A business plan describes your business, identifies your goals and serves as your firm’s resume. The business will need a competitive advantage or value proposition to compete. The plan details the products and services you will sell; the customers to whom you will sell them; the production, management, and marketing activities needed to produce your offerings; and the projected profit or loss that will result from your efforts.

The business plan allows you to use the research you completed to draft the plan to make decisions affecting the future of the business. Completing the plan forces you to examine future decisions regarding management, marketing, personnel, and finances in an objective and organized way. It provides a projection of the sources and uses of financing needed for start-up or change up of your business. A cash flow projection is a vital part of the plan for certain types of businesses. The business plan can be a useful tool in securing capital. The plan may become your owner’s manual guiding your daily operations and activities.

Business planning is an ongoing activity. Existing businesses, as well as start-up firms, benefit from writing and regularly updating their goals, plans and activities. If you seek funding, you will be required to provide a well researched and written business plan.

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