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All about writing a business plan for your small business

If you are a small business owner (or thinking of becoming one), it is important to know that one of the most critical tools that you will need for business success is a business plan. Far too often, inexperienced small business owners make the mistake of thinking that they don't need a business plan or worse yet they feel they don't have time to write one. The bottom line is that you can't afford to not have a business plan. Your business plan will be the roadmap that helps you chart a course of success for your small business. In addition, when you go to seek either business lending or investing you will need to be able to show potential lenders and investors a well researched and well written business plan. This makes knowing everything you can about business plans very important. Here is what you need to know about writing a business plan for your small business-

- It must communicate your business goals and how to reach them-Studies have shown that when anyone is setting a goal(s) they should write it down. When you write your goals down it increases the chances that you will achieve them. This is true when it comes to business goals. Your business plan should contain your business goals for your small business and how you plan to reach them. When you write them down you have a concrete reminder of not only what you want to achieve but the plan as to how you are going to do it. When your business plan has these goals written in you can also check with it periodically to measure how your small business is doing and decide if you need to make changes. Keep in mind that you should break down your business goals into short, medium, and long term goals and set a time frame for reaching them.
- It should detail the management of your small business-Your business plan should also detail the management structure of your small business. Keep in mind that potential lenders and investors know that they are not investing in the product or service that a small business sells but rather the people who run the company. This makes it crucial that you are able to detail in your business plan your experience and expertise and that of anyone who works in a management position in your small business. This way you can inspire a lenders or investors confidence and have them feeling that you are the right person(s) to run your small business and make it a success.
- It should be a plan and guide as to how to grow your small business-One of the most crucial parts of your business plan will show that you understand the market for your small business. First and foremost you need to show in your business plan who your target market is and where you can find them. You should also include any information about your marketing plan and how you will bring in potential customers. In order to do this you will need to have a clear understanding of why your customers will want or need your product or service. This part of your business plan may take some extensive market research so that you can clearly communicate this. Once you have established why your small business has a viable market share you will also need to communicate how you will maintain it going forward. This is especially crucial for potential investors and lenders who will want to see that your small business has long term viability in your market. If you cannot show that your small business can be successful for the long term there is little chance that a lender or investor will respond well to your business plan.

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