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What your business plan must include

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Every business owner needs to have a well researched and well written business plan. However, this is not always an easy task. Business owners need to realize that no matter what the type or size of their business there are certain things that your business plan needs to have. When you have this information you are far more likely to not only have a great operating manual for your business but you will also be able to attract investors and lenders for your business. Knowing what to include in your business plan can often mean the difference between getting the working capital that your business needs and walking away empty handed. Here is what your business plan must include-

• Provide the solution-Every investor or lender will be looking to see how your business provides a solution for a need or want. You need to be able to clearly show in your business plan how your business does that. If you cannot show that your product or service satisfies your customer’s needs or wants then it is unlikely that your business will be considered for investment or for a business loan. Keep in mind that the more need that you show the greater the potential for your market share.
• Show the value of your business-Business owners need to keep in mind that their business plan will not be the first one that any lender or investor has read. This means that you will need to provide a realistic assessment of the value of your business. Resist the urge to add value based on your emotional attachment. Your business plan must be supported by facts and research and this is extremely important when it comes to presenting the value of your business.
• Define your target market-A crucial part of your business plan must include information about your target market. You must be able to clearly define who the people are who will want to buy your product or service. Do not make the mistake of thinking that that everyone will want to buy from you. This is simply not realistic. You will need to do sufficient market research to show a potential lender or investor not only who is most likely to buy from you but also why would they buy, how they would use the product or service, and all of the demographic information that you can include, as well.
• Have a marketing plan-Many business owners assume that their marketing strategy is something different from their business plan. This is true to an extent. You will most likely want to develop a marketing plan that is separate and defined from your business plan but it should be included with it when you present your business plan to a potential lender or investor. They will want to see that you have done enough market research that you can clearly determine the best way to reach your target market and entice them to buy from you.
• Know the competition-Many inexperienced business owners assume that they don’t have competition. The reality is that no matter how unique or special your product or service is there is competition for it. You will need to be able to demonstrate in your business plan that you understand who your competition really is and how they will affect your market. Keep in mind that due to the internet your competition is not just the business down the street but could be one half a world away, as well. Failing to do this will leave a potential lender or investor wondering if you really understand your market.

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