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Business planning. Article 2. A business plan is an attempt to convince yourself that you should not start this business.

So, dear readers, given the success of the previous article on business planning, I think, to continue to be. Last time we focused on the introductory topic of business planning, where we discussed the features of ideas, how they arise and how much they cost. I also suggested that you ask questions (if you are only planning to start your own business), and think.

I want to highlight the following important points concerning the business plan as a whole:
• A business plan is not only an attempt to analyze your business and its chances, but also your guide to action in the near future after starting a business.
• The best way to write a business plan, especially in the initial stages - with a piece of paper and a pencil. And away from irritants. And only then ordering and transfer to the computer.

Top view


Today we will continue to look more closely at the business planning process, but first I would like to acquaint you with a list of topics that are usually included in the business plan, and I plan to devote each topic to one article. Quite an ambitious task, as usually the business plan includes about 15-20 sections, and each is important in its own way. That is, ideally, we should have about 20 articles.
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So, the list:

Section one. Business

1. Description of the business
2. Description of the product (product / service)
3. Market analysis
4. Location of business
5. Competitive environment (in the framework of the article, it is planned to consider the five Porter forces as an additional option)
6. Risks and opportunities (in the plans to include here a SWOT analysis, if this is not too trivial)
7. Business management in general and operational management
8. Personnel policy
9. Results

Section two. Current and projected financial information

Remark: in this section I accept as a given that you have at least a general knowledge of finance and financial reporting, especially the topics of the cost of money, taking into account time, basic accounting principles and business valuation methods)
10. Possible third-party sources of funding
11. List of capital investments
12. Balance sheet
13. Calculation of break-even point
14. Projected Income Statement
15. Projected Cash Flow Statement
16. Analysis of deviations
17. Results

Also, somewhere between the main articles, a couple of articles are planned on special topics, for example, on the role of a team in business, features of obtaining funding, etc.

Small retreat


Before starting the discussion, there are a couple of requests to my esteemed audience:
• I deliberately try not to use modern pop neologisms, translating the material into Russian, so inaccuracies can sometimes occur, since I study all the material in English. For example, I try to write “cash flows” instead of “cashflow”. But sometimes I can inaccurately translate and use “financial flows”, for example. In this case, I ask you not to rush into criticism, but simply point out the inaccuracy that will be corrected.
• Your comments and suggestions are very important to me, since the purpose of my articles is a mutual service. I give you interesting information, you give me an incentive for a more in-depth study of business topics, as well as your experience and knowledge. Therefore, if we all will be interested - I will assume that I have achieved the goal.
• Each constructive comment will be taken into account, for example, the user Besu prompted to write about the role of like-minded people, and the user OneTwo in general threw a new topic for an article that will be available soon.
• Criticism. I love constructive criticism. She makes you think. Non-constructive criticism causes only a defensive reaction, no more. In this case - ignore. In life - not always.

So, something we have delayed. Moving on. Today we are talking about business in general.

Do you know what the most important decision you have to take without even starting to write a business plan? The answer is: what is your business and how it will be in five years.
If you make a mistake at this stage - the chances of success are significantly reduced. Because the entire planning process will be based on your business vision, current vision and future. Let's start with questions (I would advise asking yourself more questions at all, they stimulate thinking and action):

• What is this business? Production, service, trade? What kind of product? Who are the buyers? What is the stage of your business industry (does your strategy depend on it)? Is this a startup? Expanding current business? Merge?
• Type of organization? Partnership, sp? Ao?
• Why will your business grow?
• HOW will it grow?
• When will it open?
• How much time can you devote to him?
• Is your business subject to seasonal influences ?

These are very difficult questions, and if the general answers come off first, after writing a business plan, you should know the exact answer to each of them.
For example, is it very important to understand what your industry looks like? Look at this diagram (I drew it myself, so please forgive minor flaws):
image

This understanding will help you determine your goals. The more specific the goal, the less time and money you will waste. This is actually important - not further, as I had today a presentation of a business plan project (I was with the team as speakers), so the first question potential investors had was “what is your goal, guys? You have a limit of ten words .
Some additional questions for startups:
• Why do you think you will be successful?
• What is your experience in this area? (one of the main factors of failure is precisely the lack of experience in this area)
• Have you talked to people already in this business?
• Have you talked to potential customers? Suppliers?
All these questions will help you write a brief but clear description of the business.

Let's look at an example of such a description (in a compressed version), which we will examine in detail later:
“Company X specializes in selling extra-fresh (not more than one day from the moment of receiving from fishermen) seafood to wholesale and retail customers. Currently, 60% of sales come from retail. The company plans to focus more on wholesale trade, since, despite the low margins, labor costs are lower, turnover is higher. Retail demand is seasonal and varies with the weather. Wholesale demand is stable and growing (there are offers from new customers). The owner of the business is a former fisherman with connections among other fishermen, which gives confidence in stable supplies. ”

So, this paragraph is often enough for an outside observer to draw the first conclusions. For example, from the first sentence (the most important, the so-called elevator pitch , a phrase that you catch attention ), three important things are clear - that they are engaged in seafood, that the products are fresh extra class, and that their market is wide. From the subsequent proposals, the strategy is clear - wholesale. It becomes clear what is the key to potential success - a stable supplier base, and signed contracts from customers.

That is, already on the basis of these facts, it becomes clear that the business is stable, has growth potential. Of course, this is not enough to solve. But this is quite enough to attract attention.
So, today we have analyzed the most important questions, to answer which you will have to research, think and present a lot. In order to get the same elevator pitch as a result ( I can’t pick an exact translation, but the point is that you should be able to tell a business to a potential investor while you are traveling with him in an elevator. This is usually not more than 20-30 seconds. This phrase occurred from the scheme 30 seconds-30 minutes -3 hours, if you are interested in the investor during the trip in the elevator, he will invite you to the office, where you will have 30 minutes for a more detailed presentation of the business.If the investor remains interested and after that, he will invite you later on the presentation where he will bring his people together your area is interesting. This is a three-hour meeting ).

I would like to complete the article as follows. A couple of days ago, I witnessed a brilliant description of the business and elevator pitch. No comments (for privacy reasons, I painted the essence of the business, but you must understand the essence of the reception):

image

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/106498/


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