Writing a Business Plan | TigerDroppings.com

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AngryBeavers
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Member since Jun 2012
3715 posts

Writing a Business Plan



Any tips from the MB on how to start it off? What projections/calculations would be good to include? Any good templates out there to follow as a general guide?






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LSUAfro
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2005
10438 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


industry?





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ForeLSU
LSU Fan
The Corner of Sanity and Madness
Member since Sep 2003
34760 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


It really depends on why you are writing the plan. If it's to seek investment, visit some venture capital sites, some will have guides or comments regarding what they want to see in a business plan. You may have to dig, but you'll find some good stuff. They typically don't care as much about pro-forma numbers because they know your guessing any way. If you're going after bank or family money, they'll probably be more interested in pro-forma stuff.

If you're going after investment, focus on the market and how you/your offering is uniquely qualified to capture significant share. Spend very little time on periphery stuff, investors don't really care about what type of copy machine you're planning on buying. They're also more concerned with the team vs. the product/service. Investors will always prefer an A team with a B offering vs. the other way around.

Personally I prefer a format that looks something like this...

I. Executive Summary
II. The Market
III. The Team
IV. The Solution
V. Strategic Plan
VI. Financial Plan
VII. Additional Information

This shouldn't be more the 10 pages.



This post was edited on 12/26 at 10:57 am


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GeauxColonels
Nicholls St. Fan
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Member since Oct 2009
16781 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


If you have a Small Business Development Center near you, they should have a good outline you could follow. I worked at the SBDC @ LSU when in grad school and handed out a ton of outlines. Very seldom did people come back for a second appointment however.





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Meauxjeaux
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re: Writing a Business Plan


SCORE is a good place too.

LINK

Although I am a little disappointed that I signed up for a SCORE mentor online, chose one based on my industry and his experiences and have yet to hear a peep from him.







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oklahogjr
Arizona State Fan
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Member since Jan 2010
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re: Writing a Business Plan


Be sure to include projected financials for 5 years.
cash flow forecast, income statement, balance sheet

This does 2 things

1. shows that you know what these numbers mean which is important because it's what you'll be graded on by investors

2. shows that you have planned on the financial side for growth and know how to budget.

Numbers are what financial dudes look at, all the trumped up language in the world won't get you the money over sound financial planning.






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AngryBeavers
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2012
3715 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


It's more or less just to collect my thoughts and get organized.





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gatorsimz
Florida Fan
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Member since Feb 2009
5462 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


Here are some areas you should cover in no particular order:

The Industry
Your Customer
Your Competition
Your Company and Product/Service
Marketing
Operations
Management Team
Critical Risks
Financial Plan







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ForeLSU
LSU Fan
The Corner of Sanity and Madness
Member since Sep 2003
34760 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


quote:

It's more or less just to collect my thoughts and get organized.


I wouldn't get overly-formal with it then, particularly with how dynamic the business cycle is these days. If you are starting from scratch, make a to-do list of all the organizational stuff you need to take care of from an entity standpoint. Formation, bank account, stock, state and local filings, fed id, payroll accounts, etc. (and unfortunately), etc., etc., etc.

There are decent business plan software packages available that can guide you throw some Q&A as well. But the key, IMO, is to focus most of your efforts on market strategy and plan execution. I'm sure there are others that feel different, but I wouldn't worry too much about developing financial projections. I personally have developed a cash flow projection spreadsheet that I monitor 6-12 months out and manage off of it. Projecting revenue and expenses out 3-5 years is a waste of time for most small businesses because the assumptions that are required are almost guaranteed to change.






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AngryBeavers
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2012
3715 posts

re: Writing a Business Plan


quote:

I personally have developed a cash flow projection spreadsheet that I monitor 6-12 months out and manage off of it. Projecting revenue and expenses out 3-5 years is a waste of time for most small businesses because the assumptions that are required are almost guaranteed to change.


This was kind of my thinking too. Hard to make accurate predictions more than a year out. Cash flow is more important for a start up anyway IMO.






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