Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top 7 Tips for Your Business Plan

by Kelvin Wong

Over our professional services such as delivering business plans consulting, business loan lending, business proposals and training in Malaysia, we have provided guidance to hundreds of new and potential entrepreneurs. After reading countless business plans, I thought to share some of my top tips, and would believe this add value to your business plan.

Here are some simple business plan guidelines that are straightforward and effective.

1. Ensure the Business Idea Isn’t Just Your Hobby
It’s great to be passionate about your business idea, but, be sure that your business idea will be able to generate ideal profits and returns. Do not blindly follow your dream if the business will not be able to meet your financial needs.

2. Keep Your Business Plan Simple
One mistake that many entrepreneurs starting their own business tend to do is to make their business plan too complex with hundred pages. Let’s be simple, and be realistic in your approach to your business plan. as a rule of thumb, a business plan (for both startup or existing one) need only a basic strategic outline that cover 40 to 50 pages.

3. Your Business Plan Should Cover Basic Requirements
A good business plan will allow you to expand efficiently. So, you should make sure that the basic requirements are well-covered e.g. your business capitalization needs and resources. Make sure that your market is clearly defined which backed up by your marketing analysis. Make a list of assumptions and goals within the business plan. Basic outlines should include financial related components such as projected sales and expenses.

4. Strengthen Your Plan with a Strong Team
Your team will be the single most important asset to your business plan. Include resume of your major contributors who run the show. Having your business consultants, business advisors or accountants on board will be a plus to strengthen your team portfolio.

5. Your Marketing Strategy Really Matters
You should provide details on your marketing initiatives that will be able to generate customers and ultimately sales. For example, having your own Website, social media networks, attending networking events, participating in trade shows, hosting a special launching event are all opportunities to create sales. The objective is to have more marketing activities happening, so that you are not dependent on any one to succeed.

6. Your Business Plan Should Cover “What if …?”
Wouldn't it be great if your business plan worked and you had no problems in your startup? The reality is that every business startups need to have a contingency or back-up plan in place. Perhaps marketing tactics change or refocus on different products or services due to poor sales.

7. Review Your Business Plan Frequently
Your business plan will serve as sea chart for your business, it is ongoing but not stagnant. So, you should review your business plan regularly (e.g. every month) to make sure that your business is moving in line with your business plan.

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