Business Development & Conflict Resolution

We assist individuals with starting their own businesses because small business is key to economic independence and community sustainability.

How to Succeed in Business: How to Write a Good Business Plan? (Part I)

The Business Plan is the road map for operating one’s business. The business plan is made up of a set of objectives and goals to implement so that you can start and operate a business. The Business Plan can be used as a management tool to measure your progress once the business is started.

The main components of the Business Plan are:

  1. Description of your business.
  2. The Marketing Plan.
  3. The Management Plan.
  4. The Financial Management Plan.

The first step to writing a good plan for your business is to do research on your “business idea”, products, and services. As part of this process, you must determine if the “business idea” will be feasible or not. Also, you need to determine if there is a great need for the products and services you are offering by the general public.

Another step to take before begin working on your business plan is to determine whether or not you are ready to start your own business.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when writing the business plan:

  1. What does success mean to you?
  2. What are the traits of a successful business owner or entrepreneur?
  3. What does owning a business mean to you?
  4. What problems or issues can you solve for potential customers?
  5. How will your products or services solve those problems or issues for potential customers?
  6. What value are you giving to potential customers with your products or services?
  7. Why should anyone buy your products or services over your competitors?

The second step to writing a good business plan is determine the mission, values, and goals for the business. The most successful businesses out there are focused and mission oriented. Successful businesses know their mission, core values, and goals and they ensure that their employees know them as well. The mission statement of the business plan states the focus and the guiding principles that determine how the business runs. The mission statement is an attainable, measurable, actionable, and definable statement of what is the purpose of the business.

The values of the business is what is important and significant to the business. The values statement determines what the business will not compromise when it comes to providing its products and services to its customer. The values statement is the integrity and trustworthiness of the business. The values of the business states what is important and significant to the organization. The values statement is the beliefs, standards, and principles that you want to express to your customers and the general public. The values of the business shows how you would like do business and become part of the culture of the business.

The goals for the business are the measureable achievements that must be accomplished by a specified time. In order to reach your goals, you must create steps to do so and they are called objectives. If you write down your goals and the objectives to reach those goals, you will have a better chance of completing those goals. You can write down short-term goals (to be completed in less a month) or long-term goals (to be completed in a year, but no more than five years).

The best method to write out your goals for your business is the SMART! Technique.

SMART stands for the following:

S=Specific

M=Measurable

A=Achievable

R=Realistic and

T=Timely.

The SMART! Technique will be discussed further in the next article in the blog series “How to Write a Good Business Plan?”

To summarize, the first steps to writing a good business plan is to do the following:

  1. Do research on your “business idea”, products, and services.
  2. Write out the mission statement, value statement, and goals for the business.
  3. Determine what needs or problems your products and services will resolve and fulfill.

When in the beginning phases of writing your business plan, do not be afraid to ask for assistance from other business owners, business professionals, and there are many services available to individuals who want to start their own business.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

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