WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN

Although no guarantee of success, a good business plan is an invaluable tool in launching your new business.  It is like a roadmap showing you where you’re going and how to get there.  It will also alert you to possible obstacles on the journey.  It forces you to methodically examine all aspects of your business and is absolutely necessary when approaching a banker or investors. 

Although all business plans contain essentially the same information, formats vary. We will be using the format in our text, Small Business Startup (Adams).  You will not be required to create a complete business plan—only the most important parts, the marketing and financial sections, along with an introduction and summary.

Your business plan will be due in segments—see your syllabus for exact dates.  Breaking down the plan into several components helps it a more manageable task.  If you wish, you may e-mail me your assignments at pward@sccd.ctc.edu.  You may send them as Word or Excel attachments or paste the copy into the body of the email (I don’t recommend this last one for the financial section).

 

Business Plan Outline

 

I.     Business Concept

Read about the business concept on pp. 30-31 of your text, and see the example on p. 36.  Two or three succinct, well-written paragraphs.

II.  Financial Plan

Read about Pro Forma financial statements pp. 281-291.  You will be required to turn in the following:

  1. A pro forma income statement for your first year.
  1. A monthly cash flow statement for your first year (1-2 pages).
  1. A beginning balance sheet.  To create your beginning balance sheet you will need: 1)  your cash requirements as determined by your cash flow statement, and 2) a list of assets needed to run your business and their cost.

III.         Marketing Plan

1.      Marketing Plan:  See pages 73-85.  Maximum length:  2 pages.

2.      E-commerce plan.  Be sure you have read all the links available on the web syllabus concerning e-commerce.  Maximum length:  1 page.

a.      E-commerce Plan:  Write 2-3 paragraphs detailing how you plan to use the Internet to market your product or service.

b.      Marketing Your Site:

i.     Describe content you could create for a free email newsletter or to make available to other sites that would be of interest to your prospective customers.

ii.     Identify at least two sites with whom you could exchange links or set up an affiliate relationship—why are these other sites good choices for you?

iii.     Identify at least one online discussion group or chat room that would be a good place for you to participate in order to promote your website.

c.      The Competition:  Describe how your best competitors utilize e-commerce and how you would improve on their practices.

IV.  Business Summary

  See p. 30 in your text and the example on p. 35.  Two or three paragraphs.