Fleurette Brune June 13, 2020 Business Plan
You should also be aware of what NOT to put in your business plan. The issue of future forecasts is a contentious one. While it’s all very well attempting to make future forecasts, it’s difficult to predict too far ahead. What you need is to look to the short-term future and then produce your plan accordingly. As the business plan then continues, you can modify the content as and when it’s necessary. Long-term planning, however, will only prove to be a pointless exercise.
However, inadequate planning has been the reason so many businesses fail, and the rate at which they fail is overwhelming. It is usually believed that most businesses fail in their first year of operation and among those that fail, 80% of them do not have a well researched plan. It has been observed that business failure is not only connected with small businesses alone which I chose not mention here, go down too. Though the rate of failure is highly significant in small businesses, and it is the main reason why a good business plan is needed. Probably for raising additional cash and to provide potential investors and lenders with the information required to make investment decisions. This makes developing a business plan extremely important. One’s business plan has to stand out and his projection has to be firm due to higher competition in attracting funding for his business. Investors no longer risk their money on businesses that do not prove to have great potentials for them.
As you write your business plan, keep in mind that your audience – whether you’re currently looking for financing or not – is likely to be a potential investor. You need to communicate to investors that your company understands its business and has thought through all the risks, challenges and opportunities involved in its industry.
Another point of contention is how optimistic you should make your business plan. The problem with making over-optimistic predictions and plans is that these plans could well go wrong. Unforeseen circumstances can always put a spanner in the works. Therefore, it’s wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to devising your business plan. Indeed, it’s wise to predict conservatively and prudently when it comes to assessing the possibilities of future targets, sales and profits. A worst-case scenario will always prove to be less of a shock than one that raises expectations too high.
A business plan is like a road map, it shows one the route to take, the pitfalls to avoid in order to reach his destination, For instance, if one decides to travel by road from one place to another, he would first need a road map that shows him the route to take. He will need to determine the distance and how much gas his car will need to take him to his destination. Moreover, he will need to calculate how much the journey will cost him, if he intends to raise money, if he’s borrowing, how he intends to refund the money. Putting all this into consideration, he now has a traveling plan that will take him to his destination. In the same vein, that’s what a business plan provides one with, the strategies, the route, and a road map to success.
A financial tool in a good business plan enables one understand his business financial position, develops his budget and determine how his finances will be allocated. It also calculates one’s return on return on investment, analyzes his income statement, cash-flow, balance sheet, break-even point i.e. the analysis that tells one how much sales needed in order to cover expenses, which gives the basis for pricing his products and services, and at the same time calculates how much that is needed to finance one’s business which helps in making his financial needs clear.
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