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Do I need a business plan?

Posted By Program Admin, Monday, November 13, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

When is the best time to write a business plan?

 

A business plan is a living document; something that should be reviewed and updated as goals change, trends change, or the economy changes.

 

You want a business plan to help you manage goals, document ideas, stories about your successes or how you have overcome challenges, who your competition is and how you differentiate yourself from your competition.  It’s your company’s story, written for you.

 

I’m just starting out or thinking about starting a business, where do I start?

No need to make it complicated; start with the essentials.  Once these questions have been answered, you can probably create your mission statement, vision statement and clarify your companies purpose.

 

  • Who’s doing What by When.  Who is taking care of accounting, shipping, marketing, etc? 

  • Include projections on Expenses (including salaries), Costs, Sales.

  • Do you know your competition?  How do you differentiate yourself from your competition?  What is special about your service or product?

  • Do you know who your customers are?  Demographics?  Location? 

     

    A business plan becomes very important when seeking a loan or investment and should be a thorough description of your company, where you are, where you want to be and how you are going to get here.  Until then, keep it simple, you probably do not need a full-blown formal business plan. 

     

    The Small Business Development Center has templates that can be used to start out.  If you do not information for some of the sections, leave them blank for now.  This is a living document to be review and updated as needed.

     

     

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