Discover the ins and outs of constructing a great business plan
When you're establishing, expanding, or re-energizing a business, the best place to start is writing your business plan. Not only does writing out your idea force you to think more clearly about what you want to do, it will also give the people you work with a defined road map as well.
Business Plans Kit For Dummies, 3rd Edition has been updated to give you the very latest information on the changing economy and its impact on business plans; dealing with venture capitalists; getting start-up money in any economy; incorporating social and ecological responsibility issues; and developing a plan conducive to marketplace changes and advancements.
Refreshed examples and data sources for planning
Updated "ten top plans" section
CD includes new forms, worksheets, and resources
If you're a small business owner looking for expert guidance and friendly tips on developing and implementing a strategic plan to help your business succeed in an uncertain economy, Business Plans Kit For Dummies has you covered!
Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.
Table of Contents
- About the Authors
- Authors' Acknowledgments
- Publisher's Acknowledgments
- About This Book
- Why This Book Is for You
- Conventions Used in This Book
- How This Book Is Organized
- About the CD
- Icons Used in This Book
- Where to Go from Here
I. Building a Strong Foundation for Your Plan
1. Starting Your Planning Engine
- 1.1. Understanding Your Starting Position
- 1.2. Committing to the Business-Planning Process
- 1.3. Identifying Target Audiences and Key Messages
- 1.4. The Anatomy of a Business Plan
- 1.5. Establishing Your Plan's Time Frame
- 1.6. Preparing for the Real World
- 1.7. Forms on the CD-ROM
2. Generating a Successful Business Idea
2.1. Brainstorming Business Ideas
- 2.1.1. Hatching plans for a new product or service
- 2.1.2. Using the do-it-yourself idea blender
- 2.1.3. Seeking creative solutions to tough challenges
- 2.1.4. Inspiring team creativity (with or without donuts or bagels)
- 2.1.5. Finding business ideas within your work environment
- 2.2. Identifying Business Opportunities
- 2.3. Doing Your First Reality Check
- 2.4. Forms on the CD-ROM
- 2.1. Brainstorming Business Ideas
3. Defining Your Business Purpose
- 3.1. Knowing What Business You're In
- 3.2. Giving Your Company Its Mission
- 3.3. Setting Goals and Objectives
- 3.4. Exploring Values and Vision
- 3.5. Putting Your Principles into Practice
- 3.6. Forms on the CD-ROM
- 1. Starting Your Planning Engine
II. Developing Your Plan's Components
4. Understanding Your Business Environment
- 4.1. Zooming In on Your Industry
4.2. Defining Your Customers
- 4.2.1. Developing your customer profile
- 4.2.2. Conducting customer research
- 4.2.3. Sharpening your customer focus
- 4.2.4. Describing your ideal customer
- 4.2.5. Segmenting customers into buyer groups
- 4.2.6. Doing business with business customers
- 4.3. Defining and Addressing Market Shifts
- 4.4. Sizing Up Your Competition
- 4.5. Greening Your Business
- 4.6. Forms on the CD-ROM
5. Charting Your Strategic Direction
- 5.1. Assessing Your Capabilities Against the Opportunities and Threats You Face
- 5.2. Defining Your Business Model
- 5.3. Charting Your Future
- 5.4. Outlining an Exit Strategy
- 5.5. Forms on the CD-ROM
6. Describing Your Business and Its Capabilities
- 6.1. Introducing Your Business
- 6.2. Describing Your Business Capabilities
- 6.3. Changing Your Business Focus
- 6.4. Staying Focused on What You Do Best
- 6.5. Forms on the CD-ROM
7. Crafting Your Marketing Plan
- 7.1. Marketing at a Glance
- 7.2. Analyzing Your Market Situation
- 7.3. Setting Marketing Goals and Objectives
- 7.4. Defining Your Position and Brand
- 7.5. Targeting Your Efforts
- 7.6. Designing Marketing Strategies
- 7.7. Planning Your Internet Footprint
- 7.8. Forms on the CD-ROM
8. Tallying Up Your Financial Situation
- 8.1. Decoding Financial Terminology
- 8.2. Putting Together an Income Statement
8.3. Creating Your Balance Sheet
- 8.3.1. Reviewing a sample balance sheet
- 8.3.2. Now it's your turn: Building your balance sheet
- 8.4. Constructing a Cash-Flow Statement
- 8.5. Forecasting and Budgeting
- 8.6. Forms on the CD-ROM
- 4. Understanding Your Business Environment
III. Tailoring a Business Plan to Fit Your Needs
9. Planning for a One-Person Business
- 9.1. Having What it Takes to Succeed in a One-person Business
- 9.2. Tailoring a Business Plan to Fit Your One-Person Enterprise
- 9.3. Forms on the CD-ROM
10. Planning for a Small Business
- 10.1. Recognizing the Importance of a Plan
- 10.2. Preparing Your Small Business Plan
- 10.3. Keeping an Eye on the Business Horizon
- 10.4. Growing — or Not Growing — Your Small Business
- 10.5. Keeping It in the Family
- 10.6. Forms on the CD-ROM
11. Planning for an Established Business
- 11.1. Purpose-Driven Planning
- 11.2. Planning to Raise Capital
- 11.3. Planning to Grow Your Business
- 11.4. Planning in Times of Trouble
- 11.5. Charting a Turnaround
- 11.6. Planning for a Merger or Sale
- 11.7. Forms on the CD-ROM
12. Planning for a Nonprofit Organization
- 12.1. Running a Nonprofit Like a Business
- 12.2. Organizing to Do Good Work
- 12.3. Keeping the Books
- 12.4. Marketing and Promoting Your Nonprofit
- 12.5. Forms on the CD-ROM
13. Planning in an Online World
- 13.1. Avoiding the Well-Traveled Bumps on the Cyber Highway
- 13.2. Ironing Out Pressing Planning Issues
- 13.3. Creating an Online Customer Profile
- 13.4. Building an Internet Business
- 13.5. Adding an Internet Extension to Your Brick-and-Mortar Business
- 13.6. Forms on the CD-ROM
- 9. Planning for a One-Person Business
IV. Making the Most of Your Plan
14. Putting Your Plan Together
- 14.1. Making a List and Checking It Twice
- 14.2. Locating Additional Resources
- 14.3. Assembling Your Planning Team
- 14.4. Targeting Your Plan to Key Audiences
- 14.5. Fitting the Pieces Together
- 14.6. Planning Ahead
- 14.7. Forms on the CD-ROM
15. Putting Your Plan to Work
- 15.1. Organizing Your Company around Your Business Plan
- 15.2. Getting Team Buy-In
- 15.3. Nurturing Tomorrow's Leaders
- 15.4. Keeping Your Plan Current
- 15.5. Forms on the CD-ROM
- 14. Putting Your Plan Together
V. The Part of Tens
16. Ten Signs That Your Plan May Need an Overhaul
- 16.1. Costs Rise, Revenues Fall
- 16.2. Sales Figures Head South
- 16.3. You Don't Meet Financial Projections
- 16.4. Employee Morale Sags
- 16.5. Key Projects Fall Behind Schedule
- 16.6. New Competitors Appear
- 16.7. Technology Shakes Up Your World
- 16.8. Important Customers Defect
- 16.9. Business Strategy Does a 180
- 16.10. Growth Is Out of Your Control
- 17. Ten Ways to Fund Your Business Plan
18. Ten Ways to Evaluate a New Business Idea
- 18.1. Is This Something I Really Want to Do?
- 18.2. Is This Something I'm Capable of Doing?
- 18.3. Does It Tap My Personal Strengths?
- 18.4. Can I Describe It in 25 Words or Less?
- 18.5. What's the Closest Thing to It in the Marketplace?
- 18.6. Does It Meet a Need or Solve a Problem?
- 18.7. Does It Take Advantage of a New Opportunity?
- 18.8. What's the Biggest Drawback or Limitation?
- 18.9. Will It Make Money — and How Fast?
- 18.10. Am I Willing to Remortgage My House?
19. Ten Questions to Ask Before You Finish Your Business Plan
- 19.1. Does the Plan Realistically Assess Your Business Idea?
- 19.2. Does the Plan Adequately Describe Your Customers and What They Want?
- 19.3. Does the Plan Establish Specific Timelines?
- 19.4. Do the Financials Add Up?
- 19.5. Does the Plan Spell Out Specific Goals and Objectives?
- 19.6. Will It Guide and Inspire Employees?
- 19.7. Is the Writing Clear and Jargon-Free?
- 19.8. Is the Plan Concise?
- 19.9. Does Your Strategy Allow for the Unexpected?
- 19.10. What Would Your Competitors Think?
- 16. Ten Signs That Your Plan May Need an Overhaul
- A. About the CD
- Title: Business Plans Kit For Dummies®, 3rd Edition
- Release date: May 2010
- Publisher(s): For Dummies
- ISBN: 9780470438541