I have just started creating a business plan, but I’m not sure what to include. I’d love to hear from anyone who has experience in creating these. I have found some templates online, but some are quite different from one another, and there seems to be a bit of conflicting information out there. Do you recommend using one of these templates or is it better to work from scratch?
So far, I’ve got a pretty good business overview as well as an operations and sales plan, but there are other elements that I’m not so sure of. Some sources recommend doing an analysis of your competition, but I’m wondering how to go about doing this. How detailed does this kind of information have to be? I mean, I think I’ve got a good grasp of the industry that I’m going into, but how much information do I need about competing companies? And how do I go about getting it? Are there any resources out there that you recommend using?
As far as my financials go, I’ve obviously got estimates of what my start-up costs will be, but I was wondering what kind of information to use in my projections. For example, if I have potential buyers that have expressed interest and who I think I have a good chance of selling to (but not a 100% chance) do I include that in my projections? Or can I include several different projections based on different scenarios?
From what I’ve read, they recommend including projections for two to five years. Two seems reasonable to me, but five? Is there any way to project that far out with any kind of accuracy? Will potential funders be more likely to invest if I project all the way out to five years?
I’d love to hear about your experience in creating business plans and any advice that you can give me!
Hi there. It sounds like an exciting time for you. Based on the questions you asked in your message, I highly recommend that you read a book by Steve Blank, The Startup Owner's Manual. It's a quick read. Steve Blank is a thought leader and he's responsible for changing the way we build companies today.
I'm curious...What's your vision?
Thank you Daniel for the book recommendation. I have heard of Steve Blank and will look into getting the book especially as it is a quick read. Not sure yet of vision. Is that something that should be put in the business plan? I am just trying to get a business plan draft and feedback from those with more business experience than me.
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