Everyone has prepared a business plan. Well, should that read, everyone should have prepared a business plan? My thinking is that these tend only to be prepared when they are needed, rather than as a useful business tool for all senior management. My top five ingredients are: 1. Understand what a business plan is; 2. Understand what you intend to use it for; 3. Identify and implement the critical steps to achieving a successful business plan; 4. Understand what needs to be included in the plan; 5. Be aware of gaps or weaknesses in your plan.
Build It on Paper First _ Whether you decide to use business plan writing software or to just follow this guide and create your plan with your word processor, here are the sections of a good plan and the questions that need to be addressed: Cover Page _ Show the name of the company, your name, and the date. Introduction _ What is the name and address of the business? Who are the principals, their titles, and their addresses? What is the nature or purpose of the business? What is your launch date? How much start_up and/or operating capital is needed?