Starting a business of any size can be overwhelming: finding products, developing services, searching for customers, promoting the brand, analyzing risks, estimating costs, securing start-up equipment, finding a location, and getting the money together to make it happen. Every year, thousands of great business ideas languish because entrepreneurs don't have a solid business plan.
Once a business has begun, the problems get larger. Opportunities arise, competitors loom, markets change, costs increase. Profitable businesses can become unprofitable overnight without an influx of new capital. Owners need to find and educate investors on risks and rewards. They need a business plan.
A business plan is a formal statement of business goals and how they will be attained. The plan guides owners, investors, managers, and major suppliers in understanding what the business is about and how it will make a profit. Business plans can be simple three-page documents or can fill a large binder. All have the same purpose and components. All are written to plan for success.
The Everything® Business Plan Book with CD is developed logically. It begins with the basics and advice on getting valuable help in writing your business plan. The Executive Summary (Chapter 3) is the most important component of your business plan. Many plan readers won't go any further; sell them here or lose them. The next eleven chapters walk you through each practical component of winning business plans—including product or service description, market analysis, customer definition, competitive analysis, and marketing strategy. It also includes an important chapter on pricing and profitability. Then come the financial documents: income statement, cash flow forecast, and the balance sheet. With examples from actual business plans, you'll soon learn how to make your plan more effective.
This book also includes four invaluable appendices. There's a full example business plan for a product business and a service business (editable copies are on the CD). There's also a comprehensive business glossary as well as a list of more than 500 business plans available separately.
Sidebars offer additional information that you put to work right now as you plan or expand your small business. The sidebars include E-Facts (facts and statistics), E-Alerts (cautions), E-ssentials (tips), and E-Questions (questions and answers), written to clarify and guide you in writing your business plan. This book also includes numerous examples to help you see how successful business plans are written.