Writing A Business Plan Work Shop 

Writing a business plan is one of the most important aspects of starting a business in today's ever changing financial environment.

This is the question you will need to ask yourself over and over again. And once you come up with the answer that is right for your home based business, you will be ready to get started...

Starting a business in today's ever changing environment is a challenge in itself. So many entrepreneurs are jumping into business ownership without first planning their new venture.

A plan is the best way to go about starting any business. You have a better chance to succeed with a well researched, organized and planned business.

Why is writing a business plan so important?

This is the question you will need to ask yourself over and over again. And once you come up with the answer that is right for your home based business, you will be ready to get started...

Starting a business in today's ever changing environment is a challenge in itself. So many entrepreneurs are jumping into business ownership without first planning their new venture.

The importance of planning your business cannot be over emphasized.

By taking an unbiased look at your business, you can identify areas of weaknesses and strengths that you might otherwise overlook.

Planning can mean the difference between your business being successful or your business being a failure.

The idea of a plan is to help keep you mentally focused. In a sense it is sort of like a goal. You write it down, follow it and make changes and updates as needed. 

This is so that you can keep everything in proper perspective,because without a step by step business plan, there is no way you can keep your business running successfully,
 
unless you are just a super lucky person… What are the chances of that being true? Not Much.

Writing A business plan is simply the process
 you'll use to organize your business goals and strategies. It is a written expression of your business ideas.

And, it also provides information needed for others to evaluate your business. A thorough business plan can help if you are seeking assistance from a financial lender. 

It will let the lender know that you are serious, and also let them know that you are working and planning for your business to ultimately be successful.

There are several organizations that offer free or low cost assistance in preparing a business plan:

Local University Outreach Center

Local University Extension Office

Small Business Development Center

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

Women Business Center


Most cities have these or similar organizations. Look in your local white pages or contact your local government office for help locating them.

When it comes to preparing your business plan, you are going to organize it to fit your particular (business) circumstances.

A business plan should be one of the first things a start up or new business should do before you get too involved in your business. It is best to plan it before you start it.

The things you are going to need to include in your business plan are as follows:

Cover Sheet 


This page should include your company name, contact information, company logo, company trademark and your copyright notice.

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Table of Contents

Should be one page and it should give details of the content of your business plan.

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Executive Summary 

This is summing up the purpose or a brief statement or account covering the substance or main points of your business. 

What type of business is it?

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What is your product or service?

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State your company's goals.

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State your company's objectives.

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What is your business history?

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Mission Statement 

This is the description of your business. In about a paragraph or less you mention your reason for being in existence.

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Marketing Plan

This is how you plan to market your business. You will need to explain:

How will your company differ from your competitors?

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Who your customers are?

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Who is your market?

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Is it wholesale or retail?

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How long will this market need your product?

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What are the characteristics of your average customer?

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What are the environmental factors of your business?

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Who is your competition?

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What competitive advantage do you have over your competitors?

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What is the best way you plan to sell your product or service?

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How will you sell your product or service?

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How will you promote and market your product or service?

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Product or Services

This is a description of your actual product line and also the benefits of the product line.

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Operations 

This is how you plan to actually run the day-to-day operations, bills and customer service of your business. 

Who are the employees of your business?

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What are their credentials?

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How does the business make money?

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How do you price your product or service?

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Describe what inventory, raw materials and supplies the business uses.

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List your supplies and supplier.

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How easy or difficult is it to obtain supplies?

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Are their prices steady and dependable?

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Information On Your Business 

This is general information about your business formation.

What is your form (sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company or Corporation)?

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State all of your business licenses.

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State your business zoning requirements.

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State your business insurance requirements.

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Have your building codes been complied with?

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Have health codes been complied with?

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Describe any other laws and regulations that affect your business.

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List trademarks, patents, licenses and copyrights that should be checked for legality.

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Financial Plan 

This is how and where you plan to get money to get your business started and running.

How will you finance your business?

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How will you manage your finances?

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Describe what needs to be financed.

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Where will your finances come from?

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Financial Statement

This is a financial report that includes:

Balance sheet

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Income statement

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Accounts Receivable

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Accounts Payable

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Debt Schedule

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Reconciliation of net worth

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This should be included for new and existing businesses, project the following financial statement for the next three years (monthly for the 1styear, annually for 2nd and the 3rd).

Operating (Or Income) Statement 

This should include an explanation of sales, expenses and profits.

Balance Sheet

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Reconciliation of Net Worth

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Cash Flow with Explanation

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Break-Even Analysis

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Appendices

Include testimonials from present and potential customers research clips miscellaneous charts ad graph.

Your Business Plan should convey your businesses over all goals. It should also entail the core values of this business. It should be written in a manner to help your business succeed today, tomorrow and in the far future.

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