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Planning A Business

Elements of a Business Plan

Business Description
Include your business name, address, and the owner's name. Identify your goals and objectives and clarify why your business is viable.

Products and Services
Provide a descriptive explanation of your products and services. Describe what you are selling and why.

Sales and Marketing
Address basic questions such as: Who, and how large is your market? How will you be competitive? How will you determine your pricing and what are your terms? How will you market your products and services?

Operating Requirements
Identify and describe the equipment, facilities, and people necessary to generate your products and services. How will your products and services be produced and distributed?

Financial Management
This is the most critical part of your business plan. Include:
- Projected start-up costs
- Expected profit or return on investment
- Projected income statement and balance sheet for three years

Executive Summary
This segment of your plan should summarize your business goals and objectives. Demonstrate that you are committed to the success of your business.

It's a fact... if you don't know where you're going, you will end up someplace else.

Planning can be difficult
Planning is critical to your success. It is often overlooked in favor of intuition or a "gut feeling". Obstacles that can hinder planning include:

Lack of know-how - It is sometimes difficult to know how to plan and what to plan for.

Feat of the unknown - It is hard enough dealing with the problems of today without worrying about what's going to happen in the future.

Inexactness - The best set of plans have a funny way of not working out exactly the way they are supposed to.

These obstacles are very real. However, they must be overcome of you are to be successful.

Get more information
There are many resources available to help you develop your business plan. These include, but are not limited to:

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Public Libraries