Why Are Business Plans Important

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A full-length business plan could contain the following sections: If you answered it all depends, you are a smart entrepreneur.

It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish and who is the audience.

But this column is called Practically Speaking so let’s get practical. It should look out over five years and include goals, risk factors, use of proceeds, prior and projected financial statements with management’s discussion and analysis underlying previous results and assumptions made about the future.

A formal business plan is really only important if you’re looking for money. A great guide to writing a business plan is to look at the Form S-1 that a company must file when going public or use a service like Live Plans.

The financial section of the executive summary should include the projected income and cash generated during the first three years, and if you are seeking funding, a clear statement of how much is needed to fund the project.

And of this sum, show how much you will be investing versus the amount being sought from the funder.Whether your business plan is 5 or 30 pages, an executive summary must recap all of the material in your plan in only two pages.The reason this section gets so much attention is that it might be the only section the reader looks at when making a decision to go forward or stop.But if you’re not looking for money, a formal business plan is a waste of time.Most of my clients that run established companies don’t do it.To paraphrase an old proverb, “you can tell the quality of a business plan from its executive summary.” The executive summary is the ultimate elevator pitch where you introduce the idea, provide background, talk about approach and results, and convey confidence that you will be successful.When you get the reader excited about your business idea, they will be inclined to explore it further.But if it’s for a very short term problem it may be a decent answer for the employee without you having to go through a whole internal process to setup an employee loan system.When you apply for a job, you get one shot — one resume and cover letter — to present to a potential employer and hope, out of hundreds of applicants, they choose you to interview. In this post, you will understand which sections of the business plan are considered the most critical and why, as well as learn what to include in these sections.The executive summary is much more than a summary; it is your call to action.In one paragraph, the executive summary should include a description of your business and the customer problem being uniquely solved so the reader understands what you are trying to achieve.

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