Thursday, March 5, 2015

Business Plan Basics Q&A – GEC Business Review


GE Consult was established in 2003 primarily involved in business plan consultancy in retail industry. Since then, we have worked with countless business owners, entrepreneurs, managers etc. locally and regionally. One thing we have observed was that actually there are many people do not really comprehend business planning and why business plan.

Unfortunately, some business owners simply find reasons to say no to business plan. Some people may even think of business plans work only for a startup business probably due to the fact that they do not know how much money they need. Some say business planning is a lengthy process etcetera.
In fact, a sound business plan outlines your business idea, key information, and the strategy to achieve your business objectives and goals. We have picked some commonly asked questions we have encountered at GE Consult.

What is a business plan?
Serving as a sea chart, business plan is a document that enables your business to look ahead, set directions, focus on key areas, and allocate company resources appropriately in advance.

What is the single most important part of a business plan?
The executive summary should be the most important part as, in most cases, experienced people and investors will read this page first. If such page does not impress them, they will likely not reading the rest.

Is there any standard business plan?
No, a business plan must be a customized document that created according to your business proposition. A business plan describes your business concept, business model, products, services, customers, competitors, management team, strategies, action plans as well as detailed financial projections.

Why should my business have a business plan?
Your business plan must be tailored in regards to the audience guided by your specific objectives and goals in certain instance. For example, if you are trying to secure funding from investors or bankers, your business plan should provide convincing evidence (both data and figures) for the money you need, and the ability to do repayments consistently. Business plan for internal management is another good example for an existing business, such document helps your business to plan ahead to achieve business growth.

How important is the financial information?
Sound financial numbers underpin a rock-solid business plan. When comes to financial projections, the sales forecasts, purchase budgets, cash flow projections and profit and loss projections are extreme important. Often, the word cash is usually misunderstood to mean profits in public’s mind. For example, making profits does not mean you will have adequate cash to repay your expenses.

Should the job descriptions be detailed?
Certainly, your handsomely formulated business plans are just theory unless well-planned job descriptions are assigned to all management personnel with clear objectives and budgets, enabling every department to measure results regularly.

How long should a business plan be?
In general, a 20-page business plan written with bullet points, user-friendly illustrations and charts will suffice. A well-laid business plan provides readers a good understanding of its main points after quick skim. Avoid lengthy and dense text, and key points should stand out immediately as they are useful in a business plan presentation. 

What is the difference between a business plan writer and consultant?
A business plan writer will expect you to provide all the answers. With all your answers, the writer will blindly write all information provided into a piece of paper. A business plan consultant is somebody who will help you refine your ideas and strategies based on his/her experience and qualifications, enabling the business plan into a viable business.

About GE Consult
Founded since 2003, GE Consult has helped numerous local SMEs/SMIs in developing their company profiles, business plans, business proposals etc. assisted clients in securing business deals and contracts. If you are looking for a winning company profile or any professional services, please do not hesitate to contact us at (+6017) 330 8077 and/or email for further service explanation.

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