A writer can gather information, organize it to fit its purpose, and customize the writing to meet your individual needs at any stage in the writing process. When you hire a writer, the writing that you just haven't had time to do can now finally become an accomplished goal.
When a bank lends you money, they want to know who will actually run the
business because this can make a difference in its success or failure. This
section explains who runs/manages the business day-to-day and what experience
this person has doing so. You can also list any core competencies or skills
this person has that are specific to the job at hand.
Finally, you will want to list any members of your support team.
need to know what you have personally since you will be using your assets as
collateral on your loan. You will need to know your net worth even if you are
not getting a loan since you will be using your assets to keep the company
afloat in the beginning stages of start up.
No matter what business you start, you
will incur expenses even before you ever open your doors. Be sure to explain
how you came up with the item list and expenses associated with these items.
as you had to have a marketing plan, you will need to have a financial plan.
The plan will show what you expect to profit/lose the first year and over four
years, a projection of cash flow, a projected balance sheet, and, finally, what
it will take to break even.
projections will help you to predict your company’s future.
12-Month Profit and Loss Projection
12-month profit and loss projection puts all the numbers together to give you
an idea of what it will take to make a profit. This is done on a month-by-month
basis as you forecast the following:
Cost of products sold
addition to a spreadsheet with these items, it is a good idea to use a
narrative to explain how you came to these particular estimations.
Projected Cash Flow
business is unsuccessful when it runs out of money. A projected cash flow can
help you to foresee such an event.
projected cash flow will include:
Start up money
Opening Day Balance Sheet
is just a spreadsheet that shows your companies assets versus its debts. When
you subtract your debts from your assets, you get your equity.
is just a prediction of what you will have to do in sales to cover your costs.
It gives numbers to what it will take to operate at a profit.
complete your business plan by using appendices. These can include such things
§Your promotional materials
§Letters showing support of your
company by past or future clients
§Formal research studies
If you have read all 4 parts in this series, you have a great outline for your own business plan. Feel free to contact me for any suggestions or ideas regarding your plan!
This is Part 3 in a 4 part series on writing a business plan.
Products and Services
In this section, you will explain what you will be offering in terms of
products and/or services. You
will also want to explain what gives you an advantage over other companies.
Finally, you will want to explain your pricing structure.
plan has seven subsections. They include
1. Financial Research
deals with the financial facts concerning your business. In order to determine
if your company can succeed in the marketplace, you have to understand the
marketplace. This subsection should answer such questions as:
What is the
population in the area you will be serving?
people in the market area have need of your service?
possible for your business to grow in this market? You can show this by showing
the growth of the area or the current growth of the market or both.
“barriers to entry” would keep you from entering the marketplace?
will also explain how changes in the economic environment could affect your
2. Product/Service Research
section, your research concerns what your potential customers will see in your
product/service and what benefits they will derive from using your
what after-sale services you will give.
include who your customers are, where your customers live, and what they are
group, you need to create a demographic profile. Depending upon your “perfect”
client, the demographics will change. This profile can consist of:
4. Competition Research
subsection helps you identify other companies that compete with you and in what
You will also
want to list indirect competitors, or those companies whose businesses have
services that overlap yours.
will want to compare your services with those of your competition.
5. Niche Research
It is not
possible to market to everyone, nor would you want to. Some clients are simply
not good for your business. Therefore, after looking at all the different
client possibilities, write a short, one paragraph definition of your niche
6. Strategic Plan
will need to know how you plan to promote your service to your niche.
What sort of
advertising will you do? How often? Why?
What low cost
paid advertising will you use?
What no cost
promotions will you use to get the word out?
What type of
graphics will you need for your strategic plan?
system for keeping up with your clients.
What is the cost associated with your promotional strategy? How much
will you need when the company starts and how much for ongoing promotional
How will you
set your prices? Are your prices competitive? Are your customers likely to shop
price or quality?
your business works well from home and does not need a storefront.
7. Sales Forecast
forecast is all about the numbers. It is a month-to-month projection of your
expenses versus your income. When you make this projection, it should be based
Part 1 of this series explained why you would want a business plan. Parts 2 to 4 will help you understand the different sections needed in a plan and what types of things you need to write in them.
cover should contain a title with the name of your company and the words
title you need to include your business name, your name, other owner’s names,
address, phone number, fax, and email.
summary is a short one to two page synopsis of the entire plan. It is easier to
write this section last so that you know exactly what is in the rest of the
Think of the
executive summary the way you would think of a resume. A resume lists all your
accomplishments and your skills to show potential employers what you have to
offer. The executive summary will explain to potential lenders or partners what
your company is doing, has done, and has the potential to do. This is your way
of getting the best of the best across to the reader so that they decide to
questions you will want to answer in the executive summary include:
is your business
are your customers?
are you and why do you think you will make a good at what you do?
What do you think the future
holds for your business and your industry?
should state the amount needed, what the money will be used for, and how the
money will help your business.
General Overview of
will describe your company. You will need to explain exactly what you will do. This section has many
Legal Formation of Your Company
Industry at a Glance
Your Company’s Strengths
Formation of Your Company:
How is your
company organized? The answer can be one of the following:
Limited Liability Corporation
Be sure to explain
why you chose this form of organization for your company.
Mission Statement: A mission statement
explains what principles will guide you in your business dealings. Mission statements are best kept to approximately 30
helps you explain your approach to your work.
Industry at a Glance:
you money or considering a partnership will want to understand the industry.
This section allows you to tell them about the growth, future changes, and your
ability to capitalize on these changes.
What will make your business
Considering your competition,
what strengths make you stand out?
What do you bring to the table
personally? Do you have a particular skill set or experience that will
make this business succeed?
In this section, you are going to describe your goals and how you will know if
you are achieving them.
Go ahead and start writing your business plan today. Watch for Parts 3 and 4 of this series.
This is the first in a series of learning how to write a
business plan. However, many people do not understand the need for a business
plan, saying that they already have a business going, why have a plan? Let me
tell you seven great reasons:
Let Your Managers Know What You are Doing: A business plan can
help you set specific objectives, letting you and your managers track and
follow up on the outcomes. With a business plan, you know what you want to
have happen and you know if you got what you wanted.
Determining If You Need New Space: Renting or buying space is
an expensive endeavor. A business plan will help you determine if your
space is too big or too small, or if it would be worth your while to buy
rather than to rent.
Hiring As an Option: Salaries are a fixed cost that you need
to consider in your bottom line. With a business plan, you can determine
how many employees you need, whether you need them full or part time, and
what positions you need them to fill.
Buying New Equipment: A business plan helps you “see” into the
future. Do you need new equipment to grow your business? How do you know
unless you have a plan for your growth?
Gain Business Alliances: Rarely does a business work without
needing some kind of support. Perhaps a printer or a shipper. No matter
what your needs, having a business plan will help you as you form business
alliances. With a plan, these other companies will know who you are, what
you do, how you plan to do it, and what their part will be in this plan.
Keep Team Members Apprised: In addition to having alliances,
you will also likely have team members such as attorneys, accountants, and
consultants. A business plan will help them know where you are and where
you want to go so that they can provide advice to help you achieve your
Seek Loans: When you seek to get a loan from a bank or an
investor, they will want to see your plan. They want to know how you will
proceed and what course they can expect. No one wants to lend money to an
Now that you have an understanding of why you want a
business plan, it is time to write it. Parts 2 to 4 will explain the different
sections of a business plan and what you need to include in each.
What do you want from your sales
letter? You want someone to make an appointment so you can show off your work
or your widget, OR you want someone to buy your work or your widget. You want
your customer to DO something. You want action.
The way to get the action you want
is to be persuasive. You have to motivate your client or potential client to
make a move and give you a call or pull out the checkbook. How do you do this?
One word – benefits.
You persuade a client by explaining the
benefits of your product. Many people mistakenly describe their product in
minute detail. We know the caliber, the color, the weight, etc. But what we
really want to know is this: What will it do for me? How will it improve my
life? What is my benefit?
Let’s look at cars. Although a car
commercial may tell you about the car’s features, they are not really selling
cars. They might be selling tough – you are a tough man and can get a tough job
done. They might be selling romance – you want a car that will make you sexy.
They might be selling wealth – don’t you want a car that will make you feel
I am a
writer. I have 12 years of experience. I have written five books. If I sent you
an email that told you these things, you’d think, “So what?” Instead, I need to
tell you what makes me valuable to you. I can make you an authority in your
field by helping your write a book about your field. You will be seen as a
guru. Gurus sell more product or service. Now you see my value, and if my sales
letter is written correctly, you will want to contact me for further
information about writing a book.
imperative that you do not waste your time with a sales letter that does not
persuade your audience to do something. You need to look at your product or
service and explain what it can do for your customer.
Contact me at email@example.com for all your business writing needs.