Learn the 25 keys to a great business plan, including writing the company's mission, identifying market opportunities, calculating appropriate financial ratios and projecting growth rates, that will help guide your company's expansion and attract necessary financing:
Key 1. Every business should have a mission. Key 2. Every business needs to define what the business does and identify a market opportunity. Key 3. The entrepreneur must identify the external factors that may have an impact on the business. Key 4. Business success depends on analyzing the nature and contemplating the future of the business. Key 5. The business idea determines the key factors that result in business success. Key 6. The major strengths of the business should be identified in detail. Key 7. The major weaknesses of the business should be identified in detail. Key 8. A complete business plan should be prepared. Key 9. The business plan should be specific and well written. Key 10. Financial statements are the heart of the business plan. Key 11. A strategic plan should be developed to determine what products or services the business is going to offer. Key 12. An operating plan should be prepared to determine how to run the business effectively. Key 13. The first year of operations is an important time for a new enterprise. Key 14. Growth strategies may be affected by the goals and objectives of the business. Key 15. There is no law that requires a business to grow. Key 16. Simple growth calculations are easy to make and should be a focal point for the entrepreneur. Key 17. Growth calculations may be expanded to include return on investment (ROI) analysis. Key 18. Long-term growth may depend on the ability to get long-term financing. Key 19. Operating leverage is a key element in determining the riskiness of a business. Key 20. Deciding when and how the business reaches the break-even point is critical to its success. Key 21. Trade credit is often overlooked as a key source of short-term financing. Key 22. Bank financing may be available to certain businesses. Key 23. Factoring may be an important source of funds available to a new business. Key 24. Selling common stock to outsiders may be a big mistake. Key 25. Venture capital is not available for most entrepreneurs, but it can be attractive for the few that qualify.
Business Planning is part of The New York Times Pocket MBA Series, a reference series easily accessible to all businesspersons, from first-level managers to the executive suite. The 12-volume series is written by Ph.D.s who teach in the finest graduate business programs in the country, and edited by business editors from The New York Times. The structure of each volume presents an unparalleled synopsis of crucial principles of specific areas of business expertise.