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Business Plan
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·What is a Business Plan?
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Business Plan

What is a business plan? Start and Finish Your Business Plan Come Up Short with Investors
Loan Request for Your Bank A Business Plan on the Back of an Envelope Virtual Business Plan

A Business Plan on the Back of an Envelope

You may have never considered writing a business plan on the back of an envelope (or on any other handy and reasonably portable flat surface).
Well in fact you can. In order to reach a target or achieve a goal in business or any other endeavor for that matter, you must have a plan of attack, a.k.a., a business plan.

First, A Quick Warning
If your goal is to convince lucky investors or lenders to quickly provide serious capital for your new idea -- you needn’t read any further, because the format and presentation of your business plan really must be more formal than the back of an envelope.
In fact, you should probably immediately discard this article and contact BizPlanIt.

However, if your objective is less grand (not less important) and your audience does not have to be impressed, an informal plan can help you organize and communicate your strategy just as effectively as 35 pages of brilliant business literature.
Ok, enough with the yak, yak, yak. You are probably asking yourself so how do I go about writing this plan on the back of an envelope?

Well here the five easy steps:

Step One: Clarify Your Goal
The first step is to begin with a very precise, quantifiable statement of not more than one or two sentences that clarifies the goal you are trying to achieve.
The big shots might call this a Mission Statement - but never mind the big shots.
For example…”Acme Cleaning Company will increase its revenue from repeat customers from 8% of total yearly sales to 20% of total yearly sales by the end of calendar year 2002.”

Step Two: Outline Your Strategies
The second step is to list in bullet form (there is probably not enough space for full sentences) the things that you can do to entice people to buy from Acme again, and therefore reach your goal. For example:

  • 5% discount for repeat customers
  • Better quality work
  • More and better staff training
  • Better and more consistent customer service
  • Be on time-every time
  • Start database of customers and send postcards 4 times per year

Step Three: Identify Your Tactics
Step three is to write one or two bullets with specific steps to make each of these six activities above happen.
For example:

  • Advise Sales Manager of new pricing initiative
  • Check the Internet for web-based training courses
  • See if Microsoft Office 2000 has a database management tool

Step Four: Perform a Quick Cost/Benefit Analysis
Step four, write a two-sentence assessment of the financial costs and consequences of executing the plan.
For example… The cost of executing this plan including the pricing discount and the cost of the other initiatives is $37,000.
The financial reward for executing this plan, assuming that the level of new customers remains unchanged, is an increase in annual sales of $875,000.
Not a bad return on your money actually!

Step Five: Get Buy-In
The final and possibly most important step is to show the envelope to everyone at your company and gain their buy-in to the advantages of implementing your plan.
Good luck!

What is a business plan? Start and Finish Your Business Plan Come Up Short with Investors
Loan Request for Your Bank A Business Plan on the Back of an Envelope Virtual Business Plan

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