The business plan is a tool designed to help you find and explore opportunities. It also provides an entrepreneur with a way to analyze potential opportunities continuously.

Business Planning is the process of seeking the answers to important questions about your business, as you try to realize the dream of owning the business.

A business plan is your key to financial help. In other words, if you have a well planned idea, banks are more likely to provide you with the financial support.

Business Planning needs to be based on real, timely information.
Before you start the business planning process, you need to gather the information that will allow you to identify the priorities and make decisions. This information may include demographic data, market research, labourmarket information, analysis of competitors etc.

  • Business planning needs to be action-based.
    Goals are good things. You need them for direction.But without planning
    actions to undertaketo achieve your goals, nothing will be accomplished.

  • Business planning needs to identify risks and challenges.
    Successful business planning involves not only assessing potential risks,
    but coming up with ways to minimize them.

  • Business planning needs to be ethical.
    There are all kinds of strategies that will increase your business’s profits.However,
    before you make them part of your business planning, ask yourself if they are ethical.

  • Business planning efforts need to be measured and evaluated.
    How can you get to where you want to go, if you do not even know what
    you have accomplished so far?

A business plan usually consists of the following elements:

• The Executive Summary
• The Marketing Plan
• The Operations Plan
• The Organizational and Management Plan
• The Financial Plan

The Executive Summary
This section serves as an introduction as well as a short, succinct summary of your business. It should be short and easy to read and leave the reader with a clear picture of what your business is about. e.g.Vision and Mission Statements etc.

The Marketing Plan
No matter how good your product and your service, your venture cannot succeed without effective marketing. This begins with careful, systematic research.

The Operations Plan
This element describes ‘HOW’ you will operate your business on a day to day basis. This is where your research and experience shows and you get to outline your strategy for success.

The Organizational and Management Plan
This is a diagram or description of the key players in the organisation.It also shows the chain of command, the relationship and the positions between them.

The Financial Plan
This is the element of the plan that will require the most research and time from you. This element forms the backbone of your plan and your business.

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