FOCUSING BUSINESS PLAN

To be successful in describing your business,you a need a focus business plan that match the needs of the reader. Businesses face four situations in which reader needs are specific enough and distinct enough that it makes sense to write the plan with particular emphases in mind. This refer to as a focused Business Plan.

Plans for a Pioneering Business

When your product or service is truly new to everyone, it is considered a pioneering business. With a pioneering business, your greatest problems are:

  • Helping people understand how it works,
  • Showing  them how they would use it,
  • Estimating how many people would want it, and
  • Estimating how much they would be willing to pay for it.

Anything you can do to help readers experience and understand the product or service helps demystify it. Plan on  a detailed explanation of the product or service and how it works. Make sure you explain the benefits customers would receive, and talk about the customer's personal experience in trying out, buying, and using the product.

The value of pre-selling, pilot tests, or test marketing cannot be stressed enough. If 100 people tried the product and 10 bought it, you have a powerful proof of concept.

Pioneering products also face a hurdle around manufacturing. Can they be manufactured at a cost that leaves a chance for profit? Letters from manufacturers or consulting engineers confirming the viability and production costs of your product go a long way to alleviating fears in this area.

In addition, if your product is a minor variations on a product already made (for example, a consumer version of an existing industrial product), play this point up, since it means fewer problems are likely for your specific product.

 

Plans for a new Entrant Business

When your product or service already exists but your business firm is the first of its kind in your market, it is considered a new entrant business. As such it is always harder to prove that your product or service will work.

In response, help make the product or serv­ice seem more familiar by detailing how it is used by customers, and give more background on how the product or service has done in other markets, especially markets similar to yours. Also emphasize existing operations in your industry analysis.

Seeing that it has worked elsewhere takes much of the mystery out of the question of whether it would work where you plan to market it.

 

Plans for an Existing business

Occasionally, entrepreneurs start a business before they write a plan for it. When writing a plan for an existing business, you have the benefit of knowing the history, the existing market, and the financial track record of the firm. These form a foundation for the plan, so the projections about future markets, sales, and profits should clearly build on these historical facts.

It can make sense to gather information on existing customers to help clearly define the market, and often suppliers and trade associations can provide more in-depth information on market shares and competitors.

Existing firms or business have assets to pro­tect, such as the customer list, the firm's name, and any intellectual properties it has developed (e.g., a patented way of performing work, a trademark, a copy­righted report, a recipe protected as a trade secret).

Showing how you plan to pro­tect and perhaps even make additional profits from your intellectual property (e.g., through licensing patents or trademarks) strengthens the business plan, as does talking about new ideas for increasing sales, which typically appears in the research and devel­opment section.

 

Plans for a business with significant government involvement

Some businesses depend on government approvals to go forward. Examples include waste management, companies using toxic chemicals, service stations, and even in many places, day care centers or private schools ownership.

When government gets involved in a major way, for example, having to approve the business license, zoning, or environmental impact, delays are inevitable. You need to build a plan that antic­ipates delays and either works around the parts of the business requiring approvals or is able to go into a type of sleep mode for some times, using as few resources as possible until approval arrives.

Working around approvals usually hinges on sell­ing services or products that are part of the business but do not require specific approval. For someone starting a service station, it may be possible to do minor car repairs such as oil changes, detailing, or tune-ups at the customer's home or workplace. This helps spread word, build a customer base, improve skills, and keep cash flowing until approval for the service station comes.

 

Once you have written the complete business plan, you are positioned to create special-purpose versions of the plan to meet the needs of a wide variety of people important to your business. Usually these special-purpose plans use a subset of the total plan.

In addition to the full business plan described above, there are five other special-purpose types of Business plan.

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