7 Tips For Writing A Start-Up Business Plan

Please raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated about what to put in a business plan? What will convince an investor to give you money? We’ve all been there. And it seems like the answer keeps changing depending on who you talk to.

The problem, or rather the truth, is that there is no “one fit all” solution. So the bad news is: even a step by step guide to writing a business plan won’t really make your plan “good”. The good news is, you really don’t need a step by step guide to make your plan compelling enough to close investment.

There are many different formats and there really isn’t a “universal” length for a perfect business plan. Depending on your product or industry, it can range anywhere between 10-100, and sometimes more, pages.

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Business Plan Development – Free Government Resources to Aid in Business Planning

In your quest to develop your business plan you will want to obtain information regarding industry analysis, legal and regulatory statutes, manufacturing, training and counseling, and maybe corporate financials and international information and data. This is just a few of the areas you can research through our government’s online resources. Though they are free and free is often synonymous with undervalued they are indeed not free. Your tax dollars pay for them and the information is rich and vast. These government resources are put there to help you succeed so there is no better place to start your research than with the resources you pay for. The U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, Internal Revenue Service, The State Department, FedStats, Export.gov, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission all have information that you will find helpful. I will talk a little about each one, what they do, and how you can use them.

The first place you may want to start with your investigation on industry analysis is through The Department of Commerce. The DoC is comprised of twelve separate agencies responsible for many things regarding business from weather forecasts to patent protection. Their mission statement states exactly what they do and there is no better way to sum it up, “The DoC touches the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with a wide range of responsibilities in the areas of trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis.” There is much to the DoC and they also are a portal to several other government agencies and partners that you may find useful.

The U.S. Census Bureau, a derivative of the DoC, is a great resource for industry analysis and they are arguably the most important branch of the DoC for demographic information ranging from population breakdown, income, education levels, and housing to name just a few which you can find in the Peoples and Households section of their website. The Census Bureau also collects massive amounts of data on economic activity. You may need to search the industry code for the particular type of business you’re in or looking for, by searching its NAICS code. You can break information down from a national level and/or by zip code for information on total number of businesses as well as types and average sales in their business and industry section. They also have information on foreign trade and so much more. The fact of the matter is that there is so much data that the U.S. Census Bureau has accumulated it may seem daunting. It is in fact a huge database with so many useful links that I have to write three paragraphs about all the different links worth noting. You should spend some time navigating around, taking notes, and leaving yourself a trail of breadcrumbs one way or another so that you can remember just how you got from place to place.

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Real Estate Brokerage Business Plan – Key Things You Can Learn

Believe it or not, it isn’t just funders who will learn about your new real estate brokerage business when you create a business plan. You can learn a great deal of important information from the process of creating a business plan which will better prepare you to manage the business going forward.

Market Research

You may think you’ve done market research, but creating a business plan requires you to look deeply into the industry, your customers’ needs, and your competitors. The research must be systematic, looking not just at a couple of competitors, but at the entire field until you’ve identified your top opponents. Looking at competitors can also uncover some of the best practices of the industry which you may not have known, as well as weaknesses in other businesses which give you an opportunity to create competitive advantage. By delving so deeply into these areas that you can write a coherent and complete business plan, you will be armed to better deal with your market situation both before and after your launch.

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