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Work: Starting Your Own Business

Create A Business Plan

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Even if you intend to keep the business small, a business plan will help you:

  • Define your business precisely.
  • Decide how to allocate limited resources.
  • Handle problems.
  • Make decisions.
  • Will serve as your most important tool when raising money.

Creating a business plan forces you to think through both the big picture and what you wish to accomplish, as well as the details of how the business will operate. Many a new business failure could have been prevented if the organizer had taken the time to work through questions raised when creating a business plan.

A business plan should include:

  • A description of the business you propose.
  • The need for the business.
  • The size of the potential market.
  • Competition in the market.
  • Brief biographies of the people who will be important to the business.
  • The cost for creating the business. (Include a reserve to see you over the start-up period until the business has a chance to catch on.)
  • A current balance sheet as well as one that reflects what you expect to happen in the future.
  • An income statement.
  • A cash flow analysis.
  • The type of legal structure you will use.
  • How you plan to market the business. (Consider hiring a publicist to get you free attention in articles and news programs that people pay attention to).

You can view sample business plans, complete with advice on how to create one, at the government's Small Business Association site at: offsite link.

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