Our Guest Blogger, Donna Pacheco, has a strong interest in entrepreneurial ventures. New technologies excite her and she enjoys speculating on how they can revolutionize the way things are in a particular industry. She wanted to share her tips for being a successful enterpreneur with the readers of InventorSpot.com.
Here's her article:
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To succeed in business, you must have a business plan. Business plans serve as the roadmap for your start-up. It also helps the entrepreneur view the economic viability of his proposed business by analyzing its various aspects.
Business plans vary from company to company and there is no set format. You are free to add and change sections as you please. Make sure, however, that you are direct and straight to the point when explaining your business idea and strategy. A 100-page tome is not impressive! If that is what you are planning, there better be good reason for it.
Business plans can be used to get a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration or from your local bank. Keep in mind that these people review a lot of business plans in a single day. Venture capitalists, bank officer, and investors are generally busy people and won't have time to painstakingly pore over lengthy plans.
So, if in doubt, remember K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid. Some investors even prefer the business plan to be in bullet points.
The most important thing about a business plan is that it forces you to think about the important elements of your business. If you do the necessary research and thinking before you launch into business, the probability of business success will increase significantly.
These are some of the basic components of a business plan.
I. Executive Summary
II. Organizational Overview
A. Business Description
B. Mission/Vision Statement
3. Key Goals of the Organization
C. Current Stage of Business
III. Business Model
A. Description of Business
2. Geographical scope
3. Target suppliers
B. Product/Service Differentiation
C. Profiles of Competitors
D. Foreseeable Market Growth
E. Business Process
F. Capitalization Status
G. Financial Projects (3 years to 5 years)
H. Milestones and Phases of the Business
I. Financial Requirements by Milestones
J. Exit Strategy
IV. Overview of the Team
Aside from this, remember the fact that business plans are not static. There are no constants in business and the environment is always changing. One day, while waiting for seed money, a new competitor may suddenly spring up behind you and take you by surprise. It's also entirely possible that there will be changes in laws or regulations that govern your product, which can radically change your profitability. Research, revise, and constantly update. Good luck!
We will cover various aspects of the business plan in more detail in upcoming articles.