce website system that allows products to be added through an admin section on the site. It also has the ability to take, receive and process orders, remove sold products, creating promotional offers and coupons/vouchers and also displaying featured products on the front page of the website. Also included in the ecommerce program is an area to add, create and manage website ads placed on the Logo2D.com.
- Website development
All graphics for the website development have already been developed, coded and integrated into the ecommerce system. The website is live and taking orders on www.Logo2D.com
- Products
Development needed products(such as logos) have already be developed and an inventory of over 150 products are on the website at any given time. As soon as logo is sold(as well as during down times) a new logo/new logos are being developed to the highest of quality and added back onto the website.
- Marketing Material
Marketing plan and materials are in the works.

As you can see from above what details are given have already been researched and found out. There aren't any comments from a personnel stand point, just facts that have proven. You can also project different areas of your business plan but you will have to do some research on this as well. So when you are developing your business plan you want to deal with facts and information you already have or can get(not comments or guesses).

When developing a good business plan, research is definitely key. The effort you put into it will determine the effort you will put into your business.

About the author:
Anthony Jewell has over 6 Years experience in the Web & Graphics World. You can visit my business at http://www.logo2d.com

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