Let’s Write a Business Plan

Now it’s time to write a business plan. Most people think this is the most miserable part of forming their business (followed closely by raising capital); but it can be quite fun if you think of it as a blueprint for your future success or treat it as pieces of a puzzle fitting into a cohesive plan. Depending on your feasibility analysis,  this should be fairly straightforward. Your product testing and feedback from your potential target market should also help guide this process.

A typical business plan includes the following parts:

  1. Situational Analysis: Your current marketing mix (if applicable), analysis of competitors, view of the marketplace, SWOT analysis
  2. Objectives & Strategies: Your strategic direction, mission statement, vision, values, and SMART goals
  3. Tactics: What you will do to accomplish the goals suggested above
  4. Segmenting, Targeting, Positioning: How the groups you want to target can be segmented, who you plan to target, how you would like the consumer to picture your brand in their minds
  5. Launch Plan: How you will get your business off the ground, financing strategies, retailing strategies, etc.
  6. Growth Plan: After launch, what is your growth potential and how you plan to reach that potential
  7. Marketing Mix: The 4Ps,Ways you will attract and keep customers, how you will increase brand awareness
  8. Projected Financials: Expanded version of what you proposed in the feasibility analysis.

Over the next eight days (excluding the weekend – everyone should take a break to keep their mind and ideas fresh), I’ll go into more detail about each of these steps. Feel free to send questions about any of these so I can cover specifics in my posts. For those of you that have already written a business plan, I would love to hear how you approached it; and together we can create a resource database.

 
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