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Business Plan and Start Up Newsletter Issue #1026-The Importance Of A Business Planning Blog
January 19, 2006
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Business Plan And Start Up Newsletter
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January 2006
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Written by Shaunta Pleasant
President, TL Manage Inc.
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Business Plan Pro 2006...

Everything banks; lenders and the SBA look for! Produce your business plan quickly and easily... For entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Business Plan Pro 2006

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********Table of Content********

The Importance Of A Business Planning Blog...

Business Plan Basics...

Why Women Are Starting Their Own Businesses...

A Few Cool Helpful Notes...

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The Importance Of A Business Planning Blog

The Importance Of A Business Planning Blog

In retrospect, it is not hard to understand the enormous success of the business planning blog. After all, just about every worker has dreamed of hanging up their tie and striking out on their own.

Starting a business is a dream for many workers, and it just makes sense that those planning to make such a big step would seek the help and advice of those who have already been there. After all, starting a business is a big decision, and you will need lots of advice.

Blogging Brings Business Owners Together

When it comes to starting a business, there are few things as important as first hand knowledge. The opportunity to sit down with a business owner who has already been through the startup process can be quite valuable, and it is this atmosphere the business planning blog attempts to create.

By bringing together business owners, and would be business owners, in one place, the bloggers are able to share stories, and tips for success. Owners of successful businesses also have the opportunity to allow those new to the business world to learn from their mistakes.

Be Cautious About Offers That Sounds To Good To Be True

It is important, of course, to be careful when posting, or even reading, the posts in those business planning blogs. As in chat rooms, everyone will not be who they appear to be, and it is important to keep your eyes and ears open any time you are online.

Be especially cautious about any business opportunities or hot stock tips offered on business planning blogs, as they could be scams. If an opportunity looks good to you, be sure to check it out on your own before diving in.

Blogs Can Be A Great Place For Business Owners And Would Be Entrepreneurs To Meet

Putting a little caution aside, business planning blogs can be great places for business owners and would be entrepreneurs to meet and talk.

The opportunity to bring people of many different backgrounds together for a common purpose is one of the hallmarks of the internet, and it is certainly on display in the pages of the average business planning blog.

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Business Plan Basics
By Palo Alto Software, Inc.

The best way to show bankers, venture capitalists, and angel investors that you are worthy of financial support is to show them a great business plan. Make sure that your plan is clear, focused and realistic. Then show them that you have the tools, talent and team to make it happen. Your business plan is like your calling card, it will get you in the door where you'll have to convince investors and loan officers that you can put your plan into action.

Once you have raised the money to start or expand your business, your plan will serve as a road map for your business. It is not a static document that you write once and put away. You will reference it often, making sure you stay focused and on track, and meet milestones. It will change and develop as your business evolves.

Do I need a business plan?

Not everyone who starts and runs a business begins with a business plan, but it certainly helps to have one. If you are seeking funding from a venture capitalist, you will certainly need a comprehensive business plan that is well thought out and contains sound business reasoning.

If you are approaching a banker for a loan for a start-up business, your loan officer may suggest a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, which will require a business plan. If you have an existing business and are approaching a bank for capital to expand the business, they often will not require a business plan, but they may look more favorably on your application if you have one.

Reasons for writing a business plan include:

  • Support a loan application
  • Raise equity funding
  • Define and fix objectives and programs to achieve those objectives
  • Create regular business review and course correction
  • Define a new business
  • Define agreements between partners
  • Set a value on a business for sale or legal purposes
  • Evaluate a new product line, promotion, or expansion

What's in a business plan?

A business plan should prove that your business will generate enough revenue to cover your expenses and make a satisfactory return for bankers or investors.

  1. Executive Summary--features the highlights of your plan and sells your idea in two pages or less.
  2. Company Summary--a factual description of your company, ownership, and history.
  3. Products (or Services or both)--describes your products and/or services and how they stand out from competitive products and services.
  4. Market Analysis-provides a summary of your typical customers, competitive landscape, market size, and expected market growth.
  5. Strategy and Implementation-describes how you will sell your product, how you will put your plan into action, and establishes milestones.
  6. Management Summary-provides background on the management team, their experiences, and key accomplishments.
  7. Financial Plan-contains key financials including sales, cash flow, and profits.

What makes a successful business plan?

  • A well thought out idea
  • Clear and concise writing
  • A clear and logical structure
  • Illustrates management's ability to make the business a success
  • Shows profitability

How do you write a business plan?

Sitting down looking at a blank computer screen as you prepare to start your business plan can be daunting. You may want to look at some alternatives that will make the process a bit easier.

Hire a Professional

A professional consultant will create the business plan for you, but you still have to be prepared to think through your business and understand the underlying concepts in your business idea. You will have to work closely with the consultant to ensure that he or she develops a good plan that accurately represents your business or business idea. You can find a list of business planning consultants at www.planconsultants.com.

Buy a Book

There are many good books on the market that will help you to understand what needs to go into a good business plan. You can read Timothy Berry's "Hurdle: the Book on Business Planning".

Use Business Planning Software

A good business planning software package will provide you with an outline for a well-developed, objective-based and professional business plan. Software packages will remove the problem of starting from scratch by structuring your plan for you. The software should ask you the right questions that will pull out the most important underlying concepts within your business idea. Find out more about the leading software package on the market, Business Plan Pro.

For Business planning resources

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Why Women Are Starting Their Own Businesses

According to LINK Resources Corporation, 4.1 million women had home-based businesses. More research have shown that the total number of full and part time home based business should hit 37 million by the end of 2003, generating more the 400 billion in revenues.

Women have begun working from their homes for many reasons:

The high cost of daycare -- The rate of daycare expenses are continually increasing and becoming more and more difficult for families to afford the cost of them.

And with the government only giving us a $2400 tax break in 2000 per child up to a limit of three kids. That tax break is much lower than the cost of a child in daycare.

The Quality of daycare -- Some parents just feel it is best for them to watch their own kids.

The need for both spouses to work -- With the growing economy and inflation. It is difficult for some families to make it on a single income.

So one of them venture out to find another source for income. Business start up is sometimes a choice that they may consider to increase their standard of living.

Technology has made it easier -- Now a days, if you have a desire and the willpower to get started. You can start you own web based business.

With one of the affiliate programs that we offer, it is as easy as just doing it.

Not being treated fairly -- Race discrimination, sex discrimination, harassment, and unfair practices at work, office politics, and so on.

This can all affect your mental thought process about how you feel about working for the company you presently work for or any other company for that matter.

Low salaries -- It is a well-known fact that a woman and a man can be working the same job at a company.

They could be performing at the same level and their job reviews could be about the same as well. But the women, most of the time will be making a substantially lesser amount money then the man.

Flexibility  -- You have total control over your business activities if you are a business owner. You can schedule your day to fit your lifestyle.  

Advantages of being at home -- There are so many advantages to having a home-based business. You can work whenever you want to work.

You don't have to commute very far. You can deduct some of your home for business expenses. You can Incorporate as a home business.

Home business ownership is the best choice for women that are faced with some or all of these issues. Most women start part time.

If their business becomes the best choice, some ladies eventually leave their full time place of employment. And go at it on the own full time. Which is the goal of these women.

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A Few Cool Helpful Notes

There hasn't been a time in the past when I could tell you about things that are going on, just for you to get them.

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P.S. Enjoy Your New Year and many more to come :-)

Shaunta

http://www.tlmanage.com
http://www.yourbusinesspal.com 

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