Writing a business plan is a daunting task. If you do not know that by now, you will discover that soon after you have read your first set of instructions for writing a plan. While each of these preparations will require much of your time and efforts, they will help to make the writing of your business plan easier.
Writing your own plan is best because you probably have superior knowledge of your product, your target market and your own capabilities. Eventually, when you are required to defend your plan, you will be better informed of its contents and its rationale. If you engage someone else to write your business plan, you will still have to supply much of the following information anyway.
Gather industry data. Lenders and investors have access to financial ratios. Ratios are difficult or costly to obtain for some types of businesses. Sample financial statements are more easily found. So, find several that have revenues and expenditures similar to your venture and calculate averages for your own ratios. Gathering extensive marketing information on your potential competitors and for your target market requires a lot of preparatory work. Your readers will expect your data to be cross-referenced and full explanations for any abnormal ranges. If your research requires you to have Standard Industrial Codes (SIC) get them at http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html or http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html.
Gerry added practical wisdom to his college and univeristy courses by owning and operating small businesses. That wisdom is now online at [http://www.UncleMaxSays.com]
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Article Submitted On: December 21, 2004
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