How to Prepare a Proper Business Plan

It is a well-known fact that more than 60% of new businesses will fail in the first three years of their existence. A well-thought-out business plan, while not guaranteeing success, will increase the probability of a company becoming successful. Besides all the benefits of developing a comprehensive Business Plan, there are two main purposes it serves. First, it acts as a roadmap for the entrepreneur to guide him/her through the steps necessary to conduct a particular business. Second, it is a necessary document to be used in acquiring funding from banks or other funding sources such as venture capitalists or angel investors. Also, a Business Plan allows you to discover any weaknesses in your business idea. The Business Plan is a “living document” that is updated periodically to make corrections as necessary that reflect industry changes or trends, market conditions or other events not initially anticipated.

The objective of this webinar will be to guide you through the steps necessary to develop a proper and well-thought-out Business Plan. The Plan need not be overly lengthy but should contain important elements such as a general description of the business, a detailed description of the product(s) or service that you intend to provide, a marketing plan showing who your customers will be and how you intend to sell them, a financial plan showing at least 12-month cash flow projection, the ownership and management of the business and your competition showing the number of competitors in your trading area. These elements of the Business Plan and other related matters will be discussed in our webinar.

Discussion Points:

  • Mission statement – what are your goals, where do you want to be and how will you get there.
  • Marketing – identify your target market and available potential customers.
  • Financial – analyze your start-up costs and ongoing cash requirements and funding sources available to you.
  • Pricing – determine pricing of your product(s) or service based on your costs, market conditions and competitor pricing.
  • Competition – know who your key competitors are, their marketing strategy and pricing policy and how you plan to differentiate yourself from them.

About the Author(s)

 John  Sheehan

John Sheehan is the former President and CEO of National Computer Analysts, a publicly traded software company based in Princeton, New Jersey. NCA developed software for large financial institution in the United States and Europe. The company also operated a financial account processing datacenter in Princeton for small and medium sized banks in Eastern United States.

Certified Mentor, SCORE Bucks County
How to Prepare a Proper Business Plan - slides