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Key Ingredients of Small Business Plans
Do you dread the idea of writing a business plan? One way to lessen the mental burden associated with one of the unavoidable elements of starting your own company is to outsource the job. But even when you do that, it's essential to work with the expert plan writer and provide critical input about all sorts of core concepts. For starters, you must have specific products or services in mind and be able to explain why you feel ideally suited to offer them to the public. Next, make a detailed list of your financial needs, being certain to include every expense.
Have an idea about how you'd like to do preliminary research of the general marketplace and potential competitors. Develop at least two years of future financial statements based on your best guesses about profits and expenditures. Make a summary list of all daily operations, based on what you currently know about your product, finances, promotional efforts, and staffing. Here are more specific suggestions for things to include when creating a business plan or working with someone else to make the document.
Products and Services
The first part of the plan should include a precise list of all products and services you intend to offer. Describe them precisely and include any patents you have applied for or intend to obtain. Photographs, diagrams, and clear written descriptions are part of this initial section.
A core component of a formal, written business plan includes details of your funding sources. That includes any loans taken out for the purpose of running the company. The unique aspect of a new, smaller organization is that its funding needs are rarely so large that the company must work with a major banking institution. Luckily, you can take out loans in varying sizes based on your needs. The essential point is to seek out those who specialize in offering small business loans, support the entrepreneurial community with direct investment, feature flexible repayment arrangements, and have a variety of loan programs to choose from.
It's also wise to work with a reputable lender who can give you access to support networks where you can get helpful advice for running a small organization. Taking out a loan is about much more than borrowing money. In today's competitive economy, you need to deal with professionals who know the markets you operate in and who can give you a few pointers about how to succeed.
One of the best tips to ensure startup success is to fully understand the market and pay close attention to the changes and trends. Write a brief report about market research you have done to assess the viability of the company. Include sources just as you would in an academic paper and make objective assessments about why you chose to compete in your chosen field based upon the analysis. Keep this portion of the plan brief but detailed.
Consider hiring outside help to develop a two-year prospective set of financial statements for the organization. Include projected profits, expenses, income, customer demographics, inventory levels, tax payments, and stock offerings. Don't worry if you are working with estimates only. The goal is to create a document that serves as a blueprint for future operations.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes