Creating a business and marketing plan gives you the opportunity to clearly outline your business objectives and how you plan to achieve them. It serves as a personal road map for launching and operating your home-based business. It is also a necessary component when you need to obtain financial assistance from banks or investors.
As you create your business plan, you will want to place emphasis on the needs of your business. For instance, a business plan for a start-up company will highlight different points than a business plan being used to attract investors. In this chapter we will focus on developing a business and marketing plan for a start-up company. Additional resources on business plans are available in the Resource section at the end of this book.
In most cases, your plan will be a 20- to 30-page document written in simple business language. You will want to highlight main points with bullets, tables and charts. A standard business plan includes seven sections:
1. Executive Summary
3. What You Sell
4. Your Market
5. Strategy and Implementation
6. Management Team
7. Financial Projections
As you begin to organize and develop your business plan, realize that you may not need every item listed above. It’s okay to ignore anything that doesn’t fit your needs. It’s also okay to add sections that aren’t listed here. Unless you will be using the plan to obtain financing or attract investors, there will be areas that simply aren’t important.
Last, but not least, your business plan should include a table of contents to provide readers with a quick and easy way to find each section of the plan. All pages should be numbered and the table of contents should include these page numbers.
Organize your plans with flexibility. Take a look at what has happened in the last 100 years…
THE YEAR 1907
The average life expectancy in the U.S. Was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City Cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S. , and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more Heavily populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower !
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 Cents per hour.
The average U.S. Worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist made $2,500 per year,
A veterinarian $1,500 per year,
And a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. Took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all U.S. Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as “substandard.”
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death in the U.S. Were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
4. Heart disease
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada , was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.
There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. Adults couldn’t read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”
What it may be like in another 100 years!
Build your Business with flexibility!
Jim Kelley, a veteran of 38 years in the Executive Business World, has spent several years in organizing and designing Company Operating Structures.