|Based on several requests and questions on how to write a business plan and the benefits of doing it, I have decided to write this article that is more of a Template.Benefits of a Business Plan
If you are starting a new business, your business plan will help you get your idea off the ground. It will give you an opportunity to consider what goals are realistic and achievable and help you indentify what you can do within your budget. Your plan will be a guide to making your idea a reality.
If you own an existing business, having a business plan that is regularly reviewed and updated will help you take control of the direction your business is heading. Your business plan will allow you to make the most of new opportunities and identify potential risks and act before problems occur.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
Business plans may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. When the existing business is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 to 5 year business plan is required, since investors will look for their annual return in that timeframe.
Below are some of the components of a business plan.
While the business plan’s executive summary is the first thing the readers of your business plan will see, it should be the last part of the business plan you write. You need to have “the feel” for the overall content of the plan before you can begin to summarize it.
The purpose of the summary is to provide your readers with an overview of the business plan. Think of it as an introduction to your business.
The business description usually begins with a short description of the industry. When describing the industry, discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. You should also provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business.
Market strategies are the result of a meticulous market analysis. A market analysis forces the entrepreneur to become familiar with all aspects of the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be positioned in order to garner its share of sales.
The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.
Design & Development Plan
The purpose of the design and development plan section is to provide investors with a description of the product’s design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing and the company itself, and create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its goals.
Operations & Management Plan
The operations and management plan is designed to describe just how the business functions on a continuing basis. The operations plan will highlight the logistics of the organization such as the various responsibilities of the management team, the tasks assigned to each division within the company, and capital and expense requirements related to the operations of the business.
Financial data is always at the back of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than up-front material such as the business concept and the management team.
Work with this guide and you will be able to create a business plan for your existing or new business.
You Will Succeed!
– Chinedum Azuh is the CEO of Learning Lab Nigeria and an Online Consultant with U.S.A. Learning Annex.
MOBILE : +2348032069925
|Many people have challenges deciding on what business to go into in the bid to generate multiple streams of income. Their main concern is what will make money rather than what value they can add to society. Since money is the major driver, there is often lack of effort in creativity, and the tendency is to copy what others are already doing which seems to be making money rather than what they are passionate about or good at. Consequently, when one person charts a new course and seems to be making it, copy cats are not far behind.
There is nothing wrong in copying, if you add value in the process (make it better than the original). However there is something wrong in totally abandoning what you were born to do, in the bid to grab at anything that seems to bring money in the short term.
You have to settle it in your mind upfront that starting a business is simply a vehicle for serving the larger society. Everyone has something to give, something others are looking for, whether you believe it or not. The main reason you are still alive is because you are yet to give all you came to this world to give. The moment you pour out everything you came to give, your time here is almost up.
There are countless opportunities to make your community, the state and the country better. In a country like Nigeria that lacks even some basic amenities and infrastructure, there are unlimited opportunities to close the gaps, by starting a business that will address one of the countless needs.
When you fill a need, people will be willing to give you money for your service. The secret of becoming rich is to serve more and more people. The challenge is to develop the system that will do just that.
It starts with knowing what to give, and how to go about giving it. You need to have the aptitude, skill set and passion to be able to give on a sustainable basis, without abandoning ship.
What are you good at? Wherein lies your passion? What drives you? What do you love doing so much that you can even do it for free? What annoys you? What gets you upset anytime you come across it?
Your passion and purpose may very well lurk within the answers. If you notice something wrong that nobody else seems to notice, or mind, it may very well be your job to fix it.
You keep saying, “One of these days, I will ….”
What if today is that day, what do you want to do?
If failure is impossible, what would you attempt?
You can practically build a business around any passion. Money will come. It is simply a matter of time. Simply seek ye first your purpose, passion, gifts, dreams and go for it full blast. All other things shall be added unto you, if you don’t give up too soon. The answers you seek lie within. Stop looking outside. What you are looking for is not lost.
-Usiere Uko is editor of www.financialfreedominspiration.com and author of Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence – www.amazon.com/Practical-Steps-Financial-Freedom-Independence/dp/147006832X .
One of the greatest mistakes you can make is to launch a new idea without testing it. Many people lose thousands and millions of Naira every year on products they did not test before introducing them to the market. It’s true that the life of an entrepreneur is full of risky adventures but what we shall be discussing is how to take calculated risks.
How do you test an idea? How do you find out if people will buy it or patronize it? We shall be looking at several steps you can take before you invest too much time, money, emotion and other resources.
Be Your Own Devil’s Advocate
The easiest way to go about this is to attempt to disprove the idea that there exists a profitable demand for the product or service. If you cannot disprove this preposition, then by default you have reason to bring the product or service to the marketplace.
Seek Out People in the Same Business
A very important strategy in testing your idea is to seek out people who are already doing the same business and ask their opinions of the product or service. In the multitude of counselors there is safety. Share your idea with them and ask for their honest opinions. Don’t be afraid that someone will steal your idea. There are a thousand and one ideas out there for anyone to use. So be perfectly open.
Confirm the Demand
Before you introduce a new product or service to the marketplace, you need to make sure that there is or there will be a solid demand for it. During my speaking tour in Nairobi, I applied this technique. I produced a copy of the Audio CD of my speeches. The following day, I had an early morning program where I told the audience that the CD will be sold based on the demand and it will be available by tomorrow. Almost everyone paid. It was clear that the product will sell.
Check With Family & Friends
Family and friends are very good targets for market research. Ask your family and friends if they would buy the product or patronize the service. How much would they be willing to pay for it? Listen to their questions, criticisms and concerns. If you can’t answer their questions and concerns in a logical and convincing way, it could be that there is something wrong with your idea.
Create a Selling Promotion
A selling promotion is like an advertisement for a publication, a series of sales letters or emails. In the promotion, you would announce the product or service, and also tell people the particular time it will be available. Then you would give prospective customers the opportunity to pre-purchase at a discounted price with 100 percent money back guarantee. The key here is not to make money but to see if your customers or your marketplace will respond to your product.
Use The Seminar Approach
Organizing a seminar for your potential customers could be a great opportunity to test your idea. It will help you to have first hand information on the needs and concerns of the people. Before I published my bestselling book “There is Money in Your House” I had series of seminars with Churches on the topic. And the response from people was amazing. In fact most people were thrilled by just hearing the title. I didn’t need a seer to tell me that the book will be a market success.
Follow these steps to test your idea before you invest too many resources on it.
You will succeed!
– Chinedum Azuh
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In the beginning of this year, I felt uncomfortable with the level of success I had in business, so I decided to take some practical steps towards moving it to an enviable level. Below are the keys that have worked for me to achieve this goal of building a great enterprise.
Participating in alliances has increased my revenues as much as 500 percent this year. I hope more businesses learn strategically to collaborate more because it cuts down on overhead expenses and increases productive resources. This is the way to great success in business.
Stay Current with Technology
A Chinese Business Mogul once said “When You Simply Apply Technology to the Resources Around You, Money will Flow”. Technology plays a role in every business, so all small business owners can benefit from not only having an understanding of the technology that impacts them directly, but also keeping track of how it changes.
It can help you make better decisions; and it can help save money, time and other resources.
Make Your Customer the King
There is an old adage that the customer is the king. Along with providing your clients with an exceptional product or service, you can encourage repeat business by being customer service-focused. This means asking for and acting on feedback, addressing issues and complaints quickly and thoroughly, and being consistently accessible and accountable.
Commit to Continuous Learning
It is no longer a secret that readers are leaders. You should understand that no matter how much you achieve, there will always be more to be learned and applied for even greater success.
Know When to Delegate
Whether you have paid workers, subcontractors or family pitching in, learning to delegate effectively can be the difference between reaching new heights and burning out.
Many small business owners are accustomed to doing a variety of things themselves, so it can be challenging to identify the tasks you don’t need to do yourself and assign the work to someone else. Once you overcome the challenge, though, you will have more time to dedicate to what you do best — grow your business.
Increase Your Productivity
Some of what you do as a small business owner will be routine; there are a variety of daily tasks that will need to be accomplished to keep your business running smoothly.
The more effective you are when it comes to completing the day-to-day business management tasks, the more potential your small business has for greater success. You can boost your productivity by developing systems to streamline these processes.
Step Up Your Marketing
The most successful small businesses are willing to explore new outlets of online marketing — in combination with their offline marketing activities — to see what produces the most interest.
Consistently changing, testing and mixing my marketing activities have helped me to see what works, what doesn’t and what type of result it produces.
While you do not need to do all of these activities at once, most successful small business owners find a way to work them in over time. To gain momentum, start with one or two that are already aligned with the way you run your business, and then start to make changes to incorporate the others gradually.
Use Goal-Setting to Push Boundaries
Goals can be a great way to clarify your focus, measure progress and track achievements. And for the most successful among us, goals also present an opportunity to push the lines of your comfort zone and take calculated risks.
Work with these ideas and you will enjoy limitless success in business.
You Will Succeed!
– Chinedum Azuh
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|Life is becoming increasingly ever more competitive and dynamic. The different ventures open to men to trade has increased alarmingly. There was a time when you were either a farmer or hunter. Choosing a business then will be a simple choice.
Today, things are different. Businesses of different forms and concepts spring up daily. The different investment options open to us is definitely mind boggling. Population increase has also had its impact. More and more people are struggling to make it on limited ground and opportunity. Millions strive to make millions from the same business. The result is a fierce competition and one that is keenly contested.
People have therefore resulted to different means to make profit or make the most profit. They try to kill competition using various means from outright murder to industrial espionage and blackmail. However some take profit through superior understanding of the business and employing a blessed approach.
You belong to this class. We make profit and succeed because “the lord our God teaches us to profit and leads us in the way we should go”. Is 48:17. Hallelujah.
Child of God, understand that we don’t compete with the world and we don’t struggle with it either. We dominate by reason of greater insight and superior leading.
End time business empires will be built by Christians; Christians who have been taught by God to profit. They will make amazing business decisions and men will wonder with what wisdom they acted. They will take full advantage of the mind of Christ they possess. They won’t require charts or graphs of any kind to make decisions. They will know the outcomes before they begin.
That’s the class we belong to. Let God teach you to profit. Listen to Him before you decide, hear His voice and change that business.
Learn from Peter’s experience. Years of experience and wisdom of this age won’t give you the edge. It won’t turn the business around. But one word from the master will give you a catch of a life time. You have toiled all night, done all you know but you can’t break even, don’t give up. Listen for his command. Dust up that business plan; take a look at your business again-but this time do so through the eyes of the spirit.
– emmanuel aladenusi