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Thread: Business Plan. What to look out for?

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    Business Plan. What to look out for?

    Hi All,

    As the topic states i am looking to start writing a business plan for a new company im going to be starting.... been wondering about this whole concept of a business plan vs a idea of where you wanna go. I find it quite daunting the prospect of having to suck information out your thumb about how to do a business plan and implemention especially when you dont have much experience in such endeveours.

    My question is this. What could you advise someone on how to get a business plan together and possibly a little guide on what one should look out for?
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Cash flow....where will the money come from, where will it go to, and how will you fund the shortfall (if there is).
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    dont mean to sound funny..... but i expected a more.... full answer. :s
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    What we need is a link - try crawl the Nedbank site - there was a really over-the-top one there a while ago.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy_inc View Post
    dont mean to sound funny..... but i expected a more.... full answer. :s
    Snoopy, I wasn't trying to give one, partly due to limited time, and partly due to scepticism around some things that "should" be in a business plan.

    What I've learnt in my short time as a business owner is that cash flow is the thing which dominates a startup business. When you start breaking that down for your particular setup you will also begin to see where some strengths and weaknesses lie.

    I would start by figuring out what all your known expenses are going to be, added some estimate for the unknown ones, and then figure out how many sales you need to make to cover those. If you can't make that many sales from the first month, then you need to figure out how many months it is going to take, and where the cash will come from.

    Yes, it is pretty simplistic, but that is where I would start.
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    ic. Thanks DSD. That helps me alot more

    does one follow the set criteria that they lay out for you.

    IE

    Cover page
    Executive summary
    Business overview
    — business profile
    — the product or service
    Management
    — the entrepreneurs
    — the management structure
    The Market
    — industry analysis
    — market analysis

    Sales and Marketing strategy
    Financial statements and projections
    Legal and regulatory environment
    SWOT analysis and risk/reward assessment
    Appendices and supporting documentation
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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    I have a piece of software called Business Plan Pro which I used to set up my initial plan, it has almost been 8 months and I am still adding and changing to it. The outlines you gave is more or less what is used in the software, but when I started, I didn't use every option, only those which I thought would help me in my first sale.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I think the "catch" with a business plan is what you intend to use it for. If you want to create one for getting business finance it is very different to creating one for your own personal use.

    For example, if you want to loan money from the bank, all you need to put in is how much you want, and what will be surety for that amount

    Why are you drawing up a business plan?
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    Goals, direction & Focus.

    I want to build a business plan to gain direction and have some sort of plan to a goal. The idea behind it is that if somone comes on board i will have a clear indication as to what i need them to acomplish etc.

    Am i barking up the wrong tree?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    To my mind, the one that is the biggest time consumer for least return is:
    Financial statements and projections
    In start-ups there are no historical financial statements, and guessing what the numbers might be is pretty much a thumbsuck.

    Yes - You need to gring some numbers. But rather spend time on cost per unit, markup, competitive finished price, overheads, working capital (money tied up in production until paid) and available capital. This gives a clue as to volume targets that give break-even, arguably the first critical point to achieve as quickly as possible. If you do your calculations around break-even, and get a reasonable estimate for ramp-up time to that point, you've gone a long way to identifying your minimum capital requirements.

    But the mere act of making sure you've got money available doesn't achieve anything. It's the plan to get and keep customers that's the critical stuff. And that is where the intial focus and thinking must go. The money is a vital ingredient, but it isn't the "magic" part of the business that adds value.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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