By Olle Tiggelaar at April 15 2019 00:36:07
So, what are the key sections of a great plan document? Well, there are many opinions to this as well as ways to approach it, but there are definitely some key 'ingredients' to a solid plan. A great plan features all the typical main sections, but also has many refinements not found in the average plan. The main sections recommended include a clean, well_designed cover page, table of contents, cover letter, executive summary, business overview, sales and marketing section, operations section, HR section, action plan and financial section with tables for _ at the very minimum _ expenses, revenue, and cash flow projections. Within these sections, a professional writer creates many headings and lots of writing that describes every aspect of the business in very good detail. On average, most business plans end up being about 25 to 35 pages in length.
Here is a recap of where we are in this discussion: Business plans formalize an understanding of the task with appropriate analysis leading to a plan_of_action. Not all business plans are for profit motives. Business plans are for an enterprise effort and not focused on disciplines/departments, e.g. Marketing plan, sales plan, HR plan, supply chain plan, etc. Business plans are a great vehicle to build a team effort. Plans can be utilized for formalizing metrics relative to achieving goals and performance measurements. Some complex plans might include a Project Management professional. There are internal and external audiences for business plans. Most external focused plans are for outside funding of projects. Be mindful of the 'tone' the plan projects to the reader. Tone refers to the impression a person gets from reading the plan; a subliminal feeling about the plan.
There are many reasons for utilizing such a document. Is the final document going to be about implementing a decision already having been reached or is it about analysis and recommendations for a newly proposed activity. As noted above, a finished document may be for internal or external purposes. Externally they are often used to solicit funding for a start_up or joint venture. Whatever the purpose, do not confuse effort with say, a marketing or a production plan.
Industry Analysis _ How does your product or service compare with what is currently on the market? What is the trend in the overall industry? What have been the total sales in this industry over the previous 3 to 5 years? What new products or technologies have had the biggest impact on this industry recently? What is the future outlook for these and what trends are emerging? Who are the competitors, where are they located, and how are they doing? What advantage do you offer over them? Who is buying this product or service now? Describe the typical customer for this product or service. Are there emerging markets or market segments? Where does this product or service currently perform best? Possible Data Sources: trade associations; trade journals; attorneys & accountants dealing with the industry; industry salespeople; state business websites; focus groups.