Small Business Plans

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How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Your Business Plan

In order to plan to seize business opportunities and sidestep potential threats, you start by conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. A SWOT analysis helps you analyze [more…]

How to Define Your Business Model

Defining your business model is important for your business plan. When management-types ask “So what’s your business model?,” they really want an answer to a much more direct and basic question: “How do [more…]

Business Planning Considerations: Timing Your Expenses and Income

How you expect to make money is one part of your business model, but when you expect the money to roll in is also an important consideration. Some companies run up costs and spend cash months [more…]

Business Planning Considerations: How to Generate and Collect Revenue

In the simplest business model, your business makes a product or provides a service, sells it to a customer, and collects revenue directly. You might collect revenue on the spot, or you might sell on credit [more…]

Business Planning Considerations: Pricing and Cost Control Strategies

As you define your business model and delve further into the business planning process, you will need to consider how you will price your product or service and how you can control costs within your business [more…]

Business Planning Considerations: How Will the Company Grow?

Business plans serve three purposes: to lay the groundwork for new enterprises as they get up and running, to guide successful businesses as they seek to achieve new heights, and to help struggling businesses [more…]

How to Outline an Exit Strategy in Your Business Plan

It may surprise you to hear that you should give space in your business plan to a description of an exit strategy— the plan for how leaving your business at some point in the future — but you should, especially [more…]

How to Introduce Your Business Plan

Imagine that you’re at your high-school reunion and old classmates ask what you’re up to. As you describe your business — or your business concept if you’re just getting started — you want to cover the [more…]

Develop an Elevator Speech for Your Business Plan

Ideally, your business plan will help you be prepared for any situation to come. When you’re in business, you need to be ready at any moment with an answer to the question, “So what do you do?” [more…]

Enhance Your Business Plan with Research and Development

Research and development, known as R&D, refers to that part of your business plan that is your ability to gain knowledge in order to design, develop, and enhance your product, services, technologies, or [more…]

How to Define Distribution and Delivery in Your Business Plan

Distribution and delivery is an important part of your business plan. How you get your products and services into your customers’ hands is what distribution and delivery [more…]

How to Describe the Management Team in Your Business Plan

Long-term business success depends, above all, on the quality of the team providing the leadership, direction, and vision. In fact, in some cases, investors have funded start-up companies primarily on [more…]

How to Define Organizational Structure in Your Business Plan

Your company’s success hinges on the quality of the people around you, but it also depends on having an organization in your business plan that allows those people to work effectively and efficiently. [more…]

Suggested Organizational Structures for Your Business Plan

You need to have a solid organizational structure in mind for your business plan if you want your company to grow and succeed. Here are a few options to consider. [more…]

How to Know When Your Business Focus Needs to Change

Business plans can be altered to fit the growth of your company. No company can be all things to all people. In fact, companies that try to please everyone all the time usually find themselves becoming [more…]

Business Planning: Marketing Basics

You will need to consider how you will market your business as part of your business plan. You’re not alone if you’re wondering, “What is marketing, anyway?” Entire books are dedicated to answering that [more…]

Business Planning: Analyze Your Market Situation

Your marketing plan needs to begin with a frank assessment of your business marketing arena. This marketplace snapshot presents what you know about the size, dynamics, and trends of your market, what you [more…]

How to Assess Your Business Competition

To grow your business, you need to gain market share (the portion of all sales in your market area that your business captures, commonly known as your slice of the market pie) by drawing customers and [more…]

How to Calculate Market Share for Your Business Marketing Plan

Sooner or later in the world of business, some banker, advisor, or partner will ask you about your market share. Market share is the portion your business captures of all the sales of products like yours [more…]

Build a Marketing Plan Appropriate to the Current Business Climate

The final step in your situation analysis for your business plan involves looking at how outside forces may affect your company’s success. For example, as any business that’s weathered the recent recession [more…]

Set Business Marketing Plan Goals and Objectives

As part of your business plan, you need to have goals and objectives for your marketing plan. Your business needs exposure to grow. Follow these steps as you set marketing goals and objectives: [more…]

Define Your Business Marketing Position and Brand

Your position is the niche that your company — and only your company — fills in your customers’ minds. To gain a market position, you first define how your company and its products and services offer a [more…]

Business Marketing Product Strategy and Value Proposition

Creating a business marketing success story is a little like baking a cake. You take a little bit of this, a little more of that, and you arrive at one result. If you change the mix, you get a different [more…]

Business Marketing Plan: Distribution, Pricing, and Promotion Strategies

Business planning is all about developing strategies for whatever your business may face. This will include distribution, pricing and promotion strategies that, if you’re prepared, can help you pull ahead [more…]

Business Marketing Plan: Your Internet Presence

In this day and age, no business marketing plan can overlook the importance of online communication. In fact, by a long shot, the Internet is the starting point for most people searching for information [more…]

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