Writing a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is a very difficult process for most people. This is primarily due to the fact that an individual entrepreneur always has a number of very good ideas in their head, but often has trouble putting together the documentation that clearly expresses their vision to a third party. Most importantly, many business plans are written specifically for raising capital. As such, entrepreneurs are looking to put their best foot forward as it relates to showcasing with their business intends on doing, how much capital they need, where the business will be over a five-year period, and other information relating to the day-to-day operations of the company.
One of the things that most people have the most trouble with is developing the financial model. It is no secret that forecasting with the potential revenues of a business can be can be excruciatingly difficult given that it is very much uncertain. Even for small businesses that are able to examine a retail space - the revenues and profits can difficult to estimate. In some cases, entrepreneurs have either been spot on were drastically off as it relates to their anticipated revenues. In most cases, it is very prudent and conservative to underestimate what the expected revenues will be while concurrently overestimating with the expenses. One of the common mistakes that many entrepreneurs make when developing a business plan is at the drastically undercut with their ongoing expenses. This is especially true as it relates to salary and ongoing operating costs.
It is important that an entrepreneur that is developing a business plan for a new venture understand with their personal month-to-month capital needs are as it relates to their living expenses. This needs to be heavily factored in into the business plan and the financial model so that an entrepreneur can focus on growing and developing the business rather than making their month-to-month salary needs. Generally, it is wise to seek an amount of capital that will allow the entrepreneur to develop the business over a 12 month to 18 month timeframe. It usually takes most businesses one year or more to reach profitability. As such, this needs to be factored in as it relates to the start up cost as well as the profit and loss statement.
One of the other more difficult challenges in developing a business plan for a new or expanding venture is sourcing the industry information. If you go on the Internet there are literally thousands of sources that focus on providing industry research, local market research, and related information to the general public. As such, it can be difficult to discern which information is credible and what is not. Most importantly, when sourcing information from a private research source this organization should have an extensive amount of usage as it relates to NAICS and SIC codes. The
United States government maintains extensive databases of the amount of revenues that are generated for any given industry. As such, this can be an excellent place to start if an entrepreneur that is developing a business plan is stuck trying to source the industry research. One of the nice things about using these research sources that they are completely free and open to the general public. There are times when purchasing a private market research report is important given that the government simply maintains an overview of the number of people operating with any field as well as the amount of revenues that are generated on a yearly basis. More in-depth research regarding industry trends, market trends, and other relevant information can typically be sourced from a private company.
As it relates to the actual writing of the business plan this is something else that many entrepreneurs go with given that they are not good writers. In many instances they will turn to hiring a professional business plan writer in order to ensure that their vision is encapsulated in a document appropriately. This is always a smart move, and as the owner of this business we develop a number of business plans on the customized basis. This is primarily due to the fact that the entrepreneur were struggling with writing their business plan and then turn for professional advice. This website also has a number of templates that will give an entrepreneur a running head start as it relates to the development of their profit producing project.
While it may seem daunting, writing a business plan is not as difficult as it seems. Although it can usually take anywhere from 40 hours to 100 hours to produce a highly polished document – the effort is worth it given that it will provide the entrepreneur with a clear understanding of what they can expect in terms of revenues, profits, and as a guide for business over a three-year to five year period so that they can follow the plan exactly as needed.