December is National Write a Business Plan month. Business plans are popular discussion topics when it comes to starting a business or doing something entrepreneurial. If a prospective business owner is serious about taking a risk and making the leap into an entrepreneurial endeavor, he or she should take time and focus on producing a solid, well-written, and well thought-out business plan. What should be in the business plan? Here’s what Forbes Magazine suggests:
- Mission statement and/or vision statement so you can articulate what you’re trying to create.
- Description of your company and your product or service.
- Description of how your product/service is different from what currently exists in the marketplace.
- Market analysis that discusses the market you’re trying to enter, competitors, where you fit, and what type of market share you believe you can secure.
- Description of your management team.
- How you plan to market your product/service.
- Analysis of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- A cash flow statement.
- Revenue projections.
- A summary that wraps all of these pieces together.
Business plans can vary from industry to industry, but these are all important elements that should be included in any business plan. For Write a Business Plan month, Arkansas Capital Corporation and Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation want to encourage those with a business idea to take the next step – don’t let the idea go to waste! Google the idea you have. Research it to see if anyone has created the business you think you want to start. Start writing that business plan! If you’re in school, check out the business plan competitions held by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (Y.E.S. for 5th-8thgrade, Y.E.S. 2.0 for 9th-12th grade, and the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup for undergraduate and graduate students).